Nursing Times Awards 2015: Meet the finalists of the Rising Star Award


This year NHS Professionals is sponsoring the Rising Star Award, which is taking place at Grosvenor House on 12 November.

The Rising Star Award aims to recognise a nurse who has been qualified for less than five years, and demonstrates exceptional qualities that embody the best of nursing and the leadership skills to inspire others to follow their example. Candidates must be able to demonstrate that they have put one or more of the 6Cs into practice through an initiative to improve patient care.

The judges have narrowed the Rising Star category down to nine entries; take a look at their profiles below to find out why they were nominated:

Rebecca Kenny – Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust

Rebecca is a focused adult emergency nurse, with a specialist interest in service design and improvement. In 2010, she qualified as a Master of Nursing Science at the University of Nottingham and undertook practical research to inform people of how to deliver the highest quality community service for those with Huntington’s disease. Since then, her recommendations from the research have been used to inform UK and Australian services in rare neurological conditions.

At Imperial College Healthcare Rebecca advanced her clinical practice while showing a strong aptitude for managing and leading the clinical team. Showing clinical excellence in the A&E environment, alongside a passion for constant quality improvement initiatives she progressed to the role of senior sister within four years of qualification and is now a Darzi Fellow in Clinical Leadership.

Rachael McGuinness – Southwark Team for Early Psychosis (STEP)

Rachael is a community psychiatric nurse and care co-ordinator in the Southwark Team for Early Psychosis (STEP). She works with people aged 18-35 who are experiencing their first episode of psychosis and is responsible for approximately 23 patients.

Her colleagues say her quality of care is outstanding. She is able to balance organisational demands and is ready to deliver care that meets the needs of her clients. Rachael is always ready to help others, but manages to maintain the highest standards in her own work as well as create new initiatives.

Rachael’s most impressive quality is her quiet consistency and combination of new initiatives, which makes her an exceptional nurse. Rachael successfully applied for additional funding for the STEP social group in 2014, which has enabled more participation by the most excluded members of the group as well as more adventurous activities for the group.

Daniel Lucy – Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust

Daniel is a registered school nurse who provides the delivery of the healthy child programme and evidence based health interventions for children aged 5-19. Currently responsible for three high schools and eight primary schools, he uses every opportunity to extend his knowledge and skills to ensure he provides seamless support for children and young people.

School nursing has changed dramatically and often nurses face complex situations. Daniel has risen to this challenge and has flourished in his role. He has taken real initiative and has become a young carer champion. On top of his day job, he is a volunteer for St Johns Ambulance as well as @weschoolnurses where he has used the opportunity to network and share good practice. In his spare time Daniel, through twitter, gets involved with national developments to support school nursing and has been involved on a number of working groups including the sexual exploitation pathway. His colleagues find his energy and passion infectious – and his sense of humour creates a positive environment wherever he works.

Fernando Castillo – Barchester Healthcare

Fernando is currently working at Queens Court Care Home where he managed the care for 41 residents while leading 10-15 staff per shift. From his first day at Queens Court he demonstrated his personal standard of striving for excellence. He sought every opportunity to develop his skills by attending meetings and shadowing managers. He embodies the 6c’s in his day to day work and is not afraid to confront and manage consequences of poor practice.

Fernando recognises the value of the eight themes of ‘My Home Life’ – national research on the quality of life of people who live in care homes. He visits other care homes to understand good practice and works with other heads of departments to develop their knowledge and skills. He has also created a learning programme for the student nurses, newly qualified staff nurses and care assistants and chairs weekly end of life care meetings to ensure that all staff understand that competent, compassionate care is essential.

Sally Bowskill – Your Healthcare CIC (Community Interest Company)

Working as a community staff nurse in the Surbiton area, Sally has quickly excelled in all areas of providing treatment to patients at home as part of a unique integrated social and health care approach. She is able to quickly and efficiently assist the district nurse in complex case management of long term conditions. Her caseload covers not only a vast range of medical and post-operative patients but also a diverse age range from 20 to 104 years old.

Sally is very involved with teaching student nurses and development of health care assistants and staff new to the community setting. She has been an excellent role model, bringing a pro-active approach in motivating others. With a vast knowledge base and a strong desire to learn, her commitment to patients is demonstrated through a highly professional holistic approach to their care.

