Publish date: 31 August 2023

Nursing teams from across UCLH have been shortlisted in two prestigious Nursing Times awards which shine a light on the brightest talent in the profession.

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Liz Keenan and members of the spasticity team at NHNN

The community outreach clinic for intrathecal baclofen refills has been shortlisted for the HRH The Prince of Wales Award for Integrated Approaches to Care.

And, the Covid-19 Vaccination Programme team has been shortlisted for Workforce Team of the Year in the Nursing Times Workforce Summit Awards.

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Covid-19 vaccination programme team

The National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery’s community outreach clinic for intrathecal baclofen (ITB) refills is providing people with neurological conditions and severe spasticity the opportunity to receive some of their care closer to home. Believed to be the first of its kind in the country, this nurse-led community service is improving patient experience by reducing travel time and distress, and also providing efficiency savings by reducing the use of hospital transport.

Roving vaccinator_UCLH Hospital_Dec2022.jpgThe Covid-19 vaccination programme, which is led by UCLH on behalf of North Central London, has delivered 3.5 million vaccines through its 3,000-strong workforce. The vaccinators were recruited from local communities and fully trained in the role to meet the needs of the Covid vaccine programme.

The team has since responded to other health threats including delivering flu, monkeypox, polio and hepatitis vaccinations, and they also deliver smoking cessation screening.

Commenting on the shortlisted teams, UCLH chief nurse Vanessa Sweeney, said:

“I am very proud of the two teams that are finalists in the Nursing Times awards. It is a huge achievement to be shortlisted in such a competitive field.

“Both the Covid vaccination programme and the community outreach clinic for ITB refills are great examples of nurses leading and innovating to benefit patients, staff and our local community. It has never been more important to recognise the incredible contributions of nurses, and these nominations are so well deserved.”

Liz Keenan, nurse consultant in neuro-disability, said,

“People living with neurological conditions and severe spasticity who need treatment with an ITB pump have very complex care needs. Often, we would hear stories about the effort and distress experienced in attending hospital for their pump refills. This inspired us to find a solution. The community outreach clinic is not only good for patient experience, it has also helped us to forge important relationships with community healthcare teams by us sharing our learning and experience.”

Karen Colfer, head of NCL workforce management services, said,

“Ongoing nursing and support staff workforce shortages in the NHS required an innovative solution to delivering a huge vaccine programme in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. Recruiting and training new vaccinators was a huge, but rewarding, challenge. It is great that our vaccinators report a very positive experience working in the team and say that they feel valued and respected.”

Deborah Scott, senior clinical lead for the Covid-19 vaccination programme, added,

“3.5 million vaccines later, this nomination is a credit to hard work both at UCLH and within our partners, and of course our tireless vaccinators working in the community.”

The full list of nominees are available as follows: