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Island nutrition nurse specialist shortlisted for nursing excellence award

Deborah Shrubsole in purple uniform
Island nutrition nurse specialist shortlisted for nursing excellence award
10 March 2023

Isle of Wight clinical nutrition nurse specialist, Deborah Shrubsole, has been shortlisted for a British Journal of Nursing Award, in the Nutrition Nurse of the Year category, for developing a feeding tube passport and kit bag that is helping to keep patients at home and maintain their independence.

Having started a new role in the dietetics team at the Isle of Wight NHS Trust just over a year ago, Deborah quickly identified an opportunity to improve the care being provided to people with feeding tubes. 

Deborah said: “Sometimes the tubes become displaced and patients aren't aware of how to reinsert them. Without specialist knowledge, carers, care home workers and other health professionals are also unable to refit the tubes which can lead to patients being readmitted to hospital.”

To overcome this, Deborah designed and developed a feeding tube passport to be included in the patient’s feeding tube kit bag. The passport and kit bag contains all the information a health care professional or carer needs to know about patient’s feeding tube.

After finding out she had been shortlisted Deborah said: “I was really pleased to find out that I had been shortlisted for the award and it's a real surprise to be recognised for this piece of work. I'm passionate about self-care and I love being able to support people to become experts in their own care. Being able to enable people to build a life around the condition is vital and the passport and kit bag is just one way that we can do this.”

The kit bag is particularly key for patients in the community. By being able to resolve any issues quickly, such as tubes coming out, at home helps reduce hospital admissions and lengthy hospital stays.

Deborah added: “There are many emotions that come with eating and drinking, it can be a social activity which can also bring comfort, so for people who need feeding tubes we want to support them as much as possible, so they have the best quality of life. 70 per cent of patients we care for might use a feeding tube for many years, or even for life, so this will make a real difference to them.”

Head of Nursing and Quality Assurance, Natalie Mew, who submitted Deborah for the award said: “I am really proud of Deborah for being recognised by the judges for her hard work and dedication to improve the care for our patients. In a short space of time Deborah has made a real difference to how we can support people to maintain their independence and lead healthier lives.”

The awards ceremony will take place on Friday 24 March at The Banking Hall in London.

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