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RMCH Nurse wins National Child Health Award

Our Consultant Nurse for Acquired Brain Injury in children, Gilly Robinson was recently announced as the winner of the Nursing Standard Child Health Award at a prestigious ceremony in London.

This brings well deserved recognition of Gilly's work to develop and implement CATNIP - a coma assessment tool for neonates, infants, children and young people. This tool enables nurses and doctors to quickly recognise and respond to neurological deterioration to prevent brain damage or even death.

The charts have detailed developmental guidelines and physiological parameters tailored to five age groups - 0 to four months, four months to two years, two to five year, five to 12 years, and over 12 years. Gilly said: "This age specific approach is unique and helps nurses and doctors recognise early indications of clinical decline. Most neurological charts address under four to fives and over fives. But a baby aged six months is completely different developmentally to child aged five years."

Gilly, who has worked at Royal Manchester Children's Hospital for nearly 30 years, added: "I am absolutely thrilled and delighted to win this award. It was such a great day and the award was the icing on the cake."

The tool was ratified by our organisation's Children's Nursing Professional Forum and RMCH Clinical Effectiveness Committee, before a pilot study was launched in spring 2011.

Director of Nursing, Sue Ward is incredibly proud of Gilly's achievement saying: "This work demonstrates how, by advancing the evidence base for practice and delivering an extensive education programme to underpin the new tool, Gilly has driven up the quality of care and patient safety for children in RMCH. This national award now brings the opportunity to improve children's lives on an even greater scale by spreading this excellent work nationally and internationally."

Chief Nurse Gill Heaton added: "Gilly is a highly skilled and extremely committed consultant nurse who has worked tirelessly to develop and implement the Coma Assessment Tool for Neonates, Infants, Children and Young People.

"Gilly has been driven by the knowledge that coma tools used for adult patients are not appropriate for children as they do not recognise the child's unique developmental and physiological factors. First and foremost the tool that Gilly has developed has had a demonstrable impact on patient safety by supporting practitioners to recognise and respond to the early signs of neurological deterioration in children, which is especially significant for our organisation as the children's major trauma centre for the region. As a result of Gilly's work, the organisation hasn't had any high level incidents relating to missed neurological deterioration in children since implementation of the tool."

Achievement of this award now means that nurses in RMCH hold both the Nursing Standard and Nursing Times Child Health Awards, which is an unprecedented position and demonstrates their commitment and determination to leading children's nursing and delivering excellent services to the children and families that use our services.