Kilrea woman Jackie Quigg, an Advanced Neonatal Nurse Practitioner at Antrim Area Hospital, has been awarded second place in the UK Nurse of the Year Award by the Neonatal Nurses Association.
The Neonatal Nurses Association is a UK based organisation and, as such, Jackie had stiff competition from nurses from across the UK.
Jackie has worked in the neonatal unit at Antrim Area Hospital for over 12 years and has over 31 years experience in neonatal intensive care.
She has been instrumental in the service improvement initiative “Tiny Gym” which is a follow-up community outreach developmental group for high risk infants.
Evidence indicates that neonatal infants make poor motor progress in the first year and can present with minor neurological dysfunctions which may be preventable if given timely developmental intervention and advice.
‘Tiny Gym’ has been running for two years. Results have shown that the group has demonstrated a significant effect on the infant’s motor progress as well as increasing parental knowledge and confidence.
Janet Lambrechts, Neonatal Unit Sister, commented: “During the two years Jackie has demonstrated a high level of leadership and a continued drive and enthusiasm to progress the service. She has worked in partnership with other professionals as well as parents and family members to ensure the priority is the best outcome for the infants.”
Education and awareness sessions have been provided for colleagues and other professionals to help emphasise the positive outcomes for infants.
Janet continued: “Jackie is committed to continual quality improvement and continues to review, evaluate and improve the service. The initiative has been presented across Northern Ireland which has resulted in other Neonatal Units committing to using the format of the group in their areas.”