NMC chief executive inspired by Royal staff

Last week the Trust welcomed Andrea Sutcliffe, chief executive and registrar of the Nursing and Midwifery Council, to the Royal to speak with staff in our hospitals and for an inside look at the work we do.

After meeting with the senior nurse management team, Andrea was joined by Trust director of nursing and deputy chief nurse, Colin Hont, on a tour of the new Royal site. Andrea was able to look around some of the departments and wards within the multi-million pound hospital, visualising how the new development will benefit our patients and staff.

During the afternoon, Andrea visited the emergency department where she met with the ED nursing team and a number of patients that are currently receiving care within the department, which is one of the biggest and busiest in the North West. Within the ED is our Acute Medical Unit (AMU), one of the largest in the country with its own direct access. Positive practice via GP phone line and triage results in over 30% of patients being discharged – avoiding unnecessary admissions.

Alongside meeting with staff who work within the Trust, Andrea was introduced to our community nurse team, led by Jane O’Connor, lead nurse of community services. The Trust operate a number of community services, including a specialist HIV/AIDS nursing service and a community respiratory team, which are helping patients to avoid unnecessary admission or longer spells in hospital, by enabling them to receive treatment in their own homes.

The team spoke with Andrea about the positives of working in the community, such as having the time to provide care, education and support to patients and their families, and how improved technology is helping the teams to stay connected and enhance patient care.

During her visit to the Trust, Andrea was keen to meet with our learning disability nurses to know more about the work the team are doing. Learning disability nurses, Ged Jennings and Serena Jones, and student nurse, Lauren Johnston, spoke with Andrea about the benefits of having an acute liaison learning disabilities team, who raise awareness across the Trust around how to support patients with learning disabilities. This has helped reduced the length of stay for these patients and provided them with a better experience.

Their team have also developed and delivered learning disability and autism awareness training to over half the staff within the Trust, as well as delivering additional training to staff such as link nurses who are now known as ‘learning disability champions’ – who are identifiable with a badge.

“It was a great opportunity for me to hear from nurses about what matters to them and their expectations of the NMC. I was inspired by their passion and commitment, and I was particularly impressed by the work of the learning disabilities acute liaison nurses. This small team shows how providing dedicated support in an acute hospital can make a profound difference to the hospital experience for people with a learning disability or autism, which undoubtedly improves their health and wellbeing.” 

Colin said: “It was an honour to host Andrea at the Royal. Our nursing staff are extremely passionate about patient care and we hope that this shone through during the brief time Andrea spent here at the Trust. We hope to see her again soon.”