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6th March 2014, 10:34am
Ground-breaking student nurse conference shortlisted for national award
Charlotte Johnston at the conference An innovative collaboration between the University of Lincoln and the NHS aimed at reducing avoidable pressure ulcers has been shortlisted for a national award.

The University's School of Health & Social Care and the Patient Safety Team at NHS Improving Quality, NHS England (Midlands and East), worked together to hold the first ever student nurse conference dedicated to pressure ulcer prevention.

The idea grew from a single tweet between Ruth May, Chief Nurse for NHS England (Midlands and East), and Lincoln student Charlotte Johnston, then in the first year of her course. The conference, named Stop the Pressure-Lincoln, took place in October 2013, and was attended by 500 students. The collaboration is now in the running to be named Partnership of the Year at the Student Nursing Times Awards 2014.

The award seeks to recognise an exceptional collaboration that uses innovative practice to enrich the learning experience for students, and equips them with the skills to put into practice what has been learned.

Charlotte Johnston and Ruth May will now present to the judges later this month on behalf of the whole collaboration, in a bid to prove why the partnership should win. The winner will be announced at the award ceremony which takes place in London on 1st May.

The inspirational conference successfully helped to mobilise students to act and understand their part in preventing pressure ulcers. It was the first time learning was delivered to student nurses across all three years of their degrees at the same time, and social media helped to ensure resources were spread even further.  

Now, learning from the event is being spread across England, as more student nurses from universities across the country are coming forward to hold their own conferences.

Charlotte said: "It's a great honour to be nominated for this prestigious national award. I'm very pleased that the efforts of all involved have been recognised. The conference showed what can be achieved by bringing different people together under a shared goal and passion. It's wonderful to see this initiative now being shared by other students across the country in order to improve understanding."

More than 700,000 patients are affected by pressure ulcers each year in England, and treatment costs the English NHS between 1.4 and 2.1 billion per year. Since April 2012, NHS England (Midlands and East) has successfully reduced the prevalence of pressure ulcers by 49%. This has been done through a targeted campaign, highlighting how increased awareness and simple actions can make a real difference for patients.

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