Liverpool nurses win top accolade for improving hospital care of people with learning disabilities
A team of nurses that has transformed the care of people with learning disabilities at their hospital and throughout Cheshire has won a prestigious UK award.
Shaun Lever, Serena Jones, Ged Jennings, Lauren Johnston and Susan Youds, from Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospitals NHS Trust, won the Learning Disability Nursing category of the RCNi Nurse Awards 2019.
The profession’s top accolade for nursing excellence attracted almost 700 entries this year.
The learning disability team has halved patient stays through what the Care Quality Commission and NHS England recently acknowledged as a standout service.
The team established steering groups with service users as core members, as well as a champion network that provides a forum to address educational, environmental and clinical needs. Training has been given to more than 3,400 staff, resulting in fundamental cultural change in the trust.
Length of stay for more than 543 patients has been halved and the team has co-produced foundation-level learning disability and autism training and information packs that are now used by 12 trusts and primary care services in Cheshire and Merseyside.
Ged Jennings says: ‘I am extremely proud for our team to win especially in 2019, when we are celebrating 100 years of learning disability nursing. Our service has tried really hard to improve care for people with learning disabilities and autism.
‘We’re proud to win, proud to be at these prestigious awards and proud to be nurses.
‘The role of learning disability nursing has changed so much. It’s becoming more diverse and moving into places learning disability nurses have never been before. Making a difference to the people of Liverpool is profound.’
RCNi Nurse Awards judge Margaret Sneddon, honorary senior research fellow at the University of Glasgow, says: ‘The team at Royal Liverpool has not only introduced a service that has transformed care, reduced hospital stays and prevented complications and readmissions, it has integrated the service and educated all staff, not just health professionals, to change the culture and ensure its sustainability.’
RCNi managing director Rachel Armitage says: ‘Nurses in all areas are increasingly under pressure but they still deliver exceptional innovation and outstanding, compassionate patient care day in, day out.
‘The RCNi Nurse Awards are a chance to recognise the achievements of nurses like Ged and his team and showcase nursing excellence.’