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Success in the Advancing Healthcare Awards NI 2022


We are celebrating the success of our Allied Health Professionals in the annual Advancing Healthcare Awards Northern Ireland held in Belfast recently.

Congratulations to Christina Crawford, Occupational Therapist who won the Rising Star award. Christina an OT assistant who qualified as an Occupational Therapist as a mature student with a young family demonstrated professional excellence, with huge motivation and determination to achieve her aims. Christina is based in Derry/ Londonderry and is an amazing OT working with Adult Community clients and their families making a real difference to their lives.

The Award for Outstanding Leadership was won by a joint dietitian led project including Siobhan McCaffrey, Team Leader Dietetics based at the South West Acute Hospital, Enniskillen on direct ordering of ‘Oral nutritional supplements’.

Rising Star Award Winners

Siobhan explained:

‘The NMOP(New Models of Prescribing) project tested dietetic led ordering of Oral Nutritional Supplements for Care Home residents without the need for a GP prescription. The project demonstrated benefits for patients, care homes, GPs, community pharmacists, dietitians and an economic benefit to the health and social care service.

“This was a pilot project undertaken in conjunction with two care homes in the Western Trust area Millcroft Nursing Home, Enniskillen and Edenvale Care Home, Limavady and has had a positive impact on residents. With adequate dietetic resource the community pharmacy supply model has potential to be rolled out across Northern Ireland with consultation on proposed redesign currently underway.”

Also congratulations to our finalists in the Award for Service Improvement Gillian McKittrick, Treatment Review Specialist Radiographer; Malcolm Wilkinson, Lead Clinical Specialist Radiographer and team from the North West Cancer Centre, Altnagelvin Hospital, Londonderry for their work in rehabilitation services for breast and prostate radiotherapy patients.

2022 NI AH Awards Finalist

Gillian McKittrick explains:

“Breast and Prostate cancer patients are invited to attend prehabilitation sessions prior to their consent appointment.   On arrival they are asked to complete a questionnaire which identifies any issues or concerns they have.  The session begins with an introduction to the staff members present and continues with a PowerPoint presentation explaining what radiotherapy is, how it works and what they can expect as a patient.  Simulation software named PEARL is used to provide a visual walk through of radiotherapy treatment delivery.  For breast cancer patients, a one to one clinical examination is completed by a Specialist Radiographer in a separate private room.  Issues identified in the questionnaire are discussed and concerns are managed appropriately, at the earliest opportunity, helping mitigate any potential delay to treatment planning or delivery.

“Prehabilitation aims to increase patient understanding of radiotherapy; improve patient compliance; provide an early opportunity to review, identify and intervene on issues that may impact prompt treatment delivery; provide an early assessment of holistic needs; increase patient physical and psychological resilience; communicate information in advance of consent to engage and increase patient ownership and involvement in their radiotherapy journey as well as foster a sense of control in preparation of treatment and enhance satisfaction of treatment experience for each patient.”

Our Allied Health Professionals also had three posters shortlisted for presentation on the night.

Eileen Dolan, Interim Head of AHP Services at the Western Trust said:

“I am delighted with the success of our incredible AHP staff working across the Western Trust. It is a privilege to work along with such dedicated, innovative and committed healthcare professionals who continue to provide the highest standard of care and support to our patients and clients. Well done to all our AHP team winners and finalist, we are very proud of your achievements!”