Pauline Casey, Lead Nurse and Head of Service for Older Peoples Mental Health in the Western Health and Social Care Trust has been crowned the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) Northern Ireland Nurse of the Year 2016.
Pauline, from near Claudy, received the top honour in the hotly contested Nurse of the Year Award category at the 20th annual RCN Nurse of the Year Awards ceremony, at Hillsborough.
The Nurse of the Year Award is presented to a nurse who has led innovative change in practice that greatly improves the lives of their patients.
Pauline was nominated for her work in reforming mental health care for older people, in particular the remodeling of care provided to dementia patients. The new model of service ultimately ensures that people living with dementia are supported more in their homes and local communities. Pauline also led in improving the experience for dementia patients having to stay in hospital.
Gerard Guckian, Chairman of the Western Trust said: “ I am just delighted to have been present when Pauline Casey beat off stiff competition to receive the top honour at the RCN Nurse Of The Year Awards.
“Pauline is a first class nurse and driven head of service with a passion for improving dementia care. We in the Western Trust are immensely proud of Pauline and this tremendous accolade is so well deserved. We are fortunate to have her working within the Trust leading, developing and improving services for our patients and clients.
The Trust Chairman went on to pay tribute to Brian McFetridge, who was highly commended in Chief Nursing Officer Award category.
“Brian has personified everything that is good about nursing in the west,” Mr McGuckian said.
“He is dedicated to making innovative improvements to patient care and has been rightly recognised for this work.”
Brian received the award for his work in developing a bespoke patient transfer trolley that is now used regionally in the transfer of critically ill patients.
Speaking about the Western Trust’s success at the 2016 RCN Nurse of the Year Awards, Executive Director of Nursing and Director of Primary Care and Older Peoples Services with the Western Trust, Alan Corry-Finn, said: “I am absolutely delighted for Pauline. She is an exemplary lead nurse and head of service and is extremely passionate about dementia care. I also extend my congratulations to Brian McFetridge. Brian is a very professional lead nurse, who is at the forefront of caring for our very serious and critically ill patients.”
He continued: “It is apparent that both Pauline and Brian are in-tune with their patients and are experts in their respective fields of care. They have both seen opportunities for improving patient experience and outcomes and despite unfolding challenges they have directed innovative projects that are now accepted and viewed as best practice care across the province.”
“Here in the Western Trust, we see the amazing work being carried out every day by Nurses, Health Visitors, Midwives and Healthcare Assistants and the RCN awards are an excellent opportunity to highlight this.”