12 Aug 2022

Derry nurses scoop prestigious 'Patient's Choice' award for outstanding care for patients and their families

Last night, Alison Cairns and the Home Therapies Team at Altnagelvin Renal Unit were crowned winners of the RCNi ‘Patient’s Choice’ award for their outstanding commitment to renal failure patients and their families. The annual RCNi Nurse Awards are the UK’s most prestigious nursing accolades, recognising nurses who, every day, go above and beyond to save lives, provide outstanding care for patients and transform nursing for the better. The 2018 awards ceremony took place at The Park Plaza in London on Wednesday 4th July, hosted by RCNi Nurse Awards ambassador and TV presenter, Kate Garraway. Kate presented the awards alongside special guest, actress and RCN ambassador Emilia Clarke. Alison and the team were nominated by patients and, following a public vote, have been crowned winners of the ‘Patient’s Choice’ Award for their outstanding care for renal failure patients and their families. Recognising that patients needed to interact with others who had had a similar experience of renal failure or dialysis, Alison and her colleagues, Bridgeen Canning and Caroline McCloskey, set up ‘The Group’ in 2010 to give patients and carers a forum where they could express their fears and concerns. Since its inception, ‘The Group’ has organised annual events such as remembrance services for those who passed away due to renal failure, a family fun day for patients and their families, as well as health-focused courses and a ‘Garden of Life’ giving thanks to organ donors. Joe McMonagle, who nominated the Home Therapies team, said: “All three have shown a passion to involve patients at the very starts of their journey through kidney failure. Extra time is taken by these nurses to ensure that all patients have as much information as possible on their condition and the treatments available”. On receiving the RCNi Patient’s Choice Award, Alison Cairns said: “I am truly delighted to have won and RCNi Award, both for myself and for our team back in Altnagelvin. These awards are an amazing opportunity to raise awareness of our work, to tell people what we do and who we are. It’s absolutely brilliant to have won.” Rachel Armitage, Managing Director at RCNi, said: “We are overjoyed to honour Alison and the ‘Home Therapies’ team for their hard work in setting up the renal failure support group. They are a magnificent example of a nursing team who have gone above and beyond in their specialism and we hope that they inspire many more to consider a rewarding career in the nursing profession.” Kate Garraway, RCNi Nurse Awards Ambassador 2018, said "At a time when nurses are working harder than ever, it was an honour to present the RCNi Nurse Awards and give nurses like Alison and her team the recognition they deserve. Every single winner had an inspirational story, pioneering idea or outstanding project that showed just how important and heroic our nurses really are!” The search for Britain’s nursing heroes began in December 2017. Nurses were able to nominate themselves or their colleagues across 14 different categories ranging from Mental Health and Cancer, to Emergency and Student Nursing. Shortlisted nurses were then interviewed by the RCNi Nurse Awards judges in May, ahead of the awards ceremony which took place on 4th July. Pictured above: Alison Cairns and the Home Therapies Team at Altnagelvin Renal Unit, were crowned winners of the RCNi ‘Patient’s Choice’ Award last night for their outstanding commitment to renal failure patients and their families.

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