Gastrointestinal Nurse of the Year
St Mark’s Hospital’s lead IBD Specialist Nurse, Marian O’Connor has been awarded Gastrointestinal (GI) Nurse of the Year in the GI Nursing Awards. This prestigious honour was awarded for Marian’s outstanding achievements in GI services and patient care.
Her team at St Mark’s provide educational outpatient clinics, a dedicated day unit for treatments, and a patient advice line that receives more than 3000 calls a year. In the last 12–18 months, Marian has implemented several changes, drastically improving the services she and her team provide.
“Working with patients is my favourite part,” says Marian. "Offering services that help patients fulfil their dreams inspires me.”
Marian has developed an IBD Patient Panel, providing a meaningful voice and structured forum for patients; an intranet page with consistent patient information and protocols for multidisciplinary team members across three hospital sites; and together with the pharmacy department, a patient handheld record, ensuring patient safety and ease of access to patients’ blood test results. In November, Marian also set up a successful IBD open day for patients, which will now become an annual event.
“There are always challenges in an ever-changing NHS and changes take months to implement,” says Marian. “But I’m always determined to follow through to the end, and you don’t have to reinvent the wheel.”
Between her early morning runs, days at clinic, and dinner dates with her husband James, Marian has found time to co-edit Inflammatory Bowel Disease Nursing, the first book of its kind, and she plays a key role in developing university IBD nursing modules.
Marian chairs N-ECCO (Nurses of the European Crohn’s and Colitis Organisation), helping to organise an annual congress for about 250 IBD nurses throughout Europe, and she even runs marathons to raise money for IBD. This coming year, Marian plans to use her annual leave to participate in World IBD Day on 15 May in Brussels and to volunteer at EFCCA’s (European Federation of Crohn’s and Colitis associations) Catch your dream summer camp for young people. It’s no wonder Marian fought off some very fierce competition to become this year’s GI Nurse of the Year. Congratulations