Liver Nurse of the Year Award 2019

Posted on: 12th March 2019

Congratulations to the Hepatology nursing team at the University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust who have won this year’s British Journal of Nursing ‘Liver nurse of the year’.

The award was presented at a ceremony in London’s Shakespeare Globe on Friday 8th March 2019 by Vanessa Hebditch from the British Liver Trust and Michelle Clayton from the British Liver Nurses Association.

The team won the award for their innovative Thinking Ahead Clinic. The key aim of this new service is to help those patients who have end stage cirrhosis and are unsuitable for liver transplantation. The clinic provides a holistic care pathway, from recognition of incurable illness, planning end of life care and providing support post bereavement, whilst avoiding hospital admissions.  The project has attained a greater understanding of this patient group, using qualitative research methods and identifying what is important to patients.

The team  set up an advanced care planning Multi-disciplinary Team meeting to identify & discuss patients who were considered to be in the last 12-24 months of life and were not candidates for liver transplant.

Members of the team who are led by Nurse Consultant, Anthony Moffat, commented

“We hope our project will inspire others to set up similar clinics, or opportunities for patients who are facing the end of their life, a place and the time to provide them with an opportunity to regain some self-respect, be listened too and have their wishes carried out.”

“The most important aspect of this project is being available, visible and  listening. Guiding and supporting patients, families and carers, as they approach the most challenging stage of their life.  The thinking ahead service enabled a supportive environment to discuss their uncertain disease trajectory and provide a structured approach to future care provision, it further enabled patients and family’s to understand why we were advising a more supportive care approach. It further provided continuity of care and enabled the hepatology team and patients to develop stronger relationships with community partners and palliative care. All of our patients have a story to tell and in some cases this story has impacted on their life decisions.   Many of our patients were wishing to reconcile with their life’s decisions and have an opportunity to improve and mend their relationships, making peace with themselves and others. The simple task of Listening and hearing our patients means the standards of care we provide will continually improve’

“As a team we are all responsible and involved in the patient’s journey, at whatever stage they are referred to Liver Services.  We work with a highly qualified and extensively experienced team of individuals, who have a vocation for nursing and achievement.  Positive energy is inspirational, the team we have is inspirational!  We work collectively for each other; to provide the very best we can for our patients, their carers and family.”

As well as Anthony Moffat, the award was collected by: Amanda Clements, Advanced Nurse Practitioner; Katie Ramos, Transplant – Clinical Nurse Specialist; Percy Hendry - Trainee – Advanced Nurse Practitioner; Nadine Ash Trainee – Advanced Nurse Practitioner and Jayne Roue, Hepatitis C – Operational Delivery Network Manager.