National awards recognition for Weston staff

Nursing and midwifery staff from Weston Area Health NHS Trust are putting Weston on the map in being shortlisted for prestigious national awards.

A nurse from the Trust has won a British Journal of Nursing Award with an innovative campaign to raise awareness of pressure ulcers. And the midwifery team at the hospital’s Ashcombe Birth Centre were shortlisted for a Royal College of Midwives Award held earlier this month for a new health and nutrition campaign for pregnant women.


Helen Anderson, Tissue Viability Specialist Nurse at Weston General Hospital, won ‘Pressure Care Nurse of the Year’ at British Journal of Nursing Awards held in London on Friday 20 March 2015.



Helen was recognised for her work initiating ward trolley dashes with a gingerbread man, known as ‘Edible Ed’. The original idea came to Helen for World Stop Pressure Ulcer Day last May. The biscuit is used to demonstrate to nurses and doctors the areas of pressure ulcer risk by drawing on his body with icing from a tube. This creative teaching demonstration was very popular with staff who all enjoy the fun learning exercise.



Helen Anderson said of winning the award: “" I cannot believe that such a simple idea found on a shelf in the supermarket would be embraced and recognised nationally at such a prestigious award event.  I think if you can make learning fun not only will you enjoy the teaching yourself but staff at all levels will engage. A gingerbread treat provided the light refreshment which enhanced that fun and prompted further discussion! I feel so lucky to be a Nurse in a busy, rewarding speciality which I enjoy."


Chris Perry, Director of Nursing, said: “Pressure ulcers are extremely damaging and painful for a patient’s skin. In caring for these preventable sores, they cost the NHS millions in care and if we can find ways to prevent them, they benefit the patient and the hospital treating them. Innovative, creative approaches to nursing as Helen demonstrates, helps us educate staff in a fun and informative way.”



This national award follows on from the hospital’s maternity unit, Ashcombe Birth Centre, being shortlisted for a public health award at the Royal College of Midwives Awards for their ‘SHINE’ project. The SHINE Project which stands for ‘Self Help, Independence, Nutrition and Exercise’; is targeted at women with a Body Mass Index (BMI) of more than 30 at the start of pregnancy, or women with gestational diabetes.  


Pregnant women are asked to join a 10 week, lifestyle choices programme where they are given advice on healthy eating and increasing exercise in a group activity.  


Belinda Cox, Maternity Service Matron, said: “It’s such an honour to have been shortlisted for this award and to be recognised for the innovative project we are running. The results we are seeing from the project are fantastic, and the feedback from the women engaging with SHINE is hugely positive. I’m delighted that we are being commissioned to run SHINE again over the next year.”


Chris Perry added: “With our nurses and midwives gaining recognition through national awards, it goes to show how valuable the expertise is here at the Trust.”


Both Helen and the Ashcombe unit have already been recognised for their hard work and honoured with internal staff recognition awards – so we are thrilled their work is being applauded on a national level too”, she concluded.