For this #feelgoodfriday we’re delighted to unveil the Children and Young People Continence Service Fife as a winner of a Scottish Children’s Health Award. The team has won the Improving Life Experiences Award and their story is captured below by journalist and TV presenter Catriona Shearer.
The Scottish Children’s Health Awards have been created to celebrate courageous children and those who are making a difference to the health and wellbeing of children and young people in Scotland
“As Nurses, we do not expect awards for doing the job we love,” says Sheila Kelly, of the Children and Young People Continence Service Team, “but it is still a great feeling to know that people appreciate and recognise the commitment we have in supporting young people to achieve their full potential.”
And that’s the aim of the Improving Life Experience Award – to recognise the commitment and expertise of those making a significant difference to the confidence and resilience of a child or young person, so they are better able to deal with their current difficulties. The Fife Children and Young people’s continence service is the embodiment of that.
The idea for the team was pursued by Lynn Mushet (Lead Nurse for the Children & Young Peoples Community Nursing Team) who, after a lot of work, was able to employ a full time Continence Nurse Specialist – Tracey Thomson and two part time Staff Nurses – Sheila Kelly and Sarah Watt. She says the “team’s passion is palpable” and they are always evaluated very highly.
“I’m really proud of the service the team delivers, but more importantly, the impact that they have on the Children & Young People and their families’ lives.”
The service offers support for all young people aged 4 to 19 with bladder and bowel dysfunction, and aims to help them achieve complete continence, or to manage the condition discreetly and effectively. It offer clinics from 10 locations across Fife and also works jointly with colleagues from the paediatric Urology service in Edinburgh, to facilitate specialist investigations provision locally; which reduces time out of education for the children, travel time and costs for families and improves continuity of care with the children and families.
Tracey is passionate about raising the profile of the effects and treatments for incontinence. She’s committed to reducing the embarrassment and disgrace often associated with incontinence and promotes learning about the condition.
In attempting to normalise and encourage communication around continence issues, the team have distributed ‘World bedwetting day’ posters, along with information leaflets to the 156 local Authority schools, and 3 private schools within the region and the 55 GP practices across the area. The team has also held a number of sessions in supermarkets and shopping centres across the Kingdom to spread the word and raise awareness of the service, what it provides and where clinics are offered. Tracey says “it’s an honour to be given this award in recognition of doing a job we all love.”
The judging panel was impressed by ‘the great leadership of a dedicated team’. It said it has achieved a great deal in a short time and expects the team to continue to make a real difference to the lives of children and young people.
Congratulations Children and Young People Continence Service team, Fife