Press release posted 14 November 2023
On Wednesday 25 October 2023, nurses and organisations from the profession attended a glittering ceremony held at the prestigious Grosvenor House Hotel on Park Lane in London. Across 24 categories, the Nursing Times Awards 2023 recognised dedication and celebrated exceptional achievement.
Following a rigorous judging process, The Christie’s surgical and theatre nurses emerged as the winner of their category for their work on dignifying surgery for patients with skin cancer and dementia.
In the past, most skin cancer patients requiring surgery were given a general anaesthetic. This wasn’t always possible for people with dementia as there was a risk of them becoming delirious after the operation. This is potentially life-threatening for them.
The Christie nurses, led by dementia consultant nurse Lorraine Burgess, worked closely with the surgeons over the years to introduce the alternative of using local anaesthetic for these patients.
To make this possible, they work closely with the patient and their loved ones from the initial consultation. They make sure surgery is an appropriate option for them, plan their operation and enhance their admission onto the Integrated Procedures Unit (IPU).
In theatre, staff sit with the patient during the operation and talk them through what’s happening. They employ distraction therapy techniques – such as playing their favourite music – and use their knowledge of the person to reassure them and make sure they don’t become distressed.
Having surgery under local anaesthetic has meant reduced mortality rates and a better quality of life for these patients. The Trust has also made £1.5 million in savings in bed days as patients are no longer having to stay over in hospital.
“By making this change, we have made sure that these vulnerable patients are able to get the appropriate treatment they need, improving their quality of life while still maintaining a high standard of care,” comments Lorraine.
“Over the past 9 years, over 420 patients have had life-enhancing care in this way. These are people who previously may not have been offered the operation due to their dementia or who would have been offered a general anaesthetic with the high risk of post-operatively developing a delirium. The feedback we’ve had from patients and their carers has been brilliant and it’s a privilege to have received external national recognition too. We’re very proud to have won this award with our unique service as all the teams involved in the plastics skin care pathway are exceptional.”
Steve Ford, editor of Nursing Times, said: “The Nursing Times Awards represent an annual celebration of all that is good about nursing and midwifery, showcasing the innovation, energy and dedication of nurses and midwives across the UK.
“Once again, the standard of entries has been extremely high this year and to be shortlisted, let alone win a category, is a great achievement that marks out individuals and teams as truly exceptional in their area of work.
“I hope that our awards can go some small way to recognising the effort and skill shown by nursing and midwifery staff, whatever their specialty or setting and despite the enormous challenges they continue to face. Congratulations to all our winners for 2023.”
Following their 33rd year, the Nursing Times Awards are the most respected and relevant awards in the nursing and healthcare sector, representing true excellence in nursing and patient care.
You can see the complete winners list on the Nursing Times Awards 2023 website.