Published on: 23 May 2024

An NHS support worker in Derby has been recognised through an organisation-wide staff recognition scheme after being praised by a local family for supporting their child, who has Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).

Elaine Scott, Support Worker for the Children’s ADHD Nursing Team at Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, won a DEED award – Delivery Excellence Every Day – after offering valuable support and advice around sleep aids to a family following a child’s ADHD medication review.

The Trust’s DEED awards recognise and celebrate Derbyshire Healthcare staff and volunteers who have gone ‘above and beyond’ in their work, and thereby demonstrated one or more of our Trust values. A colleague raised the family’s appreciation for Elaine’s support – and Elaine was chosen as the winner of ‘DEED of the month’.

Elaine has worked with the Specialist ADHD Children’s Nursing Team for six years. Prior to this she worked as a support worker in school health. Elaine’s background is in nursery nursing, which is where her love for working with children and supporting families grew. Elaine is also the parent of a neurodiverse child.

During the appointment with Elaine, both parents raised concerns about their child’s sleeping difficulties and general behaviours that were associated with the ADHD diagnosis. Elaine was able to provide the parents with a plan of support for the next few weeks around sleep hygiene and behaviour management techniques. This appointment helped the parents to put a face to Emma’s name when being offered support, which meant the family felt more empowered whilst also feeling safe and not judged by the difficulties they were facing.

Elaine’s colleague wrote: “We are currently piloting a new way of working in the Children's ADHD nursing team, and this has meant that our support workers are more patient facing. During a clinic today, a parent recognised how valuable the support worker role is and shared that she found the support and advice offered by Elaine today to be friendly and approachable and was much appreciated. Elaine was able to support the family with advice and signposting.”

Side effects of ADHD medication can include appetite suppression and weight loss and Elaine gave specific targeted support around this in the meeting, which helped to calm any initial anxieties the parents came in with. Elaine and her team have made a conscious effort to be more available in clinic to offer specific signposting and respond efficiently to patient queries. The other benefit of face-to-face contact has been supporting the wider nursing team to manage their day-to-day case load.

Speaking after her nomination was announced, Elaine said: “I was delighted to hear that the role I provide has been recognised and valued. The new way of working makes me feel more included in the patient journey and I get to see the value of the support and guidance I offer.”

“As the parent of a neurodiverse child, I can empathise with what other parents are experiencing on top of having over 30 years of experience of child development and supporting families,” said Elaine.

“The most rewarding part of the role is when families share that they have seen a difference following the advice and support I have been able to provide. This has given me a boost in confidence knowing that the advice we tailor to the individual needs is effective.”

Dave Mason, Director of Nursing and Patient Experience at Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, said: “I’d like to congratulate Elaine on winning our latest monthly staff recognition award. Elaine’s efforts are a great demonstration of everything the Trust stands for – putting people first, showing respect and honesty and doing the best we can to achieve great care. As a Trust, we are continually looking to improve the way we support local families, and I’m so pleased that this new approach by our Children’s ADHD nursing team is already resulting in such positive feedback. Well done to Elaine and the team.”

If anyone has experienced good care from a member of staff at Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, they can nominate them through the scheme by filling in a DEED nomination form.