A nurse clinician from Little Hayfield has received a national award for innovation for a new way of carrying out hand surgery.
Louize Ainsworth, who works at Stepping Hill Hospital, has been given the “Lightbulb Innovation” award from the Royal College of Nursing for her pioneering work in alleviating a common but painful hand condition.
Carpal tunnel syndrome causes pain and numbness for many people, and in severe cases requires surgery, which previously had to be carried out by a fully qualified surgeon. Due to the ‘non-urgent’ nature of the procedure however, patients were often at the end of waiting lists, and were often the first to be cancelled. It was Louize’s personal experience of this as a surgeon’s assistant, that motivated her in the first place to develop the nurse-led carpal tunnel service.
She undertook the training to carry out the surgery, supported by the hospital, and now carries out the complete service for patients herself, from assessment, to admission, local anaesthetic and surgery right through to discharge.
As well as a quicker service for patients, the new way of performing the procedure is also more efficient financially - saving over £1,000 per operation. Other trusts are now looking to the service as an example to follow.
Louize said: “This is a way of carrying out a much needed procedure for patients in a simpler and easier way allowing them the chance to be rid of a nasty and debilitating condition much sooner.
“I’m delighted this has been recognised by the Royal College of Nursing, and I hope it will go on to benefit many more patients in the future.”