Honours for Sunderland Eye Infirmary team

Sunderland Eye Infirmary has celebrated a double award success.

Tuesday, 6th August 2019, 16:45 pm
Cavell Star Award winner Charlotte Rooney, right, with Andrea Carter, Junior Sister, Opthamology, at Sunderland Eye Infirmary

The Ophthalmology research team was recently honoured for its contribution to improving the health and treatment options available to patients worldwide, and healthcare assistant Charlotte Rooney won an award for showing exceptional care for her patients.

The researchers were selected by global biopharmaceutical solutions organisation Syneos Health as a recipient of its Site Appreciation Award, which recognises the value of clinical research sites as partners in the clinical research process. In nominating them, Syneos Health highlighted the excellent focus on patient safety, the collaborative and responsive approach, strong teamwork and communication, and high-quality data capture.

Consultant Ophthalmologist Deepali Varma is Deputy Director of Innovation for the South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust and Speciality Group Lead for Ophthalmology for the National Institute for Health Research Clinical Research Network North East and North Cumbria (NIHR CRN NENC). Mrs Varma said: “We were very proud indeed to receive such a prestigious award. It is fantastic to have this acknowledgment of the excellence of our work, which is supported by the regional network and our own research and innovation department.”

The Eye Infirmary has a track record for winning awards, including the Judges’ Special Award in the Bayer Ophthalmology Honours 2017 for high quality clinical research using a collaborative team approach. In the last few years, 10 of its 20 clinicians have participated as principal investigators in over 30 global and national commercial and non-commercial clinical trials through the National Institute for Health Research. Currently, it is involved in several clinical trials on common vision-threatening eye conditions including Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD) and diabetic eye disease, both leading causes of blindness - the former in the ageing population and the latter among people of working age.

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Charlotte Rooney, a healthcare assistant at Sunderland Eye Infirmary, is also celebrating success. She was nominated for the Cavell Star Award by staff on the Glaucoma and Mayling Diagnostic Units, where she has worked since January 2018, beginning as an apprentice before becoming a fully qualified healthcare assistant.

Staff Nurse Dawn Boldon said: “She blended in with our team from the very start. She always has a smile on her face and gives 100% and she is constantly taking on board new information. She has a fantastic rapport with the patients, who love her.

"Whether it’s doing initial assessments, eye pressure and peripheral vision checks, or preparing patients for laser procedures, she explains to them exactly what is going to happen.”

Charlotte, 21, who lives in Sunderland, said: “I was shaking when I found out I’d been given this award. I have discovered that nursing is definitely the job I want to do.”

Nursing charity Cavell Nurses’ Trust launched the Cavell Star Awards in 2018 in partnership with LloydsPharmacy Clinical Homecare.