St Paul’s Eye Unit staff win national awards

Corinna Swift delivering staff training

STAFF from St Paul’s Eye Unit in Liverpool have recently been awarded not one but three national awards at ceremonies in London.

On Tuesday Corinna Swift was named the RNIB Vision Pioneers ‘Professional of the Year’ for her work with sight-impaired patients at the Royal Liverpool University Hospital Trust. The week before she was awarded the ‘Best Patient Support/Education Initiative’ award at the Bayer Ophthalmology Awards.

This was hard on the heels of her St Paul’s colleagues, the corneal cross-linking team, being given a ‘highly commended’ award at the same ceremony for their treatment of young people.

Corinna is St Paul’s Eye Clinic Liaison Officer (ECLO), supporting and signposting people who are experiencing sight-affecting conditions, both while they are in hospital and in their daily lives. She also trains staff in how to assist sight-impaired patients. Having a severe sight impairment herself means she is ideally placed to address such issues, and her work has made a real impact on patients’ well-being.

The Bayer judging panel said of Corinna’s work: “We all agree that this initiative is improving the experience for patients across the whole trust. The judges felt that it was a remarkable achievement.”

The St Paul’s ECLO post is part-funded through Liverpool-based charity Bradbury Fields whose chief executive, Philip Longworth, said: “Bradbury Fields is delighted to recognise Corinna’s achievements, which continue to demonstrate the value of the ECLO role within St Paul’s.”

Cross-linking is a treatment administered to young people with a sight-impairing condition of the cornea called keratoconus. The Bayer Ophthalmology Awards judges described the cross-linking team as “a small, focused and extremely enthusiastic team, who demonstrated a great support network”. Corneal nurse specialist Claire Britten, who leads the cross-linking nursing team, was thrilled with the award, saying: “To be recognised for our hard work and to have so much positive feedback has been overwhelming. The team feels very proud to be part of St Paul’s”.

Clinical director and consultant ophthalmologist at St Paul’s, Mr Michael Briggs, is very proud of all of his staff: “I am delighted that Corinna won these awards. She thoroughly deserves these accolades in recognition of her very hard work on behalf of our patients with sight impairment. On top of that the corneal cross-linking team’s ‘highly commended’ award reflects that the team, led by Claire Britten and Professor Stephen Kaye, has developed a nationally-respected treatment program for patients with keratoconus. Congratulations to all of those involved.”