18th October 2013, 9:00am
Innovative theatre project nominated for national nursing award
The Easy Way, The Hard Way, The Tragic Way A pioneering collaboration between United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust (ULHT) and the University of Lincoln has been shortlisted in the nursing industry’s most prestigious national awards.

ULHT has partnered with the University of Lincoln’s School of Performing Arts to develop an innovative way of raising awareness of Hepatitis C in the community, which has been shortlisted in the Nursing Times Awards 2013 Team of the Year category.

The Nursing Times Awards recognise and reward work which raises the standard of nursing practice in the UK, and the Team of the Year Award celebrates new projects that demonstrate the value of teamwork in the UK health care sector.

The Applied Theatre project nominated for the award saw staff and students from the University undertake a project to raise awareness of Hepatitis C and the stigmatisation of its patients.

The project was led by Aylwyn Walsh, Lecturer in Performing Arts at the University of Lincoln, and Karen Murray, Hepatitis C Nurse Specialist at Lincoln County Hospital. Together they recognised the potential of the arts to disseminate clinical information in innovative ways.

The second-year students involved in the project spent four months researching the virus and incorporated their findings into an interactive performance, aimed at engaging communities through the use of theatre. The play, entitled The Easy Way, The Hard Way, The Tragic Way, invited audiences to think about Hepatitis C treatment pathways as part of a larger picture.

Aylwyn Walsh said: “This project gave Lincoln Performing Arts students an opportunity to consider the importance of community health and engage in innovative methodologies through which to share information, challenge prejudice, and engage with existing attitudes about Hepatitis C. It was extremely challenging and offered important learning for all involved, so we are absolutely thrilled to be shortlisted by the Nursing Times Awards.

“The project developed some very sensitive and detailed work from the students. More than acknowledgement for the excellent research and creativity needed to develop the performance however, it is about recognising the complexities faced by people with Hepatitis C, their families and their carers.”

Karen Murray said: “The project has been a fantastic success in helping to shape the healthcare delivered at the Trust and we are extremely excited to have been shortlisted for the national award. We will use the students learning to understand how those accessing our services feel about the care provided.”

Eiri Jones, Director of Nursing for United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust, said: “This award nomination is a credit to Karen’s dedication and leadership and is further testament to the fantastic work being done at the Trust to increase awareness, diagnosis and treatment of Hepatitis C.

“The important partnership with the university allows us to engage with people in the community to gain their feedback, which we can then use to deliver the best possible care to our patients.”  

The award ceremony will be held at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London on Wednesday 30th October. For more information, visit the Nursing Times Awards website (www.ntawards.co.uk).
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