Local nurse gets prestigious award

Grace Vanterpool named Nurse of the Year 2006

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A diabetes nurse working in Hammersmith and Fulham has this month been named the country’s Nurse of the Year.

Grace Vanterpool, Consultant Nurse in Diabetes, recently joined Hammersmith and Fulham Primary Care Trust (PCT). She won her award for a project she developed at her previous PCT in Slough. Grace was also named Community Nurse of the Year.

With more than double the national prevalence of diabetes, Slough is also home to a large south Asian population. People from south Asia have a six-fold risk of developing diabetes. Grace suspected that many people were going undiagnosed, so she introduced Action Diabetes to the area.

In a double-decker bus (not normally seen on the streets of Slough) she toured the community offering blood testing, blood pressure checks and bi-lingual information leaflets on diabetes. Now more people recognise if they are at risk and have quick and easy access to diagnostic tests. There has been a 30 per cent increase in the number of referrals to diabetes education clinics.

Grace said, "It's a real honour to be named Nursing Standard Nurse of the Year. I started Action Diabetes because I felt that much more needed to be done to help people prevent diabetes. The programme, was really about helping the local community to help themselves."

Chris Butler, Chief Executive of Hammersmith and Fulham PCT, said: “We’re very lucky to have Grace working for us now. Her work has brought real benefits to diabetics and people at risk of developing diabetes; I’m looking forward to seeing her expertise and talent help Hammersmith and Fulham residents.”

Linda Thomas, Editor-in Chief at Nursing Standard says: "The judges chose Grace because of her innovative and creative approach, which has been successfully integrated into a PCT service. This is truly nursing at its best when the expertise is developed beyond a basic job description to a scheme that benefits whole communities."

April 3, 2006