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Family of Riddlesden stroke patient Thelma Franks say nurse restored their faith in the NHS
A nurse is in the running for a prestigious national nursing award after being nominated by the family of a stroke patient who say she single-handedly restored their faith in the NHS.
Stephanie Lawrence, of Baildon, who works for Airedale NHS Foundation Trust as a team leader for the Airedale collaborative care team and Craven virtual ward, is one of four nurses short-listed from more than 150 nominations for the Claire Rayner Patient’s Choice Award.
She was nominated for the award, organised by nurses’ journal the Nursing Standard, by Julia Smith, the daughter of 72-year-old Thelma Franks, who had a severe stroke in February 2012.
Two weeks after Mrs Franks, of Riddlesden, was discharged from hospital to a nursing home, staff told Mrs Smith her mother was not making good enough progress, would not get any better and needed a care home.
Mrs Smith, of Oakworth, said: “We were horrified. We knew that mum had huge potential simply because of her sheer determination and drive. We felt alone in what seemed to be a long, lonely battle with healthcare professionals who didn’t seem to care. It was at this point that Stephanie became involved in our story.”
With Mrs Lawrence’s intervention, Mrs Franks stayed in the home for nine weeks, receiving the intensive physiotherapy that she needed to grow stronger and begin her recovery.
Mrs Smith said: “Mum has made huge progress and is now slowly beginning to walk. I can truly say I don’t know what we would have done without her (Stephanie).”
Mrs Lawrence said: “I was amazed but also delighted to be nominated, particularly by Julia and her family. I don’t feel that I did anything special, I simply listened to what Thelma and her family wanted and did what was needed to help it happen. It’s my job as a nurse to ensure we involve patients and their families in their care.”
The public can vote for Mrs Lawrence by calling 0845 653 0195 and selecting B, by texting NURSE followed by space then B to 81025 or visiting the website at patients-choice.co.uk. Voting closes on March 1.
The winner will be announced and receive their Nurse of the Year 2013 Award, which includes a prize of £500, at a ceremony on March 12 at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.