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University graduate is nurse of the year

A nurse who trained at Teesside University has been named Nurse of the Year at a prestigious national awards ceremony.

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Helen Scullion (right) with Marion Grieves, Dean of the School of Health & Social Care

Helen Scullion (right) with Marion Grieves, Dean of the School of Health & Social Care


Helen Scullion, a urology advanced nurse practitioner in radiology at South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, was presented with the Nursing Times Award at a glittering event in London hosted by TV and radio presenter Gethin Jones.

Helen completed her degree in nursing at Teesside University in 1998, and later returned to complete a postgraduate certificate in medical ultrasound in 2004. Most recently, she completed her MSc Medical Ultrasound in June 2018.

This latest accolade comes just months after Helen was listed as one of Health and Care’s Top 70 Stars as part of national celebrations to mark the 70th anniversary of the NHS.

Helen was nominated for both awards by senior sister Karen Loughran for her excellent rapport with patients and her inspirational service development work.

'It feels completely humbling and overwhelming, but it’s an amazing feeling to receive this award,' said Helen.

Helen instigated and completed specialist training to enable her to carry out interventional work such as trans-rectal ultrasound scans, biopsy services, nephrostomy tube changes and urinary diversion stent changes – tasks previously only conducted by consultants – to help patients get the right follow up care without any delays.

This has also helped to reduce the number of patients who need to be re-admitted to hospital and she is now focussing on training other members of her team to perform these procedures as well as embarking on some MRI training.

Helen has also contributed to a range of initiatives to increase patient comfort and independence such as a scheme that allows people to independently live with nephrostomy and conduit drainage bags.

Helen worked closely with consultant radiologist Geoffrey Naisby to complete her training.

He said: 'It’s delightful that Helen has been presented with this award. This really is a lifetime achievement award because we have worked together for 16 years to get to achieve this.'

Judges described Helen as an amazing nurse and said that her patients are at the heart of everything she does.

Helen added: 'I always think about what the patient needs and I try to assist where there has been a gap in service provision.

'Patients often state they feel more at ease with me doing it, it can make a procedure easier to cope with when the patient feels comfortable.

'They now get their next appointment before they leave and they know if they have any problems they can contact me.

'I have had lots of thank you letters from patients that is what makes it really worthwhile.'

19 December 2018