While of relatively modest experience, she has already made a very positive impact in helping to ensure continuing high quality of care. A great asset, she truly represents the very best of the upcoming generation of nurses to drive the NHS forward.

Jenny Mills – Northern Health and Social Services Trust

Following Jenny’s RCN student nurse of the year award in 2014, she grasped the opportunity to become a community staff nurse for people with learning disabilities in the Health and Social Care Trust in Northern Ireland. She works as part of an integrated team to deliver nursing interventions to adults who live in community settings. Her main interest is supporting people with learning disabilities to access effective and safe care within the acute general hospital.

Jenny has actively sought involvement in and contributed to the development of the Northern Ireland Action Plan for learning disability nursing, launched in June 2014.
Jenny has proved her exceptional leadership qualities and initiative through organising and leading a practice placement to Romania for ten fellow student nurses. She is an essential requirement for the future success and impact of learning disabilities nursing in Northern Ireland.

Helen Calveley – Wirral Community NHS Trust

Helen is an experienced member of the community nursing team who works to assess, plan, implement and evaluate clinical care of patients. Helen respects and actively involves people who use the services, taking their experience into account when considering a change in practice. She delivers high quality compassionate care for patients and is committed to clinical effectiveness and continuous quality improvement.

Helen has consistently been involved in new initiatives since she joined the team. These include: leading the team to complete the End of Life Care Assessment and Management Audit, setting up regular meetings between community nursing staff and residential care homes to raise awareness of pressure ulcer prevention, and leading her team for the submission of data to the patient safety thermometer relating to medicines management.

Commissioners recently provided outstanding feedback about how supportive Helen has been when working in social care. Consistently going the extra mile for patients and their carers, Helen is an exceptional role model for the next generation of healthcare professionals.

Sarah Williams – Royal Blackburn Hospital

Sarah is a caring and compassionate nurse working on the medical assessment unit at Royal Blackburn Hospital. Her day to day job is to admit patients from the emergency department to the hospital and start any treatment ordered by the doctors. The unit is very busy with over 40 admissions a day but no matter what her workload is, she is always smiling and has a friendly and comforting manner. Although she is relatively newly qualified the depth of her knowledge is staggering. Sarah often works through breaks and stays past her shift to ensure that everything is done and everybody is taken care of.

Her dedication to her day to day role is inspiring and her commitment as a nurse prevents patients from deteriorating. Sarah is a very competent nurse and embodies all aspects of the 6Cs each and every day.

Jessie McGreevy – Four Seasons Health Care

Jessie is a dementia care trainer for Four Seasons Health Care and is responsible for the provision of dementia education across 90 care homes. Within a period of four years, Jessie has had various promotions (from staff nurse to home manager to regional dementia care trainer), which is testament to her commitment and enthusiasm.

Jessie’s dedication to the pursuit of true person-centred care has seen her pilot a number of successful initiatives outside of the practice setting, including the development of a mobile app and video, which ensures learning continues outside of the classroom. She has also provided informative sessions for relatives about dementia, won a £5,000 scholarship with the RCN to undertake MSc study in dementia care and has published a paper on person-centred dementia care in the Nursing Standard.

On top of this, Jessie launched a memory café in her local community, hosted a twitter-chat on evidence-based nursing on dementia care and led an initiative to make 322 first year undergraduate nurses ‘dementia friends’ at Queen’s University Belfast. Jessie’s drive and enthusiasm has already inspired others and will continue to make a meaningful contribution to the lives of all people she cares for.

We’re looking forward to finding out the Rising Star winner on 12 November at Grosvenor House Hotel. Good luck to all of the finalists, we’re proud to recognise the rising stars of the future.

About the author

NHS Professionals administrator

NHS Professionals manages the temporary staffing needs of around 66 NHS Trusts across England. An integral part of the NHS, it aims to reduce Trusts’ spending on flexible workers without compromising quality, by providing greater transparency of demand and supplying bank staff at the best possible rate. Its bank of more than 40,000 flexible workers comprises general and specialist nurses, doctors, midwives, admin/clerical , allied health professionals, healthcare scientists, support services among other healthcare professionals.

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