Nursing fellowship on care of the elderly

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A Sheffield nurse has successfully completed a fellowship, examining how to improve the care of elderly people in the NHS.

Elaine Atkin, a nurse from Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, has become a Nursing Fellow after completing the Older People’s Fellowship at King’s College London. Elaine, now an pperational lead in combined community and acute care, studied for a year to achieve a Post Graduate Certificate in Quality Improvement and Older People’s Services.

The course, funded by Health Education England, has only 35 places available nationally and Elaine had to go through a shortlisting and interview process to get a place. She was supported by the Trust to enable her to study while still working.

The course is aimed at developing clinical excellence, innovation and quality improvement in care for older people, which is one of the NHS’s ongoing challenges.

Elaine said: “I have worked in elderly care for most of my career, and as an operational lead I have now started getting involved in quality improvement work.

“The evidence base around the care of the older person is constantly growing, and we need to ensure we use this to design our service and care delivery to best meet the needs of our aging population.

“It is very important to identify elderly people at risk of falling and take preventative action where possible to improve bone health; there is a high-morbidity among elderly people who suffer falls.

“STH is a very innovative place to work, and in geriatric care there are lots of opportunities to develop. The directorate have been very supportive; there is a positive culture to assist staff with service development and innovation”.