17 February 2017

Nursing Fellowship focusses on care of the elderly

A nurse from Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (STH) has successfully completed a fellowship examining how to improve the care of elderly people in the NHS.

Elaine Atkin has become a Nursing Fellow after completing the Older People’s Fellowship at King’s College London.

Elaine, a nurse by background and now an Operational Lead in Combined Community and Acute Care at STH, studied for a year to achieve a Post Graduate Certificate in Quality Improvement and Older People’s Services.

The course, funded by Health Education England, has only 35 places available nationally and Elaine had to go through a shortlisting and interview process to get a place. She was supported by the Trust to enable her to study while still working.

The course is aimed at developing clinical excellence, innovation and quality improvement in care for older people, which is one of the NHS’s ongoing challenges.

Elaine said: “I have worked in elderly care for most of my career, and as an operational lead I have now started getting involved in quality improvement work.

“The evidence base around the care of the older person is constantly growing, and we need to ensure we use this to design our service and care delivery to best meet the needs of our aging population.”

Elaine studied two modules on the course. One was clinically-based, and examined frailty screening and Comprehensive Geriatric Assessment. This was followed up with a quality improvement project looking at how to put innovation into practice. Elaine focussed on assessing falls risk and bone health in older people.

She said: “It is very important to identify elderly people at risk of falling and take preventative action where possible to improve bone health; there is a high-morbidity among elderly people who suffer falls and fractures.”

She now hopes to be able to implement some of her ideas in quality improvement work at Sheffield.

She said: “STH is a very innovative place to work, and in geriatric care there are lots of opportunities to develop. The directorate have been very supportive; there is a positive culture to assist staff with service development and innovation”.


John Birch, Communications Officer
Tel: 0114 226 8989
Email: john.birch@sth.nhs.uk

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