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Dementia specialist Pauline picks up top nursing prize

By Victoria O'Hara

Published 14/05/2016

BBC NI’s Donna Traynor; Janice Smyth, director of the RCN in Northern Ireland, and Pauline Casey, RCN Northern Ireland Nurse of the Year 2016
BBC NI’s Donna Traynor; Janice Smyth, director of the RCN in Northern Ireland, and Pauline Casey, RCN Northern Ireland Nurse of the Year 2016

A nurse who spearheaded major improvements for patients battling dementia has scooped a top accolade in Northern Ireland.

Pauline Casey from Donemana in Co Tyrone has won the RCN Northern Ireland Nurse of the Year Award 2016.

The lead nurse for older people's mental health at the Western Trust was given the title after impressing judges by redesigning services to ensure people were assessed and treated in a dementia-designed unit or in their own homes.

Over three years, Pauline reduced inpatient treatment from 84 days to just nine days and within a year achieved a 50% reduction in falls, a 90% reduction in challenging behaviour with other patients, and 94% improvement in the attendance rate for nurse-led outpatient reviews.

Runners-up at the awards evening, which was staged on International Nurses Day, were Sarah Arthur and Marysia Graffin.

Both are district nurses at the Northern Trust.

They were nominated for designing a dressing pack to carry out specialised wound care in the patient's own home. Meanwhile, Margaret Kerr, from Randalstown, won the Practice Nurse award.

Belfast Telegraph

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