A children’s nurse working for Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust (SCFT) has won a prestigious Royal College of Nursing Institute (RCNi) award.
SCFT’s Children and Young Person’s Community Nursing Service, which covers West Sussex and Brighton Hove, cares for thousands of children – many of whom have complex health needs.
Trudy Ward, Head of Children’s Specialist and Community Nursing, and the special school nursing team won the RCNi Child Health Award at a ceremony in London on July 4.
Siobhan Melia, Chief Executive at Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust, said: “I want to say a huge well done to Trudy and the rest of the team. Their hard work continues to make a real difference to the lives of children with special educational needs in West Sussex.
“Trudy is a fantastic colleague and leader and this award is recognition of the role she has played in improving the care that many children and their families rely on.
“I am proud of the contribution our Trust makes to the local NHS and the vital role we play in supporting communities across Sussex.”
The team’s entry focused on ensuring that the nursing services meet the needs of children and young people who attend 12 special schools in West Sussex.
Trudy Ward designed an assessment tool which identified the nature of nursing in special schools and which supports commissioning and workforce planning. It led to a commissioned special school clinical nursing service in West Sussex which enabled an increase from two to ten nurses supporting pupils with complex needs.
The tool is also used by special school nurses to provide nursing advice for each child’s Education Health Care Plan as part of the national Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) reforms.
Trudy said: “This is an amazing award for SCFT’s Children & Young People’s Community Nursing service. Lots of people are part of this achievement: nurses, teachers, parents, carers and health commissioners. We did this together. Well done to everyone involved.”
SCFT colleagues heard a moving speech by Royal College of Nursing ambassador, and Game of Thrones star Emilia Clarke who was inspired to work alongside the institute after seeing the excellent care her father received before he died.