Lisburn nurses take top honours at annual awards event

Lisburn nurses were among those recently honoured at this year’s RCN Northern Ireland Nurse of the Year Awards.

Pictured (L-R) are: Peter McBride, Niamh, Ursula Tumelty and Colette Reynolds, runner-up of the Mental Health Innovation Award and Janice Smyth, Director of the RCN in Northern Ireland. .Photo by Aaron McCracken/Harrisons 07778373486

Now in their 18th year, the Royal College of Nursing Awards wre held at Holywood’s Culloden Hotel, where Karen Moore won the Learning in Practice Award, sponsored by the Open University.

The judging panel commended Lisburn woman Karen, a health visitor with the Southern Trust, for her inspirational, compassionate and caring qualities.

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She was nominated for providing support to a nurse who, although qualified as a health visitor for more than 25 years, had not practised in that role since 1999.

While the initial aim of the placement was to update professional skills and practice, such was the impact of working with Karen that the nominator was inspired to return to working part-time as a family health visitor.

“Working with Karen has been an enormous privilege,” she said. “The respect with which she treats clients, colleagues and students is exemplary.

Meanwhile, Lagan Valley Hospital Staff Nurses Ursula Tumelty and Colette Reynolds were runners-up in the Mental Health Innovation Award, sponsored by Niamh.

Colette and Ursula were recognised for the outstanding and innovative ways in which they transformed their ward.

Alongside service-users, they entered the Public Health Agency Dragon’s Den award, so securing £3,500 to create a sensory garden.

Further projects have followed, including the development of links with the Open Arts Council, resulting in art classes, creative writing and contemporary dance on the ward.

Ursula and Colette - now members of a steering committee for the first Northern Ireland Mental Health Film and Arts festival to be held in October, - were praised for making “significant progress in improving the quality of experience for individual mental health service-users.

Also among the winners was South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust Head of Patient Safety and Improvement, Brenda Carson, who won the Chief Nursing Officer’s Award for Patient Safety, sponsored by the Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety.

Brenda was nominated for her success in promoting patient safety.