A former intensive care nurse who used his years of experience to launch an online course to fill a gap in demand has been recognised by members of the speciality from across the UK.
Chris Jones, who worked at Broadgreen Hospital before becoming a senior lecturer at Edge Hill University, has received a prize for his “outstanding services to vascular nursing”.
“To be recognised by the people I set out to help is just fantastic”
He was presented with his prize on 1 December at the Society of Vascular Nurses’ annual conference in Manchester.
Mr Jones, an honorary senior lecturer from the university’s Faculty of Health and Social Care, helped educate both nurses and then podiatrists about vascular disease through free online courses.
Speaking about his former frontline role, he said: “I worked as an intensive care nurse for many years. I saw lots of cardiac patients, people having a heart bypass or valve replacements, or those with vascular disease.
“Working in intensive care and vascular disease management was jaw-droppingly interesting and I loved it,” he said.
However, Mr Jones noted that although vascular disease covered such a large part of treatments in the NHS, he noticed that “courses including this element were drying up all over the country”.
Academic honoured for contribution to vascular nursing
“I had an idea with colleagues to launch an online vascular disease course for nurses working in the speciality, but we noticed that more and more podiatrists interested in vascular disease were coming forward,” said Mr Jones.
As a result, he and his colleagues launched a second online course, this time aimed specifically at podiatrists.
“This free course was the first of its type in the world and recruited over 800 podiatrists from all over the world,” he noted.
“The course was successful because in addition to the content – blood vessels and what can go wrong with them – it rested on the experiences of surgeons, radiologists, nurses, podiatrists and most importantly patients,” he said.
He added: “We were able to deliver a high quality post-graduate professional education experience that reflected the reality of the health service. Unfortunately, due to changes in funding the courses are no longer running but to be recognised by the people I set out to help is just fantastic.”