Commitment & Dedication of Trust Staff Celebrated at Nurse of the Year Awards

19th June 2023
RCN Nurse of the year awards, featured in image: Advanced Nurse Practitioner, Sarah McCauley, Teenage and Young Adult Clinical Nurse Specialist, Lisa Callendar and Urology Advanced Nurse Practitioner, Claire Cassells

It was a night of celebration and recognition for nursing staff from the South Eastern Health & Social Care Trust at the annual Royal College of Nursing ‘Nurse of the Year’ awards, as four Nurses were recognised for their dedication and commitment.

Macmillan Advanced Nurse Practitioner, Sarah McCauley won ‘Cancer Nurse of the Year’ while runner-up was presented to colleague Lisa Callendar, Teenage and Young People Adult Nurse Specialist.  Runner-up in the overall Nurse of the Year Award was presented to Claire Cassells, Urology Advanced Nurse Practitioner and Lisa Giltrip, Senior Mental Health Practitioner in North Down GP Federation was awarded runner up in the Primary Care Award category.

Sarah was appointed as the first Oncology Nurse Practitioner within the Trust in 2018 and delivers holistic, person-centred care at a time in a patient’s cancer journey when they could potentially feel their most vulnerable. She has played an integral part in working on a regional project to reduce the need for hospital appointments, blood tests and assessments for patients on palliative treatment.

Lisa established and leads the cancer service for teenagers and young people.  She advocates and supports young people aged 16 to 24 who are diagnosed with cancer and has successfully streamlined appointment times to allow patients to attend work or continue their education, or to mitigate for treatment side effects. She has also organised a bereavement support group for staff following the predicted but sudden death of a young person, helping colleagues deal with their feelings and emotions.

Claire has modernized and reshaped how urology care is delivered. She has worked tirelessly, demonstrating advanced clinical skills and leadership, in developing a number of new nurse-led initiatives, all of which have led to more holistic person-centred care, greater efficiency and effective care delivery. She established an Andrology Clinic, in conjunction with Urology Consultants, Cardiologists and Endocrinologists, which she now runs autonomously, treating nine new patients each week which has significantly reduced waiting times and improved patients’ quality of life and treatment options.

Lisa was the first Senior Mental Health Practitioner in the North Down GP Federation and has been a trailblazer for mental health practitioners within primary care multi-disciplinary teams. She utilises her professional nursing skills and networks to deliver mental health assessments and interventions and has developed positive working relationships with secondary care colleagues, ensuring that patients can access the right service in a timely manner.

Director of Nursing, David Robinson said, “I am delighted that our nursing staff have been recognised for their dedication and commitment to improving patient care. These awards not only celebrate the achievements of nursing staff, but are also a reminder of the importance of quality patient care and the critical role they play.”