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Nurses and midwives praised for work with BME patients

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Eight healthcare workers were yesterday rewarded for their contribution to the health of black and ethnic minority communities with Mary Seacole leadership and development awards.

Five clinicians who received funding last year were presented with certificates and Mary Seacole scholar badge having completed their projects.

“Their projects are forward thinking, culturally sensitive and patient centred”

Janet Fyle

Aissa Edon, a community midwife team leader for the Hillingdon Hospitals NHS Trust, was presented with her badge in the leadership award category, having successfully addressed the psychological and psychosexual needs of women who have undergone female genital mutilation in the UK.

In addition, Joanne McEwan, a health visitor with Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust who developed an “app” to assist health professionals identify patients at risk from FGM was honoured for the contribution her project has made to protecting girls.

Meanwhile, in the Mary Seacole development award category, three awardees who having completed their projects and received their scholar badges at the awards ceremony.

“These winners provide an excellent example for all nurses to follow”

Janet Davies

Gergana Nikolova, a senior midwife at Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust, developed an online antenatal and postnatal education programme. It aims to provide BME communities with a new educational model offering evidence based information in their own environment and their own language.

Joy Shao, a senior lecturer at Northumbria University, focused on exploring nurses lived experience in intercultural encounters and practice with her project.

In addition, Judith Ormrod, a lecturer in nursing at the University of Manchester, looked at increasing the knowledge and competency of student nurses to provide culturally competent care to clients who have experienced or are at risk of experiencing FGM.

Meanwhile, three new leadership awards were announced and will receive funding for their projects.

  • Ada Hui – a research and teaching associate in mental health at the Institute of Mental Health, University of Nottingham received funding for her work exploring the lived experiences of BME patients within a high secure hospital
  • Deborah Isaac – senior lecturer at University of Greenwich was also awarded funding for her project which was an exploration of British ethnic minority mental health nurses’ experiences of their career trajectory in the NHS
  • Philomene Umawaliya – senior lecturer mental health nursing at Liverpool Johns Moores University, School of Nursing and Allied Health. Her project will be an online resource hub for advancing the rights and wellbeing of asylum seekers and refugees

Janet Fyle, professional policy advisor at the Royal College of Midwives and chair of the Mary Seacole steering group committee, said: “It’s a real pleasure to have worked with our five scholars over the past year as they a have developed their projects which have and will continue to improve patient outcomes for BME patients.

“Their dedication to improving care and outcomes for BME patients is inspiring and cannot be underestimated,” she said.

She added: “Today is also the just the beginning for our three development awardees and a fantastic opportunity for them to come back next year to showcase their talents and inspire other healthcare professionals to do the same in the future.”

“Their projects are forward thinking, culturally sensitive and patient centred and will once completed improve the healthcare experience people from BME communities receive,” said Ms Fyle.

Royal College of Midwives

Janet Fyle

Janet Fyle

Janet Davies, chief executive and general secretary of the Royal College of Nursing, said: “These projects will have a real impact on the lives of patients, and demonstrate what nurses can achieve by harnessing their ideas and expertise.

“Striving for excellent and improvement in patient care, as Mary Seacole did during the Crimean War, is at the heart of nursing,” she said. “These winners provide an excellent example for all nurses to follow.”

The awards were first created in 1994 and honour 19th century nursing pioneer Mary Seacole. They are jointly funded by the Department of Health and NHS Employers, who work in partnership with the unions the Royal College of Midwives, the Royal College of Nursing, Unison, and Unite.

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