Two teams of Luton nurses have won international awards at the Zenith Global Health Awards.
The Children’s Rapid Response team won the 'Team Recognition' award for their work with children, many with highly complex needs.
The team is believed to be the first in the country to introduce direct referrals from NHS 111 for infants and young children under five, in a bid to reduce hospital emergency attendance.
The initiative allows the team to receive direct booking appointments into their clinic from NHS 111 alongside existing referrals from GPs, and in a year has led to the avoidance of more than 800 hospital admissions.
Specialist Paediatric Epilepsy nurses picked up the award for 'Advancing Health with Technology’ with their virtual clinics via video links.
Similar to Skype, this allows teenage patients to attend appointments with the epilepsy nurses via computer, tablet or phone. Its success has come from the fact that young people can choose a time and place to suit them.
Both teams are based at The Poynt, in Luton, and are part of Luton Children and Adults Community Health Services.
The Zenith Global Health Awards, which took place on Saturday, October 5, celebrate creativity, innovation and effectiveness in the healthcare industry.
Liz Stevens, Children’s Epilepsy Specialist Nurse, said: “It is an honour to have won this award and I feel privileged to be included among leading health professionals delivering innovative and quality work.
"One of the contributory factors has been management listening to ideas which led to us developing our virtual paediatric epilepsy clinics.
"I would also like to pay tribute to all our amazing parents, young people and children it is our privilege to serve.”
The small team of two nurses work in partnership with Dr Tekki Rao, Consultant Paediatrician from the Luton and Dunstable Hospital who has proactively supported the project.
The project is also supported by the National Epilepsy 12 audit team who invited the team to present at its conference last year.
Speaking on behalf of the Rapid Response team, Lynn Fanning, said: “It is a huge privilege and honour to receive the team recognition award at these awards.
"The expertise and knowledge within the room was incredible and for us to receive this was a high honour.
"We are a very united team and work closely together to ensure the children of Luton receive a high quality service which is provided by highly experienced, knowledgeable nurse practitioners.
"Our aim is to provide care for acutely unwell children in the community and keep them out of hospital.
"It is a nice recognition of our teams’ hard work but this would not have been possible without our close connection and collaborative working with Luton Clinical Commissioning Group to enable these clinics to operate smoothly and 111 to have eight directly bookable appointments everyday with our team.”
Both teams are part of Cambridgeshire Community Services NHS Trust, which was recently recognised as ‘Outstanding’ by the CQC.
Anita Pisani, Cambridgeshire Community Services Deputy Chief Executive, said: “I am incredibly proud of our children’s services who have been rightly recognised for their great
work in winning these awards.
"They provide outstanding care and they should be really proud of all they have achieved in leading the way in children and young people’s services across Luton.”