Health board recognises staff’s innovative efforts during pandemic  with ‘true festival of achievement’

Shetland’s health board has celebrated a “true festival” of its team’s achievements during the pandemic. 

NHS Shetland’s annual Excellence in Care Awards was held yesterday (Friday) online. 

Organised by director of nursing and acute services, Kathleen Carolan, the event highlighted a broad section of services, including many disciplines not usually in the public eye. 

The main focus was on how services had navigated the challenges of the pandemic.

Mrs Carolan said the quality of work had been of such a high standard that it had been be a “very tough decision” for the panel to select the winners.

“Patient safety, recognising trauma, improving access and individualised care were strong themes,” she said.

The judges included past winners and some NHS Shetland non-executive board members.

The Practice education award, recognising  projects focussing on training, raising awareness or staff development, went to senior infection control nurse Linda Turner and trainee infection control nurse Michelle Wilkinson who spoke about, “Infection Prevention and Control – Supporting Care Homes During the Pandemic”.

The Innovation in practice award, which looked at projects which had introduced a new approach went to principal audiologist Claire Rogers, who spoke about how she had redesigned audiology pathways and moved the department on to a more tech-driven footing.

The Person- centred care award, which considered projects that had enhanced the focus on the individual and the quality of their care, went to two recipients.  Midwife Hannah McCluskey told of how she had redesigned the pathway for women experiencing pregnancy loss, and advanced specialist nurse for diabetes Alison Irvine spoke about supporting patients with a long-term condition in the pandemic.

The Prevention award, looked at projects focussing on self-management, health improvement or realistic medicine, and went to Lerwick Health Practice ‘s Judith Pinnick, who spoke about her work on reviewing the use of high dose inhaled corticosteroids – or asthma inhalers.

An award recognising innovation during the pandemic went to midwife Elin Chiltern for her work on developing the medical termination of pregnancy pathway during the pandemic.

Judging panel chairwoman and NHS Shetland non-executive board member, Jane Haswell, said the presentations were outstanding and a “true festival” of the team’s efforts and achievements.

“The panel wanted to convey to everybody that what was presented was outstanding,” she added.

“What shone through was real evidence of integrated learning and quality improvement.

“It really was a festival of achievement.”

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