Children’s community nurse wins top accolade

Child Health Award
Presenter: Joan Myers, Associate Director for Health Services & Chief Nurse at Achieving for Children 
Winner: Community children’s nurse Joanna Broderick
Children and Family Health Devon
Kate Garraway, television and radio presenter

A community children’s nurse who has developed a guideline for weaning babies off oxygen has won a prestigious UK award for innovation.

Joanna Broderick, who works for Children and Family Health Devon (CFHD), won the Child Health category of the RCNi Nurse Awards marking nursing excellence.

Her work, which is transforming care for families in Devon, has devised a safe, structured oxygen-weaning guideline for ex-premature babies with chronic neonatal lung disease and built a business case for new equipment.

This has halved the time taken to wean babies off oxygen, reduced the number of community nurse visits, enabled families to get back to normal life sooner and improved CFHD efficiencies.

Mrs Broderick, who works in Exeter and lives in Sidmouth, said: ‘Winning such a prestigious award consolidates and confirms everything I have done to develop this work in the last four years. It inspires and gives hope to nurses to push innovations forward. Don’t take knockbacks, keep pushing!

“I’m just so delighted that the work that I feel so passionately about is being given this recognition. I feel so proud to be a children’s community nurse and proud to be an advocate for my patients and their families.”

The guideline has reduced the time taken to wean babies off oxygen from an average of 168 hours to 68 hour. It now provides parents of babies born prematurely with chronic neonatal lung disease with an improved, safe, robust and effective process to follow for their care.

Mrs Broderick added: “The process empowers parents to get on board at discharge from hospital and feel fully informed about the future weeks or months their baby will be on oxygen.

“It not only embodies safety, but improves efficiencies for the families because it means their babies come off oxygen quicker, enabling them to return to normal life sooner. The number of home visits needed and nursing hours involved has reduced which increases capacity for the children’s community nurses to take on new referrals and see other patients. There were also cost efficiencies made to the wider organisation.”

The award is supported by RCNi Journal Nursing Children and Young People. Managing director Rachel Armitage says: “Nurses in all areas are increasingly under pressure but they still deliver exceptional innovation and outstanding, compassionate patient care day in, day out. The RCNi Nurse Awards are a chance to recognise the achievements of nurses like Joanna and showcase nursing excellence.”

Children and Family Health Devon provides children’s health services across Devon. The service is an alliance of local NHS providers led by Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust in partnership with Devon Partnership NHS Trust, Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust, Northern Devon NHS Trust and Livewell SouthWest.

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