You Made a Difference - June

04 July 2019
A healthcare assistant studying to be a nurse and a dietitian who works with children with epilepsy are the winners of June’s You Made a Difference awards.

Susan HallSusan Hall as been a member of the Emergency Department since 2013, joining as a healthcare assistant.

Susan works across the department and is an amazing resource for new members of staff at all levels. Susan is always approachable and extremely hard working. She always has time to listen to people’s concerns and support where she can.

Susan is currently on the Grow Your Own Nurses program which is due to end this year - she will be a great asset to any team.

This is reflected in the winning nominations;

 “Susan is the kindest person you will ever meet and always goes 110% for staff, patients and relatives. She never sits still, is always busy and the best role model you could ever ask for.”

“Not only does she always put others needs before her own, she does it with a smile on her face every time. Susan has excelled in her performance learning so much in the past year and really taking on new challenges, not only in her student career but her role in ED too.”

“As you know we are a very busy trauma centre and Susan is able to support new members of staff here and make them feel welcomed and valued. She can work in all areas of the department and we would not manage without staff like her - everyone in ED will agree in saying she is one of a kind.”

“On 9th April my husband was taken to A&E. Only two weeks before he had been there and had emergency surgery. Susan remembered us. She was very reassuring and recognised our high level of emotional need. She kept us informed and updated. She spent time listening to us. She made a difference.”

Helena Champion joined CUH in 2002 as a part time paediatric dietitian, finally settling into the specialist area of metabolic dietetics.

In 2008, Helena became involved in ketogenic diet management by taking on the care of a small number of children for whom we had secured Exceptional Helena ChampionCase Funding in order to prove the benefit of ketogenic therapy to children with epilepsy.

Response to these interventions was positive and the permanent ketogenic service was fully commissioned in 2009, at which point Helena moved into a full-time role in order to lead and develop the dietetic element of the service.

Since then, the service has gone from strength to strength and now every year supports 30 new patients and their families to undertake ketogenic therapy.

Helena has led the service throughout this time with a genuinely professional, dedicated attitude which has always been firmly rooted in a desire to do what is best for the child and family in her care.

This is reflected in the winning nominations;

“Helena is part of the paediatric neurology team and provides ketogenic diets for children with severe epilepsy. There is a growing body of evidence that ketogenic diets can reduce the number of seizures in certain patients and significantly improve quality of life where multiple drug treatments have previously failed. I spent a morning with Helena in a clinic and I was amazed at the difference this dietary manipulation can make to some of these families lives (even though I am a dietitian with over 20 years’ experience!).”

“A mum of one of the patients sent a video showing her son riding a tricycle. Prior to the diet they could not have even imagined he could coordinate seizure free to do this. She was so happy and excited to share the news with Helena.

“It is a very difficult diet for the parents to follow and the amount of information, expertise, time and support they need from the dietitian is significant. In addition to the clinic appointments, the dietitians have frequent telephone and email contact with these families. I want to nominate Helena because the nutritional guidance, advice and support she provides to these families can really make a massive difference to the child, and to the whole family’s quality of life.”