Nurse consultant commended for MS work 

27/04/2011 00:00 

A nurse consultant who helped pioneer a project to give multiple sclerosis (MS) patients more control over their lives has won recognition at the British Journal of Nursing Awards 2011.
Bernie Porter was chosen as one of the top three nurses by a panel of respected judges to highlight and reward clinical excellence and innovation in nursing.

 Bernie, second from the left, with the other winners and Dr Christian Jessen (far right)

Bernie, second from the left, with the other winners and Dr Christian Jessen (far right)

The award ceremony at the London’s Landmark Hotel was hosted by Channel 4’s medical presenter Dr Christian Jessen, with Dame Christine Beasley. This spring Dame Christine is due to retire from her position as England’s chief nursing officer.
Bernie said:" It was such a surprise for me to receive an award - and such an honour!"

Bernie has been working with people with MS at the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery for more than 20 years and was the first nurse to be appointed an NHS multiple sclerosis nurse consultant.
With support from UCLH and Health Launchpad at the Young Foundation, she has been piloting NeuroResponse, a three pronged project which uses technology and staff expertise to help patients.

The pilot, which is nearing completion, focuses on providing three core services to people with MS: a telephone triage/advice line staffed by expert MS nurses; email advice service for GPs wishing to contact a consultant neurosurgeon and a video clinic linking the neurology team with the patient and local clinical team in the patient’s community.

Bernie added: "I always try to learn from what patients tell me. If you take your lead from patients and really listen to what they are telling you, all sorts of good ideas flow, if you combine that with evidence based practice then real improvements can be made."

Bernie was awarded third place. Jane Scullian, a respiratory nurse consultant at East Midlands Strategic Health authority came second and overall winner was Helen Allen from Ashton, Leigh and Wigan Primary Care Trust.

Organisers say the awards aim to play an important part in setting standards, encourage the celebration of excellent practice and promote enthusiasm for the challenging and exciting work that nurses perform.


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