Success for Northern Ireland trio at British Journal of Nursing Awards

Three of Four Season Health Care’s team from Northern Ireland were honoured at the British Journal of Nursing Awards evening on Friday 11th March, each scooping a top prize.

Gary Cousins, Joanne Agnelli and Gary Mitchell attended the ceremony after being nominated by their peers for their work in the care sector.

Carol Cousins, Managing Director for Northern Ireland said: “The British Journal of Nursing Awards is a very prestigious event. I want to congratulate Gary, Joanne and Gary on their success and thank them for their continued hard work and dedication they’ve provided to the homes, residents and the teams.”

Gary Mitchell was awarded the Nurse of the Year Award, after being nominated by colleagues. Part of Gary’s citation read:

“Gary currently works as a dementia care advisor. He works as part of a specialist team that oversees the development of dementia services across 70 care homes in Northern Ireland.

“On a day-to-day basis, Gary’s role relates to the development, implementation and evaluation of dementia care throughout the organisation. Recently he has also been involved in co-leading a project to optimise provision of palliative care within Four Seasons Health Care (across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland – 350 care homes). This has culminated in the development of a new clinical policy, care manual and training package for all staff practising within the organisation.

“As well as being inducted into Sigma Theta Tau International (STTI) in 2014, Gary was recently listed as one of the Nursing Times Inspiring Leaders in 2015. He has been commissioned to be the lead author for Northern Ireland’s Dementia Learning and Development Framework.

“Gary also provided specialist dementia education to nursing undergraduates at Northern Ireland's largest university, Queen's University Belfast throughout 2015 to promote education about dementia in undergraduate student nurse populations. This has helped furnish undergraduate students with knowledge about, not only the biomedical aspects of the dementia diseases, but also how they could better support people living with dementia in their nursing practice in hospital, care home, community or hospice. The evaluation of this piece is to be published in an international journal in early 2016.

Joanne Agnelli was awarded the Mental Health Nurse of the Year Award, after being nominated by her peers. Part of Joanne’s citation read:

“Joanne is a Dementia Services Quality manager for Four Seasons Health Care (FSHC) covering approximately 70 care homes over the regions of Northern Ireland, Wales and the Isle of Man.

“She has been responsible for educating, implementing and evaluating best practices in dementia care across all dementia units in these regions. Joanne has worked directly with all grades of care home staff about the importance of person-centred care, appropriately reducing anti-psychotic medications, embracing age-appropriate activity and safeguarding dignity.

“Joanne’s most endearing quality is her interest in supporting others to grow professionally. She shares opportunities with, not only her dementia care team, but with clinicians she works with.

“Joanne is pivotal, not only within the organisation, but within an international context at promoting best practices in dementia care. Her passion for improving standards in dementia care is infectious and all of the care team she leads supports her nomination.”

Gary Cousins was awarded the Infection Control Nurse of the Year Award, after being nominated by colleagues. Part of Gary’s citation read:

“Gary provides direct support to approximately 70 care homes within Northern Ireland and expert advisory support to a further 300 or so care homes throughout Scotland, Wales and England.

“He has developed, piloted and launched an impressive infection-control link nursing programme within Four Seasons Health Care in Northern Ireland. The link nursing programme furnishes nursing leads throughout our care homes with specialist infection control education (for example information on surveillance, the role of public health, recognising symptoms of infection as well as effective evidence based interventions for C-Diff, MRSA etc.)

“Gary’s passion, enthusiasm and leadership within infection control and prevention has led to statistically significant changes as it pertains to residents who live in our care homes.

“Gary is passionate in raising awareness about the importance of infection prevention in care homes. In short, his work inspires confidence, instils leadership and ultimately enhancing the care we afford to our residents within Four Seasons Health Care.”

Carol added: “Here at Four Seasons we are determined to provide resident-led care, where we can do all we can to enhance our residents’ life whilst they’re in our care. The citations that Gary, Joanne and Gary received show how hard they’re working to provide the best service possible to our clients and roll it out across the organisation.

“Congratulations again. You are all worthy winners.”

Date published: 15 September 2017

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