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National award for approach to helping children who self-harm

Tuesday, 04 November, 2014
National award for approach to helping children who self-harm

A nursing team which helps to better support children and young people who self-harm in North Tyneside has won a national award.

Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust’s North Tyneside primary mental health worker team triumphed in the 2014 Nursing Times Awards which represents true excellence in nursing and patient care.

Judges praised the team’s approach and said it was an excellent model of effective and sustainable service delivery to improve patient care.

The team worked in partnership to form a project team with schools, educational psychology services, the community learning disability service, public health school nurses in mainstream and specials schools, North Tyneside Council and charity Young Minds. The group developed training for education staff to enable them to spot the early signs that a young person may be at risk of self-harm.

The project group also worked closely with young people to develop resources to help support children if self-harm occurs. The project led to the development of a standardised guide to managing self-harm being implemented across all schools, Year 7 and above.   

Theresa Maddison, nurse consultant at Northumbria Healthcare’s child and adolescent mental health service, said: “As nurses we are always striving to improve the care we deliver to children and young people and we are delighted that our project has been recognised nationally with this prestigious award.

“Our project was a true partnership approach – all working together with the collective aim of improving the way self-harm is managed in schools in order to better support those at risk of an issue which is increasingly becoming more common.

“Across the country as many as one in 12 children and young people self-harm for a variety of reasons so this project was a welcome addition to our service in North Tyneside. It provided people who self-harm with effective and efficient care, as well as ensuring professionals working with children and young people feel more knowledgeable and supported.

“We have received positive feedback from young people and health professionals about this project and to win a national award alongside this is fantastic and credit to the hard work of all the partners.”

The team won the nursing in mental health category of the awards which attracted nearly 800 entries from 306 different organisations.

Jenni Middleton, editor of Nursing Times, said:  “The winners of this year’s Nursing Times Awards showcase projects that are smart, innovative and compassionate. Our 2014 winners prove that that it takes brains to be a good nurse – but it also takes passion and a desire to want to bring about real and sustainable change.

“Huge congratulations to all our deserving winners for achieving that and making such a massive impact on patient and service user care, safety and experience.”