RNOH nomination in Nursing Times Awards 2015
In her time at the hospital, she has developed new ways of working and improved the communication flow for patients throughout their journey. Karen acts as a point of contact linking all the multidisciplinary team together.
Knowledge is empowerment and Karen is a firm believer that patients can look after their own wellbeing if they have the information and support. To that end, she has written twelve patient information leaflets specific to foot and ankle surgery.
Karen sees patients independently in nurse led clinics where time is taken to educate them on their management and exercise routine whilst at home. With the development of this service, Karen has freed up valuable clinic time to allow consultants see new patients. Karen is also available to support patients when a decision to proceed with complex surgery is made, giving advice, information and education.
As the lead of the multidisciplinary fusion forum, Karen has created a space where patients are educated prior to making a decision to have surgery. Current patients also meet past patients and are fully informed of any preparations they need to make before going to theatre. This has had a positive impact on patient length of stay and delayed discharge times as well as having the effect of reducing unrealistic expectations. This forum is now used by consultants from other Trusts and is generating additional income for the RNOH as well as raising the profile of the foot and ankle service.
Karen is the first nursing member of A.F.A.P. (Association of Foot and Ankle Physiotherapists) and B.O.F.A.S. (British Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society) and is involved in an important research project in the foot and ankle unit: TARVA.