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Edge Hill-led international collaboration to improve children’s wellbeing wins top nursing accolade

November 14, 2023

The Edge Hill-led international collaboration ISupport, to improve healthcare experiences for children, has won a prestigious Royal College of Nursing award.

The team of 50 professionals and experts from 16 countries – led by professor of child health literacy Lucy Bray from Edge Hill University – won the Child Health category of the RCN Nursing Awards 2023. 

“We are so honoured to win this award on behalf of such an incredible international team and all the children, parents and professionals who have shared their views and experiences with us over the last two years. 

“We hope this award helps to raise the profile of our work and encourage conversations in practice about how we can best support children before, during and after their procedure.” 

Professor Lucy Bray

ISupport has developed evidence-based international standards to define good procedural practice for children to make sure their short and long-term physical, emotional and psychological wellbeing are central in all decisions about procedures. 

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

The ISupport website provides free resources for families and professionals to learn how to support children through procedures including a prep sheet for children and case studies to show how the standards look in practice. 

Professor Bray was inspired to improve care for children having procedures by Edge Hill alumna Katie Dixon, who experienced multiple traumatic procedures in childhood and now has post-traumatic stress disorder. 

“I feel absolutely overwhelmed with winning this award. I hope the standards will help empower young patients and improve the quality of care they receive during procedures.” 

Katie Dixon

Professor Bray added: “As a team we are committed to the sustained effort needed to make changes in practice, we have been challenged by Katie to ‘make things better’ for children and there is lots more work to do to.” 

“The wide-reaching ISupport team stood out for the way nurses across countries had worked with a young person who experienced harm to develop its human rights-based collaborative approach. 

“This will have a huge impact on nursing practice and children and young people globally.” 

Joanne Bosanquet, chief executive of the Foundation of Nursing Studies, fellow of the RCN and chair of the judging panel

Professor Bray and Edge Hill colleague Bernie Carter, professor of children’s nursing and fellow ISupport member, have been working with children, families and health professionals for ten years in the UK and overseas. 

Their research explores a wide range of issues affecting children, young people and their families, including the use of holding and restraint during children’s clinical procedures, children’s procedural health literacy (how they understand and cope with hospital treatment), the stigma faced by young people when disclosing a long-term condition and managing pain in children who can’t articulate their needs. 

Edge Hill University offers a range of nursing courses, all approved by the Nursing and Midwifery Council, in areas such as adult, child, learning disabilities and mental health nursing. 

The School of Nursing and Midwifery sits within the Faculty of Health, Social Care and Medicine, one of the largest providers of education for the health professions in the North West. The Faculty has been commended by the Quality Assurance Agency for the quality of teaching and learning, student progression and learning resources. 

Find out more about studying at Edge Hill by joining the last Open Day of the year on Saturday 25 November.

November 14, 2023


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