SEQOL Advanced Nurse Practitioner, Jo Boyd, has won the Deep Vein Thrombosis Nurse of the Year award at the British Journal of Nursing Awards 2015 for coming up with an innovative and time saving idea which sees quicker diagnosis and less stress on patients.
The awards celebrate the contributions made by individual nurses who develop the nursing profession as a whole. They highlight the central role nurses play in patient care and acknowledge innovation and clinical excellence.
Jo won the award thanks to her innovative approach to suspected Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) diagnosis in and around Wiltshire. Before Jo made her pioneering suggestions, anyone with a suspected DVT would have been likely to have put on medication and experienced a wait for a hospital based scan for diagnosis.
Jo explained the inspiration behind her idea: “The DVT team were concerned about the wait for ultrasound diagnosis. The symptoms of a DVT often mimic other conditions so an ultrasound scan is sometimes the only safe way to exclude the condition. Patients needed an injection of anticoagulants daily until they had a scan. This delay in diagnosis caused people to feel uncertainty and concern.”
Jo saw an opportunity to speed up the diagnosis by providing a scanning service based within the community, and took the suggestion to the SEQOL executive team who responded positively and the result has been an incredible success. The initiative saw Jo become the first nurse in the country to be trained as a DVT sonographer.
Now, patients can be seen at the SEQOL Specialist Treatment Centre, based at the Moredon Medical Centre site and scanned on the same day. This change in procedure has brought many benefits to individuals and to the health service.
Jo added: “The move to Moredon has allowed us to offer a nicer, more relaxing environment which offers specialist care and free parking. It has been very popular with our patients who find the surroundings very calming.”
Individuals get the most appropriate treatment without delay and aren’t given any unnecessary medication. This method also reduces unnecessary demand on hospital treatment.
Jo continued: “I feel proud of the service offered by SEQOL and the impact our redesign has had on the patient experience when DVT is suspected, and I feel services elsewhere could also adopt our working model. Patients who do not have a blood clot are reassured while patients who do have a clot are managed quickly and effectively.”
Jo’s innovative work was also recognised in 2014 when she won a Lifeblood Ambassador Award which was presented to her at the House of Commons. Jo also attended the Westminster Parliamentary Summit last week to share her best practice.
Jo said that winning the DVT Nurse of the Year award was the cherry on top of the cake: “Being recognised at a national level was the proudest moment of my career. Listening to other stories of how nurses were impacting patient care was very humbling and for our work to recognised alongside these was a great honour.
“Although I was terrified to have to make a speech, I was proud to be able to say that I am lucky enough to work for SEQOL, who listen to their nurses and allow us to have a direct impact on how we deliver patient care.”
Heather Mitchell, CEO of SEQOL, said: “The best ideas can often come from those who are working ‘on the ground’ and have first-hand experience of ways that can make diagnosis and care easier for both patients and those looking after them. At SEQOL we encourage all employees to come forward and explore their ideas, just as Jo has done.
“We’re very proud that Jo has received this national recognition and that her ideas are helping so many people in Swindon.”
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Pictured by Jordy Day, Jo Boyd, front, with colleagues from left to right: assistant practitioners Linda Clements and Lisa Platt, pathway nurse Lucy Reynolds