Life saving vascular nurse specialist wins national Nursing Times Award

Nursing times community award
Life saving vascular nurse specialist wins national Nursing Times Award
13 November 2015

A VASCULAR nurse specialist for the Manchester Leg Circulation Service at The Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust has been recognised for pioneering work which has saved the lives of two patients.

Lisa Smith, the nurse who is thought to be one of only four vascular nurse specialists in the country won the Nursing in the Community award at the Nursing Times Awards 2015.

She collected her award at a prestigious ceremony on 12 November at the Grosvenor House Hotel, Park Lane, London.

The award recognised the work Lisa has done at the nurse-led community vascular clinic at Harpurhey Health Centre which has detected life-threatening aortic aneurysms in people who are not identified by the national screening programme.

Aneurysms were found with people needing life-saving surgery, highlighting the need for more nurses to be trained in abdominal palpitation when assessing vascular disease.

The community leg circulation service was responsible for identifying 15 abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAA) in total with two needing life saving surgery between April 2013 and April 2014. Nine people were confirmed with an AAA and seven were subsequently placed on the Trust’s AAA surveillance programme for regular review.

The Leg Circulation Service aims to identify, diagnose and support people with peripheral arterial disease (PAD) early. This improves the health of patients and reduces the number of preventable heart attacks, strokes and leg amputations needed.

The service is made up of a community based specialist team of podiatrists and a vascular

nurse specialist. Their goal is to raise awareness of PAD and encourage early referrals to the service by GP's, community Matrons and Practice Nurses.

The team offers home visits and provides patient and clinician education on how to reduce cardiovascular risks as well as long term management of people with PAD. They signpost patients to community services for support with their long term conditions and in turn this reduces the amount of hospital admissions.

Lisa Smith, vascular nurse specialist at the Trust said:

“I am over the moon to win such a prestigious award and it makes all the hard work we have put into the service all the more worthwhile. The Leg Circulation Service is already making an impact on patients’ lives with two patients undergoing urgent open surgical repair which is life-saving surgery.”

The Nursing in the Community award encouraged entries from community teams that had undertaken an initiative that has improved patient care or the effectiveness of their service and has outcomes to demonstrate this. 

The Nursing Times Awards 2015 judging panel was made up of 81 senior and influential figures from the nursing profession.

Competition was fierce at The Nursing Times Awards 2015 this year. In all 346 organisations entered the awards submitting 823 entries into 20 different categories. The shortlists were made up of 124 organisations.

Pictured: Lisa Smith, vascular nurse specialist at The Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust