Halton and St Helens Paediatric Continence Team has been named British Journal of Nursing (BJN) Continence Nurses of the Year for the second time.
The team who also won the award in 2016, has been recognised again this year for their work to support the independence of children aged 0 to 19 who have neuropathic bladders, meaning that the nerve supply to the bladder is interrupted or damaged.
Nurses and nursery nurses from the service, which is provided by Bridgewater Community Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, developed a package of care for children aged over 18 months to help them develop the necessary fine motor skills to self-catheterise.
This involved focusing on age-appropriate play, for example developing the dexterity to thread beads which is also required for using a catheter.
Developing these sorts of skills means that children can learn more quickly how to use the catheter themselves when they need to, whereas historically they would have been reliant on parents and carers to do this for them.
Parents of young children in Halton and St Helens who have neuropathic bladders are now given a specially developed booklet to help them support their children to develop these fine motor skills which are essential for self-catheterisation.
Members of the Bridgewater Halton and St Helens Paediatric Continence Team attended the BJN ceremony in London to receive the award.
The team has five nurses and two nursery nurses working across both boroughs.
Continence Lead Nurse Sheena Kennedy said:
“We are thrilled to win the BJN Continence Nurse of the Year Award for the second year running. There is a high incidence of children with neuropathic bladder and bowel in St Helens, Runcorn and Widnes, so this project has been about working with parents, nurseries and schools to find ways to help children take control of their own bodies, embrace their disability and support them to be as independent as they can be.
“This award reflects the incredible passion and hard work of the team.”
In 2016, the team won the same award for their pathway for uroflowmetry in children, after becoming the first paediatric community team in the region to use this to assess urology problems in children.