Cumbria Crack

Alison named a Queen’s Nurse for providing the highest standards of patient care in the community

Alison Nicholson and Kendal ICC supporting local residents on VE Day

Alison Nicholson, Advanced Nurse Practitioner, was awarded the prestigious title of Queen’s Nurse (QN) this week from the Queen’s Nursing Institute for her innovative work with the Bay Health and Care Partners Kendal Integrated Care Community (ICC) and University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust’s (UHMBT) Frailty team.

The QN programme brings together community nurses to develop their professional skills and deliver outstanding patient care in the community. The title of QN is available to individual nurses who have demonstrated a high level of commitment to patient care and nursing practice. There are 15 QN’s in Cumbria and 64 in Lancashire.

Through her role, Alison supports elderly frail patients in the community and their families – tailoring care plans to the individual needs of the patient to help keep them out of hospital and in their own homes for longer. She helps to organise exercise sessions for patients such as hydrotherapy and gym sessions to keep them active.

Alison and the ICC team were instrumental in setting up a popular lunch club at Kendal Parish Hall which has seen around 40 elderly and isolated people come together, socialise and improve their wellbeing. Alison has also worked closely with cares homes in the community to help them to provide the best care and experience possible for their residents.

Due to coronavirus (COVID-19) Alison will attend a virtual ceremony in the next few weeks with others from across the country who have received the title.

Alison said: “It is really lovely to have been named a Queen’s Nurse and I feel very proud. I am very lucky to have a great team of colleagues behind me at the Kendal ICC and in the Frailty team – there are so many of my colleagues in these teams who are doing so many great things for our patients and people in the community.”

Families of patients who Alison has worked with have given the following feedback: “Alison always makes herself available to be there for us, and I’m sure many other people, who she cares for, but nothing is any trouble, even on a Sunday evening during her own family time she will always provide reassurance to us when needed. Just knowing that Alison is there has made such a difference to my family’s life. Her support and reassurance falls way beyond the call of duty.”

“Not only do I ‘feel’ confident in Alison’s knowledge and ability, but she has proved to us and demonstrated to us that her knowledge and ability is exceptional every step of the way in my dad’s care. She also shares her knowledge with us as a family to help us to understand what is relevant to dad’s illness which helps us to accept what to expect and to understand the changes in his condition.”

Kendal ICC team said: “We are very proud of Alison’s achievement and delighted that she has been awarded the title of Queen’s Nurse. We feel it is a well-deserved award as she has demonstrated exceptionally high levels of commitment to patient care.  She looks after our loved ones in our community and we are glad to have her as part of Kendal Integrated Care Community.”

Sue Smith, OBE, Deputy Chief Executive and Executive Chief Nurse, UHMBT, said: “I want to congratulate Alison on receiving the prestigious title of Queen’s Nurse. Alison is a fantastic role model and I want to thank her for her inspirational achievements with the Trust’s Frailty team and Kendal ICC.”

All nurses, health visitors and midwives with five years’ experience working in the community are eligible to apply for the QN title. The QN programme is generously supported by The National Garden Scheme.

Those who are awarded the QN title are:

  • connected to a supportive professional network
  • given access to the institute’s free developmental programme, bursaries and networking
  • provided formal recognition of their commitment to improving care for patients
  • linked to a regional QN group
  • entitled to attend the QN annual meeting
  • provided other learning and leadership opportunities.

Alison won the Outstanding Improvement in Patient Experience Award at the 2019 Bay Health and Care Partners Health Heroes Awards for her transformational work with the Trust’s frailty team and Kendal ICC.

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