Recognition for local nurses

Pictured (L-R) are: Brenda McIlmurray, RCN, Karen Todd and Michael Moreland, winner of the Health Care Support Worker Award and Janice Smyth, Director of the RCN in Northern Ireland. (Submitted Picture)
Pictured (L-R) are: Brenda McIlmurray, RCN, Karen Todd and Michael Moreland, winner of the Health Care Support Worker Award and Janice Smyth, Director of the RCN in Northern Ireland. (Submitted Picture)

A specialist nurse based at the Railway Street Community Addication Service is among local nurses recognised at the NI Nurse of the Year Awards.

Virginia Fahy, who works in the field of addictions in the Northern Trust, was runner-up in the Public Health Award, recognised for developing and improving services for drug users.

Pictured (L-R) are: Janice Smyth, Director of the RCN in Northern Ireland, Patricia Laverty and Ann Lywood, winners of the Public Health Award and Eddie Rooney, Public Health Agency. (Submitted Picture).

Pictured (L-R) are: Janice Smyth, Director of the RCN in Northern Ireland, Patricia Laverty and Ann Lywood, winners of the Public Health Award and Eddie Rooney, Public Health Agency. (Submitted Picture).

Virginia led the development of partnership working with GPs, specialist nurses and social workers to provide a pathway to normalisation and recovery for individuals undertaking opiate substitution therapy.

She has also led the way in providing training for nurses and other health care professionals.

Also rewarded at the ceremony organised by the Royal College of Nursing, which took place at the Culloden Hotel, Holywood, was Sheila McLaughlin, from Ballymena who was awarded runner-up in the Mental Health Innovation Award sponsored by Niamh.

Sheila, a ward sister in Belfast Trust, was awarded for her leadership and commitment to improving standards of care for young people with a learning disability, associated mental health problems and challenging behaviour within an in-patient assessment and treatment service.

Pictured (L-R) are: Peter McBride, Niamh, Sheila McLaughlin, runner-up of the Mental Health Innovation Award and Janice Smyth, Director of the RCN in Northern Ireland. (Submitted Picture).

Pictured (L-R) are: Peter McBride, Niamh, Sheila McLaughlin, runner-up of the Mental Health Innovation Award and Janice Smyth, Director of the RCN in Northern Ireland. (Submitted Picture).

She leads a team of nursing staff and, in partnership with the broader multidisciplinary team, has reduced the use of restrictive practices and enhanced the quality of life for patients through a commitment to positive behaviour support.

Karen Todd and Michael Moreland won the Health Care Support Worker Award.

Karen and Michael are nursing auxiliaries on a busy surgical ward at Antrim Area Hospital in the Northern Trust.

They were awarded for developing a new approach to staff shift handovers that has improved patient safety and experience.

Eddie Rooney, Public Health Agency, pictured with Virginia Fahy, runner-up of the Public Health Award and Janice Smyth, Director of the RCN in Northern Ireland. (Submitted Picture).

Eddie Rooney, Public Health Agency, pictured with Virginia Fahy, runner-up of the Public Health Award and Janice Smyth, Director of the RCN in Northern Ireland. (Submitted Picture).

Karen and Michael considered the safety issues and developed a nursing auxiliary handover pro forma that was piloted with colleagues in the Trust.