A Midland nurse has been awarded the prestigious title of Queen’s Nurse in recognition of her work with seriously ill children in Walsall.
Jola Forys, who began her nursing career at Birmingham’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital in 1985, became one of the first community children’s nurses to be appointed in the UK 20 years’ later.
Currently these specialist nurses are only employed by primary care trusts in Cambridge, Hertfordshire, Oxfordshire and Walsall.
The 42-year-old, who lives in Sutton Coldfield, spends most of her time visiting the homes of young patients with life-long and terminal conditions such as cancer and cerebral palsy.
Mrs Forys was awarded the honorary title during a ceremony held at the Queen’s Nursing Institute in London, after being nominated by her manager Carol Thompson.
“I’d been a community children’s nurse for South Birmingham PCT for 11 years and also worked as a ward sister at Birmingham Children’s Hospital, so I know how important it can be for families of patients with long term conditions to be able to treat them at home,” said Mrs Forys.
“As a children’s community matron, I’ve helped set up a new at home service for young patients, similar to that offered to elderly people with nursing needs, with Walsall PCT which means parents and their children don’t have to keep to-ing and fro-ing to hospital for feeds or regular treatments that can be done at home.
“Children’s services are always seen as a Cinderella service but this has really pushed it to the forefront, as this is one of the first trusts in the country to appoint community nurses for children.”
Community children’s nurses provide nursing care, support and advice to families who have a sick child at home, and their aim is to prevent hospital admission or bring about early discharge, so they can lead as normal a life as possible.”
Mrs Folys is one of nine nurses across the UK to receive the Queen’s Nurse award this year, after completing a rigorous application process.
The Queen’s Nurse is an award which recognise’s an individual’s commitment to high standards of patient care and continually improving practice. Nurses who hold the title also benefit from free learning sets, leadership development and networking opportunities.
The award was reintroduced last year after a gap of 40 years, following nurses’ concerns about new challenges to the identity and role of nurses in primary care.
Any community nurse with at least three years in a speciality can apply. The next deadline for applications is 20 October, more information is available at www.qni.org.uk