Health award for Karen

Karen Walls and her team pictured at the awards ceremony.  Included in the photograph are: Oonagh Donnelly, Rosalind Shannon, Karen Walls, Catherine Shields, Kate McWilliams, Anne Marie Gallagher.
Karen Walls and her team pictured at the awards ceremony. Included in the photograph are: Oonagh Donnelly, Rosalind Shannon, Karen Walls, Catherine Shields, Kate McWilliams, Anne Marie Gallagher.

Karen Walls, Clinical Lead Occupational Therapist from the Northern Health and Social Care Trust, has won the first Mangar award for initiatives to encourage everyday independent living which is part of the Advancing Healthcare awards programme in Northern Ireland.

Karen won the award in recognition of her outstanding work with people who have dementia.

Karen’s forward thinking led to the project being developed to issue GPS (global positioning systems) to individuals who enjoyed going for walks on a regular basis but because of their dementia there were some concerns about safety.

The client wears a device that alerts a carer via a text message or email if the client goes outside a pre-set boundary. All service users and carers issued with GPS benefitted from it giving it a rating of five out of five.

The project aims to help keep people at home for longer and facilitates people with dementia who enjoy walking outdoors to continue this valued and important activity independently.