Press release: Hospital trust to showcase innovations in care to country's top nurse

Ruth May CNOThe country’s top nurse will visit Southampton’s teaching hospitals tomorrow (Friday) to meet staff and find out more about developments in nursing and midwifery.

Ruth May, chief nursing officer for England, will spend time talking to staff about innovations introduced across University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust.

She will also hold a session with nurses, midwives and allied health professionals to discuss her vision for how nursing will contribute to the NHS long term plan over the next 10 years.

Nurses and teams across UHS have received widespread national recognition over the past year for achievements in areas including emergency medicine and infection prevention, as well as overseeing reductions in falls and pressure ulcers throughout the organisation.

The vulnerable adult support team (VAST), a pioneering nurse-led initiative to provide better support around the underlying causes of physical and mental health crises in the emergency department, was named winner of the emergency and critical care category at the Nursing Times Awards in November.

VAST practitioners manage the psychological and social care needs of around 120 patients a month including screening, risk assessment, information giving, signposting, referral and safeguarding.

The infection prevention team was shortlisted for team of the year at the Infection Prevention Society Annual Awards in recognition of reductions in infection, with MRSA bloodstream infection down from 92 cases in 2005-06 to two in 2017-18 and Clostridium difficile from 741 to 34 cases.

Other achievements include an ‘outstanding’ rating for caring from the Care Quality Commission, the introduction of a clinical leaders’ course and a matron talent management programme, as well as a nursing apprenticeship programme which saw 48 new starters in September.

“We are absolutely delighted to have the opportunity to welcome Ruth and share some of the fantastic developments in nursing care across the trust,” said Gail Byrne, director of nursing at UHS.

“I am extremely proud of what our nursing and midwifery staff achieve on a daily basis and it is only right that we ensure we take the opportunity to highlight these at a national level wherever possible.”

She added: “We also look forward to hearing about Ruth’s vision for nursing as part of the NHS long term plan and I hope as many staff as possible take part in these discussions so we can share our experiences and help to frame the future of nursing across the country over the next 10 years.”

Posted on Thursday 7 February 2019