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Wrexham consultant improving care of car crash victims up for top UK accolade

A consultant nurse whose research has changed the way emergency services treat accident victims trapped in their car has been shortlisted for a prestigious award. 

Emergency medicine consultant nurse Rob Fenwick, who works at Wrexham Maelor Hospital has been selected from 920 entries as a finalist in the Researcher of the Year category of the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) Awards 2023. The award is sponsored by the National Institute for Health and Care Research. 

Rob will find out if he has won at a ceremony on Friday 10 November at Liverpool Cathedral. The overall RCN Nurse of the Year 2023, selected from all the category winners, will also be announced at the event. 

He has been shortlisted for developing evidence-based guidance for the extrication of people trapped in their vehicles after accidents through the Extrication in Trauma (EXIT) project. 

He was fundamental in project planning, research design, delivery of the research – practical and the write-up – and ensuring effective translation into clinical practice. The project, using a wide range of research methodologies, was delivered over several years with a small budget and no funded researcher time. 

Principles established through the research have been incorporated into national clinical and operational guidance. Rescue times will be reduced, resources used more effectively and patient experience improved. 

Rob said: “It has been incredible to see the impact of the project over the past 12 months and to be a finalist in the RCN Nursing Awards is a huge privilege. These are incredibly challenging times in emergency care, but there are still so many amazing projects that happening every day in nursing to improve both patient care and their experience.” 

RCN general secretary and chief executive Pat Cullen said: “Our inspiring finalists demonstrate the very best of nursing and what can be achieved in some of the challenging times for the profession. 

“They highlight the wide variety of ways nurses improve the care of people at all stages of life and how they demonstrate their professionalism and clinical excellence every day, and in every setting, throughout the UK.” 

The Foundation of Nursing Studies is the award’s charity partner this year. Its chief executive and current chair of the judging panel Joanne Bosanquet MBE said: “The quality of entries this year was superb and it was near impossible to choose our finalists from the creative and innovative work submitted. 

“The shortlist showcases excellence and recognises the enormous difference that nurses make to people’s lives throughout the UK.” 

The RCN Nursing Awards will this year be held alongside the inaugural Nursing Live, a new and dynamic event for everyone who works in nursing. Hosted over two days (November 10th-11th) at the ACC complex in Liverpool, the event will focus on both the professional and personal development of nurses at every stage of their careers and will be the first event of its kind for the sector.