Bernie is overall winner

A CO DERRY nurse received the overall Nurse of the Year award for setting up a key treatment centre that has led to a dramatic reduction in patients requiring a hospital bed.

Bernie Michaelides from Eglinton set up the acute clinical unit at Tyrone County hospital for those who require intravenous therapies such as blood transfusions and antibiotics. Since opening last June, the centre has helped reduce hospital admissions around 150 bed days, while more than £200,000 has been saved.

The initiative also reduces the need for staff travelling, allowing nurses more time to dedicate to patients. Bernie, right, is lead nurse for adult community nursing at the Western Health and Social Care Trust.

She impressed the judging panel by responding to the needs of the local community in bringing acute care out of the hospital setting. Runner-up on the evening was Michelle Kosky, from Limavady, who is children and young person facilitator at Foyle Hospice. Michelle was awarded for her role in developing the 'Healing Hearts' programme which provides specialist bereavement support for children and young people between four and 16 years old who have experienced, or are about to experience, the death of someone close to them. The hospice nurse was described by the judging panel as "inspirational, committed and focused on the rights of children".

Seanín Graham


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