Following in the footsteps...

Following in the footsteps...

Posted on 18 July 2017 by Monika Reichelt

Lynne Carmichael our Respite and Response Community Team Manager was recently nominated for a prestigious, national RCNi Nurse Award in the “Commitment to Carers” category.

As part of her role, Lynne has developed and implemented a strategy to support carers which aims to better equip them for their loved one’s death at home.  This has included using the Carer Support Needs Assessment Tool (CSNAT) which asks carers to think not only about what they need as a caregiver but also their own personal support needs. Lynne had previosuly identified that carer support was informal and inconsistent, often resulting in crisis admissions to hospitals. Carer worries were not identified quickly enough and interventions not necessarily tailored to meet the individual’s needs. The Carer Support Needs Assessment Tool (CSNAT) is now embedded into clinical practice across the hospice multi-professional team, backed by a training programme and the results have been powerful.  Carers are more able to remain in their caregiving role, have a reduced stress burden and patient hospital admissions are being avoided.

Lynne comments “As part of my studies towards Masters of Research I had my own personal and professional lightbulb moment when I realised if we cared better for carers they would in turn be more able to care for their loved one.  Being nominated for the Commitment to Carers nursing award has been the culmination of the last four to five year’s work. I felt extremely honoured, humbled and emotional that my work was being recognised at a national level”

The glittering, black-tie awards ceremony took place at the Westminster Park Plaza Hotel in London on Friday, 5th May 2017.  Lynne was able to take one additional guest and took her nursing inspiration - her mum. 

Lynne explains:

“My mum, Jean Elliott, was a district nursing sister in Troon for 28 years. People still remember Sister Elliott and we often get stopped in the supermarket by people and or families she cared for!  She has also been a ward volunteer at the hospice for the last three years.

 When I was a wee girl I went on a visit with my mum to a lady on Christmas day. My mum was taking her a Christmas dinner because she had no family. She had been unwell and my mum had to look after her and organise her admission to hospital. This was when I knew I wanted to be a nurse. I wanted to follow in her footsteps and be able to care for people they way I watched her. My passion for care in the community comes from my mum who spent the latter part of her career supporting patients and their families to be at home.

The awards were a really special moment for me to share with my mum who has always been my biggest supporter. She was very proud. She even said my dress was in her the top three favourites at the ball!”