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Carer Support Nurse Service wins NHS Parliamentary Award

An ECCH nursing service which supports unpaid/family carers in the Great Yarmouth area to look after their health and wellbeing has won a prestigious NHS Parliamentary Award.

The Carer Support Nurse service is run by ECCH and commissioned by Norfolk and Waveney Integrated Care Board. It sees a specialist nurse visit unpaid carers at home to carry out an assessment. They can then address any immediate health needs and refer them to other ECCH teams, if required, such as occupational therapy for any equipment they may need to aid their role as carer. The service aims to boost unpaid carers’ skills and confidence to care and can also signpost them to other organisations which offer financial or social support, if needed.

Great Yarmouth MP Brandon Lewis nominated ECCH for the award. Having won the regional category for Nursing and Midwifery, the team will now go forward to the national awards in London on 5 July – the NHS’s 75th birthday.

The Carer Support Nurse service was developed following research by a team from the University of East Anglia (UEA), led by Professor Morag Farquhar, into the perceived lack of health provision for unpaid carers. They worked with ECCH to develop the role which is funded by Norfolk and Waveney Integrated Care Board.

During the set-up process it was endorsed by more than 70 East of England stakeholders and groups from health, social care and voluntary sectors, and more than 100 carers and patients.

Ten winners were chosen in the East of England. They include Colchester-based Provide CIC who won the Excellence in Urgent and Emergency Care Award for introducing a digital process to replace the more than 1,000 manual paper notifications a week on the triaging of children’s A&E attendances in Norfolk; and West Hertfordshire Teaching Hospital who won the Excellence in Healthcare Award for their ‘virtual hospital’ which provides a regular feed of health data from patients in their own homes to a virtual hospital hub.

Dr Edward Morris, Medical Director for the NHS in the East of England, said: “These awards highlight the amazing work that NHS staff and volunteers carry out across the East of England – including urgent and emergency care, helping people in mental health crisis, to helping new mums with breastfeeding support and advice.

“Their tireless commitment and outstanding care are heart-warming, and I’m delighted to see our dedicated staff and teams recognised in this way. I’d like to congratulate every single one of the winners, and to thank all the MPs who nominated them.”

Tricia D’Orsi, Executive Director of Nursing, NHS Norfolk and Waveney, said: “I am absolutely thrilled to see this fantastic service recognised as a regional winner in this year’s Parliamentary Awards.

“The service supports our commitment to ensure our residents and communities receive the right care and support at the right time and right place. It’s vital we continue to support our Carers; this is a shining example of doing just that.”

Professor Morag Farquhar said: “It is fantastic to see research taken into clinical practice to improve health service support of unpaid/family carers who play such a vital role but often with detrimental impacts on their own health and wellbeing. Working with ECCH to ensure the role is evidence-based whilst grounded in the findings of our work with local, regional, and national stakeholders, has been key to its success. In providing the Carer Support Nurse role, ECCH is at the forefront of plugging a national gap in health care provision.”

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ECCH Communications team

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