Princess Alice Hospice Clinical Leads on the In-Patient Unit (IPU), Jo Reynolds and Julia Lucioni, have been presented with the Silver Award for Nursing Excellence by Ruth May, the Chief Nursing Officer for England.
Ruth May and her team – Duncan Burton, Deputy CNO, and Professor Deborah Sturdy OBE, Chief Social Worker – visited the Hospice on 28 October 2021 to meet with the Chief Executive, Nicki Shaw, the Chair of Trustees, Professor Sean Hilton, and the Director of Patient Care, Lesley Munro, who then conducted a tour of the Hospice. Ruth described the Hospice as “incredibly impressive and wonderfully warm”.
As Ruth was meeting staff before she left the building, she said: “I want to say a huge thank you for everything you do. It is a real privilege to say thank you and to recognise people’s contribution. I especially want to congratulate Jo Reynolds – it is a huge privilege to say a personal thank you from me to you. Thank you for the leadership you have shown.”
On the day of Ruth’s visit, she had in fact two awards to present, however, the second recipient, Julia Lucioni, was on annual leave, and due to the emergence of the Omicron variant, it was only in mid-December 2021 that a surprise attendee appeared on the Zoom screen during a routine team catch-up.
Ruth said: “I am delighted to be here today, again! This time virtually to present Julia Lucioni with my Silver award for Nursing Excellence. “Thank you for all you have done over many years and for how you have done it.
“As Chief Nursing Officer for England, I am delighted for you. You have battled this storm while having your own struggles with hearing. I have huge respect for you, and I wanted to take time out to present you with my Silver nursing award.”
Julia said: “I’m bowled over. It’s such a privilege to receive this esteemed award. I have been able to show that it can work – you can work with a disability. It can take a little time to overcome hurdles, but you somehow find the strength and a way to get through.”
Brief details of the nominations:
Jo is an outstanding specialist palliative care nurse who is known by all who work with her for her expertise, high standards and compassion. Her specialist areas are head and neck, palliative fungal wound management and developing multi-professional teams’ clinical practice.
Training specialist and general community teams in the management of altered airways is essential to ensure patients have a real choice around their advance care planning. The reality is that most patients who cannot care for their own airways at end of life get caught up in acute beds in the hospitals as most hospices and nursing homes can support this need.
Princess Alice Hospice now has a reputation for supporting patients with altered airways and referrals, from within and out of the area, come through regularly. Jo has created, implemented and evaluated a training programme for Hospice staff caring for patients with altered airways at end of life.
Jo is passionate about teaching clinical staff about the management and lived experience of fungal wounds. Many nurses, healthcare assistants, doctors, GPs and District Nurses have benefitted from her teaching and expertise.
Julia being handed the award from Lesley Munro, Director of Patient Care
Julia has and will always advocate for staff with hidden and visible disabilities. She is a remarkable nurse leader and despite her conductive deafness she has shown immense courage and resilience throughout her career and the pandemic.
Julia has had to endure casual and passive discrimination throughout her career so when COVID arrived at the Hospice in March 2020, it was clear she was not going to allow it to defeat her.
Julia could not wear any PPE with ear loops, and thus could not wear FFP3 masks or even use the FP3 hoods due to her hearing aids. Her resilience showed through in her response to these challenges; rather than focusing on herself, she rallied around all the staff with disabilities on the IPU – she raised awareness during team meetings giving the team helpful advice about what small things could help staff with impairments feel less isolated in and more included.
In recent years, Julia has supported staff to continue nursing with early stage dementia, mental ill-health, Tourette’s Syndrome, anxiety, hearing and sight impairments. She knows that being open about her own disability helps build a diverse team where differences are celebrated and supported.
Lesley Munro, the Hospice’s Director of Patient Care, Community Engagement & Support said: “Both Jo and Julia have given their lives to the service of patients and nurses. I am so very proud of them both.”
Cover Photo: Jo Reynolds and Ruth May outside of the Hospice
Princess Alice Hospice: For Compassion. For Excellence. For People. For Living.
Princess Alice Hospice has, for more than 35 years, provided free, high-quality, specialist end of life care to tens of thousands of people across a large part of Surrey, south west London and Middlesex. Today, at any one time, Hospice nurses, doctors and other specialist staff are looking after more than 900 people in need. The Hospice’s mission is to reach out to even more people by delivering outstanding care to those that need it. To enable us to do this, we must rely on the commitment and support of our communities who help us to raise vital funds.
£10.1 million is needed each year to provide our vital services. With limited NHS funding provided by CCGs, which represents circa 24% of our expenditure on charitable activities, in more normal times, the balance is raised through legacies, fundraising, dedicated shop units and investments. It is only the generous support of our communities and beyond, that makes it possible to do our work.