Teams recognised at prestigious Nursing Times awards

Posted: 04/11/19

The Children’s Community Learning Disability and Behaviour Support Service in Cumbria have won a prestigious Nursing Times Award, celebrated at a spectacular evening of recognition held at the Grosvenor House Hotel on Park Lane in London on Wednesday 30 October. The Sunderland Learning Disabilities Nursing team and nurse Mike Wilson were also finalists for awards.

The Children’s Community Learning Disability and Behaviour Support Service works alongside families of children with learning disabilities and autism in Cumbria. They aim to increase parents’ confidence and competence in managing the challenges they may face due to their child’s disability. The team support families through parenting groups, workshops, and taught sessions, as well as individual positive behaviour support and guidance to build emotional resilience.

I am unbelievably proud of the team and what they have all achieved! The benefits of the service and the wonderfully positive attitude of the whole team to embracing and delivering change have enabled us to continue to develop and overcome barriers.

Jean HamiltonChildren's Learning Disability Service Manager

Many parents tell professionals that they feel alone and isolated when they have a child with complex behaviours, learning disabilities and autism diagnosis. The team believe strongly in providing the right support, at the right time in order to support parents to understand their child’s behaviour and increase their confidence so that they are able to respond effectively to their children’s needs.

We are very proud of the achievements of this small team. They have such a strong belief in making sure the services they deliver are patient, parent and carer-focussed. It’s absolutely fabulous that they’ve got the recognition they deserve for their dedicated work.

Pamela TraversGroup Director, North Locality Care Group

The team also arrange opportunities for parents to develop supportive links with other local families, helping them recognise that they are not alone.

A group shot of the hard-working teamOne member of the shortlisting panel praised the team on the night, saying: “If this service had been available when I was younger, my childhood would have been so much easier!”

Editor of Nursing Times, Steve Ford, said: “The Nursing Times Awards showcase the innovation and best practice of nurses and midwives up and down the country, which I hope will be shared widely to improve care. The awards represent a great opportunity to celebrate all that is good about the nursing profession and I would like to personally congratulate all our winners and finalists.

“Hearing about the ground-breaking work being done by nurses around the UK to improve patient care never ceases to amaze me. This is especially true at the moment given the workforce pressures that nursing staff are under in many places.”

The service was launched in 2017 under Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust. The team in the North of Cumbria has now been transferred to Cumbria, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust, a provider of mental health and learning disability services in the north of England, as of 1 October 2019. All are keen to ensure that families continue to receive the same high-quality service across the county by taking this opportunity to learn from developing teams and trusts, continuing to collaborate and work closely together.

The Trust was extremely proud to receive two other nominations for the Nursing Times Awards. The Sunderland Learning Disabilities Nursing team, working in partnership with other local NHS organisations, were also nominated in the Learning Disability Nursing category for their ‘Closing the Gap’ project, promoting equity in physical health screening. Their collaborative approach, which involved The Health Promotion Team, focussed on running a series of pop-up clinics over the last 18 months focusing on hearing screens, HBA1c for diabetes and cholesterol as well as BMI and lifestyle advice.

The team were alarmed to find that 48% of the people tested at these pop-up clinics had a degree of hearing loss, and in some cases ear infections and conditions that required treatment. Following the screenings, they have supported many people with a learning disability to make sure they go to all of their appointments following on from the clinics, and this has led to some really positive outcomes for all involved.

We did not win but we were all thrilled with the recognition. We have since gone on to secure additional funds to develop this work further. We were also delighted to take one of our service users and her sister to the awards; she was the star of the show and was so excited about being there. A great night had by all!

Ashley MurphyLearning Disability and Autism Primary Care Programme Manager

CNTW employee Mike Wilson was also nominated as a ‘Nurse of the Year.’ The Nursing Times describe this award as being for truly exceptional nurses who have gone above and beyond what is expected of them in their day-to-day role, so to be chosen as one of a handful of nominees is a huge honour, and we are all so proud that Mike’s inspiring determination and creativity has been nationally recognised in this way.