A CHILDREN’S nurse working for Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust has won a prestigious award.

Children and Young Person’s Community Nursing Service, which covers Brighton and Hove and West Sussex, cares for 1,500 children, many of whom have complex health needs.

Trudy Ward, head of children’s specialist and community nursing, and the special school nursing team won the Royal College of Nursing Institute Child Health Award at a ceremony in London on July 4.

Chief Executive Siobhan Melia said: “I want to say a huge well done to Trudy and the rest of the team.

“Their hard work continues to make a real difference to the lives of children with special educational needs.

“Trudy is a fantastic colleague and leader and this award is recognition of the role she has played in improving the care that many children and their families rely on.

“I am proud of the contribution our trust makes to the local NHS and the vital role we play in supporting communities across Sussex.”

The team’s entry focused on ensuring that the nursing services meet the needs of children and young people who attend 12 special schools in West Sussex.

Trudy Ward designed an assessment tool which identified the nature of nursing in special schools and which supports commissioning and workforce planning.

It led to a commissioned special school clinical nursing service in West Sussex which enabled an increase from two to ten nurses supporting pupils with complex needs.

Trudy said: “This is an amazing award.

“Lots of people are part of this achievement: nurses, teachers, parents, carers and health commissioners.

“We did this together. Well done to everyone involved.”