NHS Tayside nurses Susan Donlevy and Lesley Malcolm were highly commended in the Outstanding Ophthalmology Nurse or Allied Health Professional category at the annual Bayer’s Ophthalmology Honours award ceremony.
Susan and Lesley, who have been specialist macula nurses at NHS Tayside for the past three years, provide patient support, IVT injections, virtual clinics, outpatient reviews and counselling.
The awards, which acknowledge excellent work by multi-disciplinary ophthalmology teams throughout the UK, recognised Susan, who is a senior specialist nurse, and lead ophthalmology specialist nurse Lesley during a presentation held at BMA House in London.
As specialist nurses with close patient contact, Susan and Lesley’s understanding of patients’ needs and their commitment made them integral to a recent redesign of the macula service. This included the design, planning and construction of a new injection suite, a redesigned patient flow through the clinic to reduce time spent by patients in the outpatient department, and closer liaison with community visual impairment groups.
In addition, patient preference for specialist nurses performing injections led to Susan and Lesley training three other specialist nurses with great success. The suite was officially opened in June 2018.
According to the judges, “Susan and Lesley have taken on an extended role to the advantage of their patients, their team and their Board, and they deserve recognition for their organisation and leadership.
“Feedback from both patients and managers highlights the highly positive impact they are having on the success of the macula service, by improving patient care and efficiency.”
Upon receiving the recognition, Susan said, “We are very proud to have our efforts acknowledge locally and nationally.”
Lesley added, “The scope and diversity of specialist nurse roles within ophthalmology is beginning to emerge. It’s great to have supported service changes and improved patient experiences.”