We caught up with the Nurse/Nursing Team of the Year Award shortlist, ahead of this year’s General Practice Awards ceremony to be held on 8 December in London.
The first entry under the spotlight from this year’s shortlist is Tracey Elliott – clinical lead for Swift PCN New Way Leg Care in Bristol.
Since taking on the role of clinical lead, Elliott has endeavoured to be the driving force behind making the project a success. She works to ensure patients receive the care they need, often giving up her own time in evenings or at weekends so that no one misses out.
Elliott aims to be a font of knowledge when it comes to leg ulcer treatment, and spends time imparting information to other less experienced staff members and students, as well as supporting patients to be empowered for self-care. She has been instrumental in the clinic achieving a healing rate 62% above the national average.
Patients are now able to access treatment for lower leg ulcers in a community setting, taking them out of GP treatment rooms and providing group sessions with peer support.
With treatment offered to all age groups for patients across the whole PCN, this has reduced the stigma some patients associate with having leg ulcers.
Patients who attend the New Way leg clinic live in some of the most deprived areas in Bristol and are in the top five percent of indices of multiple deprivation in England. They suffer from health inequalities, multiple comorbidities, financial, IT and transport issues. Locating this service in a community setting has enabled patients to attend and benefit from treatment.
By attending the clinics patients have access to voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) organisations, social prescribing, assistance with form filling and signposting to alternative services.
Partnering with Age UK has provided a link to these additional services, and Ms Elliott has been pivotal in building this relationship. Bringing together healthcare with VCSE in a community setting has improved how patients are treated, breaking down barriers between healthcare and the VCSE sector and having a positive effect on outcomes.
Empowering people for self-care has benefited patients and the wider system with a reduction of treatment costs, reduction in preventable admissions and an overall improvement on patients’ quality of life.
What they said
One member of staff said: ‘Tracey is so knowledgeable on the subject and has spent a long time ensuring we know what we are doing.’
Another said: ‘Tracey does so much of the work in her own time. She is so dedicated to her patients and goes above and beyond.’
One patient commented on attending the leg clinic: ‘I consider this the highlight of my week.’ The patient also reported ‘feeling at ease’ and being ‘treated with respect’.
Last year, Wales-based general practice nurse Janette Morgan won the Practice Nursing Award after demonstrating her impact on chronic disease management in her locality.