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Neonatal Nurse Nikki wins national award

Neonatal Nurse Nikki wins national award

Date of release: 9 March 2023

A pioneering Wolverhampton nurse has won a national award for her care and treatment of very sick babies and support for their families.

Nikki Farrington, Neonatal Bereavement and Family Support Nurse at The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust, has been named Neonatal Nurse of the Year by the Neonatal Nurses Association (NNA).

Latest News: Nikki Farrington NNA Nurse of the Year

The mum of one, 44, from Willenhall, receives £1,000 to spend on the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at New Cross Hospital and a year’s membership of the NNA.

Nikki, who qualified from the Trust’s own School of Nursing in 2000, has spent her entire career in neonatal. Instrumental to the introduction of neonatal bereavement care for RWT, in 2019 she became the first Specialist Neonatal Bereavement Nurse in the region.

Starting the role as a secondment – as historically this would have been carried out by a bereavement midwife – Nikki initially worked to support families, bringing in memory boxes.

She then implemented the National Bereavement Care Pathway standards of care, which the Trust signed up to achieve. 

“I’m overwhelmed but feel extremely honoured and privileged to win this prestigious national award,” said Nikki.

“I’m so proud to be part of paving the way nationally for the Neonatal Bereavement Care Specialism and hope this now becomes more recognised as being a vital role needed in all Level 3 Neonatal Units.

“I dedicate this award to all the bereaved families I’ve supported and to all the beautiful babies who were born too sick, too soon.

“We will be using the prize money to continue to provide specialist premature baby clothing and sibling books to our bereaved families and to add home-like touches to our overnight parent facilities.”

Dr Helen Moore, Neonatal Consultant at RWT, nominated Nikki. She said: “I’m delighted for Nikki. I nominated her as I’m not sure she can see the impact she has.

“She has developed relationships with our local hospice, Acorns. With Nikki’s support and encouragement, nursing engagement with mortality reviews has improved as well with the feedback from nurses who attend.”

Nikki has also set up a weekly teaching programme for neonatal staff using the links she has made in her role.

“Thanks to Nikki, we now have a cold cot for use at home so parents who want to, can take their baby home after death,” added Dr Moore.

“Nikki continues to support parents after they have left the Neonatal Unit and ensures they have memory boxes and photographs if they wish.”

Kate Cheshire, Head of Midwifery and Neonatal Services, said: “I’m extremely proud of Nikki, who was our first Bereavement and Family Support Nurse in Neonatal Services.

“The team works closely with our bereavement midwives and the wider clinical teams to provide the best possible care for families and I’m proud to see the team and the service recognised at these national awards.”

Roisin McKeon-Carter, Chair of the NNA, said: “Nikki has worked tirelessly to promote multi-disciplinary and multi-agency working to provide all families with optimal bereavement and palliative care. The impact she has made through supporting colleagues to deliver care to these babies and families is clear.”


Notes to Editor

  • For further information, please call Tim Nash 07714 741097 or email  tim.nash2@nhs.net
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