Man paralysed in rugby accident shares care experiences at nursing conference

Bedford Hospital
Bedford Hospital

A young man left paralysed after a rugby accident was the keynote speaker at a conference for nurses hosted by Bedford Hospital.

The Nursing and Midwifery Conference and nursing awards were held on Tuesday May 12, to mark International Nurses’ Day.

Bedford Hospital

Bedford Hospital

Speaker Matt King, OBE, broke his neck while playing rugby in 2004, aged 17, leaving him paralysed from the neck down.

During his talk he shared his experiences with staff on learning to come to terms with his disability and his strive to re-build his life.

He also spoke of his good and not-so-good experiences of care as a patient, where he reflected on the smallest things that make the biggest difference.

Five years after his accident Matt, from Langford, overcome his disability to graduate with a first class law degree and accept a training contract with a top London firm of solicitorss.

Nearly 100 nursing staff from across the Trust, together with representatives from partner organisations, attended the event which was held at the Barn’s Hotel.

The day began with a video message from Dr Kate Granger, a hospital doctor but also a terminally-ill cancer patient. During a stay in her local hospital she observed that many staff looking after her did not introduce themselves before delivering care and led to the launch of ‘Hello, my name is…’ campaign.

International Nurses’ Day falls on May 12 marks the birth of Florence Nightingale, and the conference was designed to both celebrate the valuable contribution of nurses and midwives and to share best practice in nursing across the hospital.

Nursing teams from across the Trust also shared their innovations and achievements including a new observation chart on Shand Ward which has resulted in staff having to spend less time filling in forms and more time to care, improvements in patient safety and experience on the hospital’s two new specialist dementia wards, a new initiative set up by critical care staff to support people who have been patients, and a project completed by a third-year year student nurse called Stop the Clock, which is a simple visual tool to support staff with patient repositioning needs.

The 2015 nursing awards were:

Clinical Support Worker of the Year 2015 - Joint winners: Chrissie Ashton, Clinical Support Worker on Harpur Ward and Jacqueline Rogers, Clinical Support worker on Harpur Ward.

Patient Nominated Nurse of the Year 2015 - Winner: Andrew Quinn, Staff Nurse on Russell Ward.

Nurse Leader of the Year 2015 (sponsored by the MIP branch of Unison): Winner: Josette Milligan, Stroke Specialist Nurse.

Outstanding Team of the Year 2015 (sponsored by Unison): Winner: Main Outpatients Department.

Student Nurse Mentor of the Year 2015 (sponsored by the University of Bedfordshire): Winner: Henry Reynolds, Staff Nurse on Harpur Ward

Nurses’ Nurse of the Year 2015 (sponsored by the Rotary Club of Bedford): Winner: Jill Nettleship, Practice Development Nurse

Nina Fraser, director of nursing, said: “Our nursing and midwifery staff have contributed so much to what has been a very successful year for Bedford Hospital. They have been instrumental in halving the number of pressure ulcers, reducing infections, delivering some of the best A&E waiting times in the country and much more. International Nurses’ Day is an opportunity to thank all our nurses and midwives for their hard work and commitment day-in, day-out.

“The conference on Tuesday made me, and so many others who attended, incredibly proud to be part of the nursing profession. The shared passion for providing high quality and compassionate care was apparent right the way through the day in our presentations, discussions and sharing of ambitions.

“It was also a pleasure to acknowledge the valuable work of individuals and teams through our 2015 nursing awards and I would like to congratulate all the winners and nominees.”

Specially-made International Nurses’ Day cupcakes were sent to all the wards for nursing and midwifery staff not at the conference.