Macmillan Palliative Care Facilitator Shortlisted for National Nursing Award


Macmillan Palliative Care Facilitator Shortlisted for National Nursing AwardA Macmillan Palliative Care Facilitator in the Western Trust has successfully been shortlisted at the national RCNi awards. Maria Magee, who works within the Specialist Palliative Care team, is a finalist in the ‘Commitment to Carer’s Award’ as a result of her work with dementia patients and their carers through the introduction of the Namaste Care Programme (NCP) to Northern Ireland.

Maria has led on adopting and adapting the NCP for use in a pilot across several settings (Nursing home and Derry Well woman) within the Western Trust.  She developed a ‘train the trainer’ programme to co-facilitate delivery of two, six week programmes two hours per week to 15 carers/ family. This programme focused on the provision of skills to fifteen carers/ families in order to help them care for their loved ones with dementia by promoting communication and meaningful activities through sensory stimulation in the form of touch, sound, taste, scents and auditory components in a calm and pleasant environment. This is the first time that this programme has been piloted for carers within their own home environment on the island of Ireland.

Speaking about being shortlisted for the National Carer’s award Maria said: “I am absolutely delighted to have been successfully shortlisted to the final of the RCNI  awards. I am so pleased to have my work on the Namaste care programme  recognised and so proud to have made such a positive impact to the quality of care for people living with dementia and their families at the end of life.”

Emma King, Western Trust Macmillan Specialist Palliative Care Team Manager nominated Maria for this national award. Emma said: “I am delighted that Maria has been shortlisted for this award. Through her work she has led a programme that has showed improved quality of life for those with advanced dementia and their families. Families felt able to participate in care and felt more empowered by being able to apply the skills that they learnt.  More widely the programme supported collaboration, communication, co-production and self-management by families and carers.  Carer/ family member’s feedback included increased feeling of rapport, improved communication and connection with the family member and reduced feelings of isolation and helplessness. Some also suggested that their loved one was more content and relaxed as a result of the NCP.

“It is only but right that Maria is recognised for this sterling work and I wish her good luck in the final.”
The winner of the award will be announced at the final in London in July.