Lorraine Turner, an advanced nurse practitioner at The Christie NHS Foundation Trust in Manchester, has been shortlisted for the RCNi Nurse Awards, the most prestigious awards of their kind in the UK.
Lorraine has been shortlisted for her work in identifying the holistic needs of patients referred to experimental cancer medicine trials. These are usually small trials that test new treatments.
The judging panel had to whittle down more than 700 entries – the highest number in the awards’ 31-year history – to just five finalists in each category.
Lorraine is competing in the Excellence in Cancer Research category. Her work recognises that people living with a cancer diagnosis can be affected in a variety of ways: some will have physical concerns, others may have emotional or spiritual needs, while practical and financial worries can also put significant strain on people.
The project encompassed nearly 200 patients who completed a holistic needs assessment (or HNA) to assess their physical, psychological, family, social, religious and spiritual concerns and the effects of their illness and treatment.
Before Lorraine’s audit, an HNA had not routinely been conducted on patients referred to experimental cancer medicine trials.
She said: “I’m very honoured to be shortlisted for this award and to raise the profile of the importance of HNA in this group of patients. It is definitely an area where more patient-centred research is needed.”
Lorraine designed and implemented the audit with the support of the Experimental Cancer Medicine Team and the National Institute for Health Research Clinical Research Facility. She added: “The preliminary results show that there is an unmet need in this group of patients, with 67 per cent having a significantly high total concerns score, putting them at risk of psychological anxiety and depression.
“Approximately half of patients were referred to supportive care services – with only 14 per cent already in contact with supportive care at time of completion.”
Lorraine, who lives in Grappenhall in Warrington, is no stranger to awards ceremonies, having won the British Journal of Nursing Oncology Nurse of the Year award in 2016 for an audit she led that helped identify gaps in patient referrals to early-phase clinical trials.
Rachel Armitage, Managing Director at RCNi, said: “The RCNi panel of professional judges voted Lorraine Turner as a finalist because of her incredible story and because of the impact she has had within cancer research. With the nursing shortage high on the national agenda, it’s important that we give nurses like Lorraine the recognition they deserve, and we look forward to celebrating her work at the awards in July.”
The hunt for Britain’s nursing heroes started in December 2017, led by Good Morning Britain presenter Kate Garraway, and will culminate in an awards ceremony on 4 July in central London. Nurses were able to nominate themselves or their colleagues in 14 different categories ranging from mental health and cancer, to emergency and student nursing.
Kate Garraway, who is RCNi Nurse Awards Ambassador 2018, said: “The 2018 RCNi Nurse Award Finalists are all incredible. So often nurses don’t get the recognition they deserve and I can’t wait to celebrate their hard work and dedication at the ceremony in July – if it was up to me I’d crown them all as winners.”
RCNi is the publishing arm of the Royal College of Nursing and publishes a number of journals, including Nursing Standard.