Newtownabbey nurses have scooped several awards at the RCN Northern Ireland Nurse of the Year Awards 2015.
The Royal College of Nursing awards, now in their nineteenth year, took place at Holywood’s Culloden Hotel.
Glengormley woman Rosemary Dilworth won the Independent Sector Registered Manager Award, sponsored by Four Seasons Health Care.
As general manager for specialist services within Amore Care, Rosemary was nominated for her dual role managing Apple Mews in Armagh, which provides care for 30 adults with learning and complex physical disabilities, and overseeing and supporting the resettlement of patients from hospital long-stay to Bohill Bungalows in Coleraine.
The judging panel was impressed by Rosemary’s focus on staff engagement, her passion, enthusiasm and promotion of the ethos and professional values of nursing.
Fellow Glengormley nurse Virginia Fahy was runner-up in the Public Health Award sponsored by the Public Health Agency and Health and Social Care Board. Virginia is a specialist nurse working in the field of addictions in the Northern Trust.
Based at Railway Street Community Addiction Service in Ballymena, Virginia was recognised for developing and improving services for drug users.
The judging panel recognised the positive impact of Virginia’s work upon some of the most marginalised people in society. The panel was also impressed with the community engagement and partnership working that Virginia has promoted in the interests of service users.
In addition, Senior care assistant in Ben Madigan Care Home Richard McCrum was runner-up in the Health Care Support Worker Award. Richard was nominated for the high standard of person-centred care he delivers to patients, working closely with other members of the team to promote patient dignity, respect and choice.
His nominator described how he promotes effective infection control, food safety and patient interaction, monitoring mealtimes to ensure that patients receive appropriate nutrition and that their food preferences are met.
Richard also provides mentorship for junior members of staff, ensuring they feel prepared and supported in their roles.
The judging panel was extremely impressed with the perseverance and commitment to patients that Richard displays in his work, his absolute focus on the patient and the transformation he has helped to achieve in patient care.
Meanwhile, Doagh woman Melanie Bowden was runner-up in the Chief Nursing Officer’s Award. Melanie is practice support manager at Four Seasons Health Care and was recognised for her leadership in promoting patient safety through a strategy to reduce the number of falls.
Recognising that reducing falls depends on changing staff attitudes and misconception, Melanie promoted the use of a regional falls prevention toolkit. She also used an online training and support package for staff, developed by the University of Newcastle, and identified the need to incorporate post-fall reviews into existing protocols and established a regular reporting system at senior management level.
Melanie’s nominator referred to the positive engagement she has secured from staff and the evidence of falls reduction. The judging panel commended Melanie’s commitment and perseverance, together with her capacity to promote change by engaging with colleagues and building a consensus that falls reduction is everyone’s business.
RCN Northern Ireland Director Janice Smyth said: “Despite the challenges, nurses continue to be committed to improving services and care for patients as demonstrated tonight. Congratulations to all of our winners who are a credit to the nursing profession.”