Belfast City Hospital is in rude health with staff sweeping the boards at this year’s nursing awards.
Pauline Haslett, live donor transplant co-ordinator at the hospital won the RCN Northern Ireland Nurse of the Year Award 2011.
Pauline beat six other finalists at the awards ceremony in the Culloden Hotel to receive the award for transforming the live donor service in Northern Ireland. She also received five nominations in the Patient’s Choice Award.
Having realised the number of kidneys transplanted from live donors was much lower than the rest of the UK and that the process was too long, Pauline embarked upon a mission to streamline the process and worked with other colleagues to reduce the assessment time from two years to a one-day process.
The judging panel for the award said: “Pauline required vision, ambition and the ability to persuade others of the opportunity and benefit to patients of making changes. She epitomises what a nurse should be, balancing caring and compassion with the ability to transform a service to a level of excellence. In doing so she has made it easier for people who wish to donate a kidney, improved the quality of life for patients, and ultimately saved lives.”
Amanda McWilliams, a nursing auxiliary in Belfast City Hospital, won the Health Care Support Worker Award for being “an excellent role model for all health care workers” with the importance she places on communication and providing reassurance for her patients during all the activity that is going on around them.
Two Belfast City Hospital nurses were also commended in the RCN Northern Ireland Nurse of the Year Award. Pauline Hanna was awarded for her development of the nurse-led anticoagulant service which delivers specialist care, monitoring, treatment, education and counselling.
Ruth Thompson is a Macmillan haematology clinical nurse specialist at Belfast City Hospital and was praised for developing an innovative nurse-led clinic to improve patient choice and care.
QUB nursing student, Thomasina Duff, from Belfast, won the Student Award after her placement at Muckamore Abbey.
RCN Northern Ireland Director Janice Smyth said Pauline Haslett: “Through her vision and ambition to drive forward change, Pauline has turned around a cumbersome process and made it much easier and quicker for patients to be assessed and given the opportunity to donate a kidney, often to save the life of a loved one.
“Nurses are often described as the glue that keeps the health service together, however, this is a perfect example of how nurses are in a position to see where making changes can contribute to a more efficient and better service for patients.”