Issue date: 10 January 2005

Nursing researchers, Dr Nicola Eaton and Antonia Beringer from the University of the West of England have won a national nursing award for their work on palliative care services for children with life limiting illnesses.

Principal lecturer Dr Nicola Eaton and research associate Antonia Beringer will receive the Queen’s Nursing Institute/Maureen Acland Research and Development award, worth £6000. This will be used to investigate the experience of community children’s nurses currently involved in setting up palliative care services for such children.

Dr Eaton said, “This recognition is very important. There are not many awards for nursing research so it is very gratifying that an esteemed institution such as the Queen’s Nursing Institute has granted this award for the work we do.

“We both come from a nursing background and have pursued research that we know
to be crucial in helping set up better care services to some of the most vulnerable children and their parents and carers. We aim to improve the provision of children’s palliative care by learning from those with first hand experience of this work – the community children’s nurses closely involved in the setting up or extending of palliative care services for seriously ill children.”

The project will look at team structures and the services provided by newly established or extended children’s palliative care teams. It will compare expectations of setting up or extending a service with the actual experience of staff and identify individual, team and organisational factors that enable and hinder service delivery, from the perspective of the Community Children’s Nurses.

The work will also suggest ways of enhancing recruitment to, and retention of, nurses in community palliative care posts. It is hoped that the project will also contribute to the evidence available on palliative care service delivery and provide guidelines for practice.

Nicola and Antonia work in the recently established Centre for Child and Adolescent Health, the first research centre to be run jointly by UWE and the University of Bristol. Gareth Jones, a community children’s nurse, currently working with the CLIC outreach oncology service, has recently joined the team to contribute to the research project.

Anne Pearson, Professional Development Facilitator at the Queen’s Nursing Institute commented that the project could make an enormous contribution to the care received by children with life-limiting conditions. “This award, which was established two years ago in honour of our former Chairman, was designed to provide both financial and professional support to nurses who are, or wish to be, involved in research that will ultimately make a difference to the care of patients and which will advance nursing practice. This year’s project focuses on a vitally important area of care and it is an excellent example of research with patient welfare and quality of life at its heart.”


Editor’s notes

The Queen’s Nursing Institute’s Innovation and Creative Practice Award is now in its 17th year. It is open to community nurses and nurse-led teams throughout England, Wales and Northern Ireland and provides funding of up to £6000 for each it its award winning projects. Uniquely, it also provides a year-long professional development programme through a series of two-day workshops at its London offices and undertakes regular site visits to award projects. In addition to Diabetes UK, the QNI has formed partnerships with two other leading charities – the Men’s Health Forum and the Alzheimer’s Society - to develop Innovation and Creative Practice awards for nurses working in the field of male health and dementia care.

Back to top