Nottinghamshire Healthcare’s Nottingham Centre for Transgender Health (NCTH) team have been shortlisted in the Best Workplace for Learning and Development Award in the Nursing Times Workforce Awards.
The team won its finalist place with a pilot study which sees clinical nurse specialists undertaking training to become lead clinicians, making the most of their advanced level skills to deliver excellent patient care.
Harnessing the specialist skills of nurses
Tina Nock, Transgender Health Service Manager for the NCTH Gender Identity Clinic and East of England Gender Service, said: “It is marvellous to have our nurses and the service recognised and nominated for such a prestigious award. We are extremely proud of the hard work and commitment our nurses provide to improving patient care and experience, and to the constant development of our overall team.”
The NCTH workforce includes senior nurses within a multi-disciplinary team of healthcare professionals and patients; the nurses offer a unique skill set to transgender healthcare, including specialist skills in psychotherapy, prescribing, sexual health, substance misuse and neurodevelopmental disorders. However, at the moment their role doesn’t include giving a diagnosis.
Attracting new, interested and motivated nurses
The pilot, agreed with NHS England, was designed to develop a ‘Clinical Nurse Specialist as a Lead Clinician’ role as part of the NCTH Network Clinical Strategy. The aim is to expand the senior team and make it easier for people to access transgender healthcare, by improving the timing and geographical service for patients.
The pilot is part of the succession strategy for key members within the clinic, offering a clear and engaging career path for nurses. “We see this as a positive way to attract new, interested, and motivated nurses into transgender health that enables progression within an important area of patient care,” explained Tina.
NCTH nurses have already led on the creation of standard and advanced competencies for nurses in transgender health. These were developed to cover all aspects of the Lead Clinician role, including the ability to assess and diagnose clinical aspects of gender incongruence (where the gender identity of a person does not align with the gender they were assigned at birth), to distinguish between co-existing mental health problems and gender incongruence, and to assess capacity for treatments.
About the team
The multi-disciplinary team (MDT) includes a number of clinical nurse specialists who are highly trained and specialised clinicians within transgender health. It also includes a nurse consultant in transgender health with over 15 years’ experience. Recently, three transgender health non-medical prescriber nurses were appointed, with the pilot giving them a clear career progression within the clinic.
The outcome has been a success so far with one senior clinical nurse specialist fully trained as a lead clinician and able to give a diagnosis to patients with gender incongruence. The NHS England Gender Programme Board has recommended that the pilot is developed further and rolled out nationally.
Tina added: “We believe that this pilot will make a real difference for patient care by changing the landscape of how we deliver services and the career pathway for nurses. What can be better than that!”
About the awards
The awards will be presented on Tuesday 22 November in London as part of the Nursing Times Workforce Summit & Awards.
They recognise the brightest talent in workforce planning and highlights those making a difference in recruitment, staff retention, wellbeing and inclusion.