• Safe & Effective
  • Kind & Caring
  • Exceeding Expectation
Chief Nurse's Blog

Chief Nurse’s Blog

Date of release: 23 November 2020

This week’s blog is all about celebrating achievements after our Urology team were declared winners at the Nursing Times awards.

Advanced Nurse Practitioners Clare Waymont, Kelly Kusinski and Jenny Akins won the Cancer Nursing category, seeing off competition from 11 other shortlisted entries.

Latest News: Nursing Times 2020 Awards - Cancer Award
Pictured, from left: the Urology team – Kelly Kusinski, Clare Waymont, Jenny Akins and Nicola Farnell.

This is really good news for the nurses to see the great service they provide recognised, and for the patients they serve.

Their winning entry was the nurse-led elevated PSA telephone triage service which I have mentioned in a previous blog, when they were nominated back in September.

But I make no apologies for talking about this again, especially now they have won!

They developed a fast-track service where patients are assessed over the telephone and direct investigations are arranged to help meet cancer targets.

Nurse-led telephone triage of suspected prostate cancer referrals has been identified as innovative practice and shared within the West Midlands Cancer Alliance. This model has now been adopted by other hospitals in our network.

Kelly was also shortlisted in the same category for setting up Brothers Reaching Out To/For Support (BROS), a support group for black men with prostate cancer.

Their colleague, Nicola Farnell, was shortlisted in the Rising Star category, along with Emily Wates from Gynaecology. Both are Clinical Nurse Specialists.

Nicola identified a need for robust tracking of bladder cancer patients and facilitated a database which tracked patients undergoing courses of BCG immunotherapy.

Emily set up the Trust’s first early pregnancy loss bereavement service in October 2019, while she was also put forward for the incredible work she has done working with women and their families during COVID-19.

I was delighted to hear staff were able to enjoy the awards ceremony, albeit virtually, at social distance and wearing masks.

The staff hired out the WMI Lecture Theatre to attend the virtual ceremony, where Clare was interviewed by Naga Munchetty, the BBC TV Breakfast presenter, to cheers from staff.

I must publicly thank Katie Haywood, Matron in Gynaecology, who also attended the virtual awards, for the efforts she went in transforming the Lecture Theatre and taking photographs, while I was delighted Yvonne Higgins, Deputy Chief Nurse, could also attend.

Katie decked out the room with balloons and banners and even laid a red carpet and background to give the place a touch of party glitz, plus supplying raspberry and pomegranate fizz, champagne flutes, fairy cakes and even little trophies.

The awards don’t stop there however. Nicola has won her own prestigious national honour – the Bruce Turner Award from the British Association of Urological Nurses (BAUN).

This award recognises junior urology nurses and gives them an outstanding opportunity to benefit from mentorship and exposure to national urological expertise and practice, including a fully-funded place to the BAUN annual conference.

Nicola was nominated for creating a Bacillus Calmette–Guérin (BCG) database, which allows the team to track patients undergoing treatment for bladder cancer. BCG is an immunotherapy treatment used to prevent high grade bladder cancer recurrence.

Nicola, who will also receive a large glass trophy, can now visit other trusts and look at different ways of working, view best practice throughout and see how her team can use this experience and knowledge to potentially improve their own service provision and patient care.

Finally, Clare, who along with Jenny has worked at New Cross Hospital for 21 years, is the new president of the British Association of Urological Nurses, starting this month.

It’s not only wonderful for our staff and the services they provide to be recognised, but hopefully also acts as an incentive to prospective staff considering a career here when they can see such dedication to care and innovation.

Take care,

A Teaching Trust of the University of Birmingham