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Chief Nurse's Blog

Chief Nurse’s Blog

Date of release: 22 September 2020

Latest News: Ann-Marie Cannaby Blog

Welcome to the blog. I make no apology this week by focusing on our recent nominations for national awards as I am bursting with pride at our staff’s achievements.

The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust has received nine nominations overall for the 2020 Nursing Times awards. 

Five of these are to nurses who have either been recognised for their efforts in innovation and/or setting up services, or are relatively new to their careers and have been acknowledged as excelling in their field.

Kelly Kusinski, a Urology Advanced Nurse Practitioner, has been shortlisted in the Cancer Nursing category for setting up a support group called Brothers Reaching Out To/For Support (BROS).

She noticed there appeared to be a large disparity in the number and cultural background of black men seeking support for prostate cancer, so wanted to address it.

Kelly, who has worked in Urology for 19 years, created the group specifically for the black community to increase the awareness of the risk of prostate cancer in black men and to provide peer support to them and their families, following patient engagement.

Black men have a one in four risk of developing and dying from cancer compared to Caucasian men (one in eight).

This has helped to increase the number of referrals to hospital for black men with suspected prostate cancer.  

Kelly also joined fellow Urology Advanced Nurse Practitioners Clare Waymont and Jenny Akins in being shortlisted in the Cancer Nursing category for setting up a nurse-led elevated PSA telephone triage service. 

Clare, who specialises in prostate cancer management and leads a team of eight specialist nurses, developed a fast-track service with Jenny and Kelly where patients are assessed by the three Advanced Nurse Practitioners 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 local network. 

Clare, who along with Jenny has been at New Cross Hospital for 21 years, is also the incoming president of the British Association of Urological Nurses and starts her term as president in November.

Two nurses have been nominated in the Rising Star category. This is for nurses who have been qualified for less than five years and who stand out from the rest.

Nicola Farnell, a Clinical Nurse Specialist, moved to Urology from Cardiology 18 months ago and has had a superb impact on the team, receiving excellent feedback from patients.

She also quickly identified a need for robust tracking of bladder cancer patients and facilitated a database which tracked patients undergoing courses of BCG immunotherapy – something which had been desired for many years by our urology nurse peers.

Emily Wates, another Clinical Nurse Specialist, has been shortlisted for her work in bereavement in early pregnancy. 

Having worked in Gynaecology since qualifying three years ago, Emily was put forward after setting up the Trust’s first early pregnancy loss bereavement service in October 2019, and for the incredible work she has done pioneering the role and working with women and their families during COVID-19.

Another four nominations came for our Clinical Fellowship Programme in the Nursing Times Workforce Summit Awards.

The programme provides nurses with excellent clinical practice exposure and access to structured and supported educational development to enable them to ‘top up’ to degree level or progress to Master’s level. 

Since the programme was established, it has supported the organisation with recruiting and retaining nurses, and since February, the Trust has had the highest nurse retention rate in the West Midlands. 

It has been shortlisted in the following categories:- Best UK Employer of the Year for Nursing Staff, Workforce Team of the Year, Best Diversity and Inclusion Practice and Best International Recruitment Experience.

We are particularly proud to be recognised in the Best Diversity and Inclusion Practice category for the evidence-based support programme we have established for international nurses.

The nominations demonstrate the fabulous opportunities available for nurses at RWT and recognise that the Trust is a great employer.

Key to the success of the programme has been the way international nurses are helped to adapt to life in the UK.

These nurses are assigned a buddy - someone who has been through the programme in the last six months – while monthly social meetings are arranged for them to encourage them to feel included, and classes in language and culture also help them settle in. 

I shall be keeping a close eye on when the winners are announced - a virtual event on Wednesday, 18th November for the nurses’ awards, and Wednesday 2nd December for the Workforce awards.

I’m sure you will join me in congratulating them on their nominations and wishing them all the best in their quest to win the awards they have worked so hard for.

Take care,

A Teaching Trust of the University of Birmingham