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12 May 2011

The First Davison Nursing and Midwifery Scholarships to be awarded on International Nurses’ Day at University Hospitals Bristol

Each year on 12 May - the birth date of Florence Nightingale - nurses worldwide celebrate their profession and raise the profile of their work in a variety of ways and events. It is also a day for nurses to unite in taking pride in their jobs.

As part of its celebrations for International Nurses' Day, University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust (UH Bristol) is presenting the first annual Davison Nursing and Midwifery Scholarships, set up to encourage and support  nurses at all levels who have a strong idea about developing practice and a passion to improve patient experience.  The scholarships are named after Sybil Davison - now 95-years-old - who trained as a nurse at the Bristol General Hospital from 1934-38, worked as a casualty sister in the Bristol Royal Infirmary and was matron at the Bristol Dental Hospital until her retirement in 1975. 

The first Davison Scholarship award winners are Carly Hall, an infection control nurse, and Jo Witherstone, an upper gastrointestinal cancer clinical nurse specialist.  They will be presented with their scholarships by the Trust's chief nurse Alison Moon at an awards ceremony, along with the five winners of the Nursing and Midwifery Recognition Awards, nominated by their peers for their commitment and exceptional contribution to patient care and who go above and beyond what is normally expected of them within their role.

The scholarships of £2,500 each and the Recognition Awards are fully funded by Above & Beyond, which raises funds for Bristol's nine central hospitals.

Carly Hall's project focuses on widening the use of 'This is me': a leaflet created by the Alzheimer's Society supported by the Royal College of Nursing. Its purpose is to provide UH Bristol staff with a 'snapshot' of the person behind the dementia so that person-centred care can be delivered. This scholarship will enable Carly to work with staff at every level and across all clinical areas on 'This is me' to embed its use in practice so helping to provide a positive hospital experience for patients with dementia.

 Jo Witherstone will visit the oesophageal surgery unit at Virginia Mason Clinic in Seattle to learn and observe 'enhanced recovery', a pioneering programme of care the UH Bristol oesophago-gastric team are working towards.  Jo will also develop a web page for patients, their families and staff across Bristol and the cancer network and present her work at the International Conference on Cancer Nursing in Prague next year. 

The Trust's chief nurse, Alison Moon, said:  "On Nurses' Day we celebrate the huge contribution that nurses in our Trust can make to improving the care our patients receive. This year has been very special as we have launched both the Davison Nursing and Midwifery Scholarship and our Nursing and Midwifery Recognition Awards.  For the scholarship it has been very heartening to hear about the ideas that our nurses have that will improve care and experience for patients while in our hospitals.  It has been great to hear the citations of all the individual nurses and teams who have been nominated for their commitment and focus on providing truly patient centred care."

Above & Beyond's chief executive, Sarah Talbot-Williams, added:  "Above & Beyond is delighted to be supporting the brand new Davison Nursing and Midwifery Scholarship. It has been wonderful to see the commitment, passion and energy that UH Bristol's nurses have to make a real difference to the care experiences of patients. When patients and families want to say thank you for the care they've received, they come to us. This thanks is so often for the amazing care that the nurses across the hospitals provide. I hope the scholarship will encourage even more ideas for better patient care."