St George’s celebrated International Nurses’ Day on Thursday 12th May with the trust’s annual nursing awards.

The awards identify and celebrate the nurses, midwives, healthcare assistants and mentors in the trust who have made an outstanding contribution to patient care.

Awards were presented for nurse of the year, healthcare assistant of the year, midwife of the year, team of the year, mentor of the year and the ‘Aunty Lucy’ award. Patients, colleagues, mentors or managers can nominate a person who has made a special contribution to nursing practice. The Aunty Lucy award, which includes a nursing education of up to £1000, is in memory of former trust employee Lucy Kpobie. Each year, it is presented to an individual or team who wish to develop an area of practice or develop a new initiative for the benefit of patients.

Jennie Hall, chief nurse, introduced the event with reflections over the past year. Various nursing staff gave presentations on compassionate care; including healthcare assistant experiences, nursing at Wandsworth prison and what it’s like to work in our emergency department while the ‘24 Hours in A&E’ cameras are rolling.

Here are our worthy winners alongside their winning nomination comments:

Nurse of the year: Paulo
“Paulo is the charismatic charge nurse of Buckland ward and an unsung hero! He demonstrates excellent leadership, a kind demeanour, respectfulness and has shown a high level of accountability and responsibility in his role. Paulo has led his team tirelessly through some very challenging times. On more than one occasion he has led his team quietly, calmly and confidently through the challenges, making sure that the patients are safe, well cared for and informed.”

Healthcare assistant of the year: Leanne
“Leanne is a lovely and kind member of staff that always meets every challenge with the brightest of smiles. There is never a task that she will not help with and she takes on all jobs with kindness towards patients and staff alike that is an inspiration to all. Leanne is such an asset to the unit, we are so lucky to have her.”

Midwife of the year: Deborah
“Debs is an invaluable resource to the HDU midwifery team, she consistently works on developing protocols and patient care plans within her own hours. She is passionate about sharing her knowledge and skills with the multi professional team to enhance patient safety and care.”

Team of the year award: neuro -intensive care, midwifery, neonatal
“Earlier this year, the neuro-intensive care unit, midwifery and neonatal teams worked together to deliver a baby whose mother had an un-survivable brain condition. This was a very sad and challenging case, despite this each of the teams provided expert compassionate care to the patient, the baby and all family members. They communicated effectively between themselves and the family and had the courage and commitment to provide the best experience possible in such difficult circumstances. They are a credit to the nursing and midwifery profession and truly demonstrated the essence of the 6C’s (care, compassion, competence, communication, courage and commitment).”

Mentor of the year: Mary
“Out of all my mentors I feel that Mary was the best of them all. She contributed well to my learning and achievements; she was very supportive and helped me develop new skills. She was always very understanding, although she was busy she would always make time for me and explain everything she was doing. She made a great impact on my experience at St George’s Hospital and I very much believe she deserves this award.”

Aunty Lucy award: GICU
“In August 2014, a team of GICU nurses introduced patient diaries. They are used for long stay ICU patients to help with their rehabilitation and are completed by the nursing staff, family, friends and other members of the team. Often patients have distorted, fragmented or no memory of their stay. The diaries can help to fill in the gaps for these individuals. We will use the award money to fund nursing time to facilitate our patient diary project. We will aim to run a pilot project providing seven hours a week of nursing time. There will be a dedicated person to manage the process of diary return who will allocate as much time as the patient requires. The use of these diaries has been proven to improve the patient experience.”
Special recognition awards were also awarded to:

Most improved ward: Allingham ward
“The nursing team on Allingham ward have worked extremely hard to improve the service and the experience of their patients. The introduction of the ‘daily safety huddle’ allows important key messages to be communicated to the team.”

Outstanding compassion award: Robert, Gunning ward
“Robert deserves this award for the support, care and compassion he brings to the ward everyday he works not only to patients but to staff and visitors as well.”

Outstanding achievements: Mary Seacole ward
“Big achievements include preventing pressure ulcers, developing a senior nurse review tool, recruiting staff to over 40% vacant posts and getting positive feedback on care from, Healthwatch Richmond and Wandsworth, local commissioners, the chief nurse and the patients.”

Award for endurance: Buckland ward
“Buckland ward are by definition a cohesive set of dedicated individuals! The team maintains a great sense of humour and camaraderie through the challenges and deserves recognition for all they do to keep patients informed, safe and well cared for. Their dedication and commitment knows no bounds!

Highly commended award: Prison service
“Prison nursing has had a difficult year with very high vacancies. The nursing team have worked together to recruit new staff and support staff within the service. The emergency response nurses manage very difficult situations. Sadly every death requires the nurse to be a witness at court where by their clinical skills are questioned and can often be a challenging time. Staff who have attended this year have been confident professionals and talk with knowledge and compassion.”