“Role-model” Nottingham Healthcare Assistant praised for running a clothing bank for patients | Latest news

“Role-model” Nottingham Healthcare Assistant praised for running a clothing bank for patients

Mary Keane, a Healthcare Assistant based at the Queen’s Medical Centre (QMC), has been nominated for a Nurse and Midwife of the Year (NAMY) Award for showing compassion towards her patients and fellow staff members.

Mary, who has worked at Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust (NUH) for 10 years, has been called a “role-model” and has been praised for her efforts to help End PJ Paralysis by helping to run a clothing scheme for patients on the ward.

Based on the Healthcare of Older Persons (HCOP) ward, C54, at the Queen’s Medical Centre, Mary has been recognised for going the extra mile to deliver the best in patient care. She was nominated for the Healthcare Assistant of the Year Award by Consultant Geriatrician, Dr Hui Tay.

Dr Tay said: “Mary is a very approachable, friendly, kind and caring HCA, who is an asset to the ward. She is a big help to the nurses and looks after the wellbeing and personal hygiene of the patients. She always handles patients sensitively and with compassion and always brings a smile to the faces of staff, patients, and their families.”

The NAMY Awards – now in their fifth consecutive year – celebrate the nurses, midwives, healthcare assistants (HCAs) and nursing associates that dedicate their lives to caring for the patients of Nottingham’s hospitals.

Mary, now aged 57, used to work at QMC as part of the Domestic team, but changed career after seeing HCA positions advertised at the hospital.

Mary has been praised for her work on the ward to promote End PJ Paralysis, a movement which aims to help patients by reducing immobility, muscle deconditioning and dependency at the same time as protecting cognitive function, social interaction and dignity.

Mary said, about the clothes bank: “I love seeing patients in their day clothes as it helps them to recognise day from night and makes C54 more like a home than a hospital ward. The charity SHAREWEAR donate clothes to lots of the wards which I am proud that Dr Tay and I have sorted.”

Dr Tay added: “Clothing banks in Geriatric wards are very important, as many older patients have no families or friends, or their next of kin is unable to visit, therefore they have no home clothes to wear during hospital admission. Wearing home clothes improves the physical and psychological wellbeing of patients, which will help with speedier recovery.

“Wearing home clothes also promotes independence, preserves personal dignity and reduces the feeling of being institutionalised. These patients also feel more empowered to make shared decisions about their care.”

Dr Tay also praised Mary for boosting morale and wellbeing amongst staff after a personal experience.

Dr Tay said: “Having no family nearby when I was severely injured with an ankle sprain and struggling to walk and cook made me felt isolated and lonely initially. Having colleagues like Mary, who checked in on me, made me feel that I have friends and a work family that I can rely on during the difficult times. It improved my wellbeing, making the pain and the frustration of poor mobility more bearable. I am very grateful to have worked with all the very nice colleagues on C54, including Mary.”

Mary said: “We have a great team working on C54 of friends and colleagues. I love walking onto the ward and making everyone feel welcome, telling them that my name is Mary with a smile, and putting music on.”

“The patients can tell you such stories – some sad, but also some funny ones.”

Open for public nominations, the NAMY Awards are an opportunity for staff to be recognised for the work they do, many of whom often go above and beyond to provide excellent care for their patients. Nominations can be made here. The shortlist will be announced in September, with a public vote to decide the winners opening on Monday 16 September.

Dr Tay added: “I think it’s extremely important to recognise the nurses, midwives, HCAs and nursing associates of NUH with the NAMY Awards as they work very hard to look after the wellbeing of our patients and always strive for the best for them.

“It is a very difficult job that they are doing; being valued and acknowledged boosts the morale of our staff and improves job satisfaction.”

Asked about her nomination, Mary said: “I’m honoured to be nominated. I love my job, the patients, my colleagues – everything, so if I do get shortlisted this is for me, the colleagues I work with on C54 and thank you Dr Tay, you’re a star.”

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