One of our nursing teams on Scarisbrick unit was announced winner of the Mental Health Nursing category of the RCN Nursing Awards 2023 at a ceremony on 10 November at Liverpool Cathedral.

Led by senior staff nurse Michaela Heaton, and in partnership with service users, the team created the Bus Stop, a place for short therapeutic interventions on the inpatient unit.

Originally a corridor where people stopped to talk to nurses, the space has been transformed into a safe and welcoming social area through collaboration with Lancashire County Council, Lush and Unilever. Ms Heaton secured official bus stop signs for the area and staff have been trained to develop and deliver activities.

There has been a 60% reduction in self-harm, and a 25% reduction in violence and aggression, on the ward since it was introduced.

Modern matron Rebekah Nwaka said:

"The team feels honoured to be recognised for its hard work and commitment to patient care, and for driving new practices that support our patients. Simple changes make such a difference to the experience of people on the ward.

As a team we work collaboratively and we have worked with our patients to ensure this fun but supportive project is successful. It’s amazing to see it being highlighted in these awards so others may put it into practice."

Chair of the judging panel Joanne Bosanquet, chief executive of the Foundation of Nursing Studies and Fellow of the RCN, said:

"We were blown away by the talent and utter brilliance of all our nominees and finalists in the Mental Health Nursing category. But the nursing initiatives in the Scarisbrick Unit have been created with individuals who stay there, which is definitely helping their success. It puts nurses and their communication with people with mental ill health at the heart of care."