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A close up of an adult holding a child's hand as they lie in a hospital bed.

News story

Nurse-led international collaboration improving children’s wellbeing up for top UK accolade  

August 1, 2023

A team of healthcare professionals improving practice for children facing traumatic procedures has been shortlisted for one of nursing’s most prestigious awards.

ISupport, a collaboration of 50 professionals and experts from 16 countries, is led by Lucy Bray, professor of child health literacy at Edge Hill University.

It has been selected from 920 entries as finalists in the Child Health category of the RCN Nursing Awards 2023.

The team will find out if they have won at a ceremony on Friday 10 November at Liverpool Cathedral. The overall RCN Nurse of the Year 2023, selected from all the category winners, will also be announced at the event.

Professor Bray was inspired to create ISupport after being challenged to ‘make things better’ by a young woman who has post-traumatic stress disorder after experiencing multiple traumatic health procedures in childhood.

In response, the team has developed evidence-based international standards to define good procedural practice for children, and make sure both their short and long-term physical, emotional and psychological wellbeing are central in all decisions about procedures. As part of the project, the team has created free-to-download accessible materials  for families and professionals in other countries.

The ISupport standards have been adopted internationally by the European Association of Children’s Hospitals and are guiding procedural practice in hospital trusts across the UK.

An image of the Postgraduate Research Student Tutor, Professor Lucy Bray. There is greenery in the background of the image.

“We are delighted the work of this international nurse-led team of health professionals, academics, young people, parents, child rights specialists, psychologists and youth workers has been recognised as part of these prestigious awards.

“The process of developing the rights-based standards and gaining consensus from multiple perspectives (children, young people, parents, professionals, youth workers), different disciplines (nurses, doctors, psychologists, play specialists, education) and across diverse cultures (across five continents and different care contexts) has been lengthy and challenging.

“We hope being part of these awards will help continue to raise the profile of this work and lead to further improvements in the care of children and young people.”

Professor Lucy Bray

RCN general secretary and chief executive Pat Cullen said: “Our inspiring finalists demonstrate the very best of nursing and what can be achieved in some of the challenging times for the profession.

“They highlight the wide variety of ways nurses improve the care of people at all stages of life and how they demonstrate their professionalism and clinical excellence every day, and in every setting, throughout the UK.”

The Foundation of Nursing Studies is the award’s charity partner this year.

Chief executive and current chair of the judging panel Joanne Bosanquet MBE said: “The quality of entries this year was superb and it was near impossible to choose our finalists from the creative and innovative work submitted. 

“The shortlist showcases excellence and recognises the enormous difference that nurses make to people’s lives throughout the UK.”

The RCN Nursing Awards will this year be held alongside the inaugural Nursing Live, a new and dynamic event for everyone who works in nursing. Hosted over two days (10-11 November) at the ACC complex in Liverpool, the event will focus on both the professional and personal development of nurses at every stage of their careers and will be the first event of its kind for the sector.

August 1, 2023


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