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Ann Simms shortlisted for Royal College of Nursing Award

17 Mar 2016

Ann Simms, lead nurse clinical manager at Hounslow Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS), has been shortlisted for a 2016 RCNi Nurse Award in the leadership category. This award is for clinical leaders who have developed initiatives to ensure their service offers the safest and highest quality care possible.

Ann Simms

Ann was nominated because of the Nurse Development Pathway she developed to address problems with recruiting Band 7 clinical nurse specialists to CAMHS. Currently there is no national co-ordinated approach to the post-registration education and training for these nurses,  or an identified career pathway. This has lead to a national shortage of staff with the skills to work with children and young people with mental health problems and their families.

Ann’s pathway aims to address this problem at West London Mental Health Trust, by facilitating the training and development of Band 5 and Band 6 registered mental nurses who wish to pursue a career in CAMHS. The pathway offers two programmes of formal learning, which run alongside an experiential learning programme facilitated by the CAMHS multi-disciplinary team. The pathway is also supported by supervision, individual and group reflective practice, and the CAMHS nurse development support group.

For the next part of the judging process for the award, Ann is required to present and discuss her initiative with a panel of five nursing professionals. The winners will be announced at the RCNi Nurse Awards ceremony at the Westminster Park Plaza Hotel on Friday 6 May 2016.

Ann said: “I am very pleased to have been nominated for this award – not because I wish to win, but because I hope this opportunity will highlight the need for a national co-ordinated approach to education and training for CAMHS nurses.

“I am thrilled that the pathway has been such a success locally, but most importantly I am proud of the nurses undertaking it. Without their hard work, commitment, enthusiasm and dedication it would not have been the success it is.”

Suzanne Morton, head of nursing at West London Mental Health Trust, said: “I’m really pleased Ann is getting recognition for this work, as she has worked so diligently on it. The quality of the nursing care as a result of the development pathway is excellent, and we could really consider using her approach to improve our other community services.”

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