Two members of staff at NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde are celebrating winning a major prize at the British Association of Neuroscience Nurses (BANN) conference in Dublin. It is the second year in a row that a team from NHSGGC has won the prize, and they have been invited to the world’s largest neurological treatment and research institution as their reward.

Scott Wilson, Theatre Charge Nurse at the Institute for Neurological Sciences (INS), and his colleague, Recovery Staff Nurse Clio Cooter, won Best Clinical Oral Presentation at the conference, after delivering a talk on their study into Patient Experience in a Neurosurgery Theatre.

The study had been intended as nothing more than a learning tool for staff and they had never planned to make it public, but senior managers at the INS saw the potential of their work and asked them to present their findings to BANN.

“We nearly fell off our seats when we first heard,” said Scott, “but after winning such a major prize we were so glad we did.”

As a result Scott and Clio will spend two weeks at the Barrow Neurological Institute in Phoenix, Arizona, next year, meeting and sharing knowledge with world leaders in neurological disease treatment and research. On their return to work following their Arizona experience, they will share their experiences and learning with the INS team.   

Their success follows that of Senior Clinical Nurse Specialist Oudwin Griffith and Staff Nurse Michelle Taylor – both members of the INS Neuroradiology team – who won the same prize last year.

Their presentation was on a study of a patient recovering following a stroke and an accompanying mechanical thrombectomy, and the pair are currently at the Barrow Institute enjoying the fruits of their labours.

The significance of INS teams winning such a major accolade in successive years is not lost on Scott and Clio.

INS staff Michelle Taylor and Oudwin Griffith, who won the BANN prize in 2022.

“It’s huge for the profile and reputation of our department, and of the INS as a whole,” said Scott. “Internationally important work is going on here all the time, and it’s great to be able to share with colleagues from all over the world.”

Clio added: “It makes me really proud to work here. I love my job in theatre, but to be involved in this study, and to be able to play a part in celebrating the real cutting-edge work going on here, is fantastic.”

The subject of the presentation began life as a simple yes-or-no questionnaire, but over time it grew into a detailed digital survey, using Microsoft Forms to gather feedback on 14 areas of patient experience, from their treatment journey and impressions of the staff, to pain management and information security.

“The findings we gathered were incredibly useful, and we have already acted on some of them to improve the patient journey,” said Scott.

Learnings already implemented include improvements to waiting arrangements for patients ahead of theatre, pain management, and allowing a carer or friend to be with a patient through more of their journey.

However, as well as bringing about important change to teams’ professional practice, the survey has had a more fundamental effect.

Clio explained: “The findings of our surveys have been largely positive, and they have given a real boost to staff morale. We pass on all positive comments so the whole team can share in the good news, and when individual staff are mentioned by patients, we make sure to let them know so they’re aware of how they are valued by the people they care for.”

Susan Groom, Director for Regional Services at NHSGGC, said: “Despite all the advances that have been made in medical treatment, the patient is still at the heart of everything we do and we are always looking to improve all aspects of the care we provide.

“This survey has given theatre teams at the INS an invaluable insight into the patient journey, from a patient’s point of view, and that has allowed us to identify important ways in which we can enhance their experience still further.

“I would like to congratulate Scott and Clio for their work, and their success at the BANN conference. To win this award in successive years is a very special achievement, and testament to the growing national and international reputation of everyone who works at the INS.”