A national children’s charity has announced the winner of its first ever award for childhood continence care.
The award and a cheque for £500 was presented to Joan McKenzie, a paediatric urology specialist nurse at the Evelina London Children’s Hospital, which is part of Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust.
“We hope to recognise the outstanding work of many more continence specialists in coming years”
The award recognises a health professional who has demonstrated excellent continence care for a child or children either within the NHS or an education setting, said the charity ERIC (Education and Resources for Improving Childhood Continence).
Ms McKenzie won the award because of the passion and enthusiasm she has shown during her 32-year career, the charity said.
It highlighted that she was one of the first children’s urology outreach nurses and was central to moving the Evelina’s service from a hospital-based one to the community.
Her collaboration with multiple community teams and school staff around London and the South East has enabled children to remain at home in their normal routines rather than come to hospital as inpatients, it noted.
Ms McKenzie said: “It obviously came as a shock and surprise as I was totally unaware that I had been nominated.
“I have the pleasure of working with a fantastic and dedicated team who care for children and their families with kidney, bladder and bowel problems,” she said, adding that it could be an “uphill battle” understanding incontinence and the effects that it has on patients.
David Derbyshire, interim chief executive of ERIC, said: “We are thrilled to present Joan with the first ever ERIC award for children’s continence care. We hope to recognise the outstanding work of many more continence specialists in coming years.”