Kirsten McHale, clinical nurse specialist for paediatric epilepsy at East Surrey Hospital, has been shortlisted in the Best Practice category of the national Young Epilepsy Champions Awards.
Kirsten is one of only four people to be shortlisted from hundreds of nominations. This is recognition of her commitment to delivering a specialist paediatric epilepsy service which supports children and young people who live in Surrey and Sussex.
Kirsten from Turners Hill, West Sussex said: “I am humbled and honoured to have been shortlisted as every day I feel so fortunate to do the work I do. I meet the most amazing families and feel so privileged to know I have made a difference in their lives.
“A large part of the work I do is raising awareness about epilepsy, as many young people still feel the stigma that surrounds this long term condition and often can feel incredibly isolated. I organised two events last year to bring young people and their families together, to get people talking, make new friendships and to help break down barriers.”
Fiona Allsop, chief nurse at Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust which runs the hospital, said: “We are delighted Kirsten’s hard work and commitment in developing a dedicated service to improve the care of local children and young people with epilepsy has been recognised at a national level. We are very proud of her for reaching this stage and we wish her well at the awards ceremony in May.”
Over the past two years Kirsten and Dr Karen Ansell, paediatric consultant, have worked together to set up and develop the service which so far has helped over 270 local children and young people with epilepsy.
The winner will be announced at the awards ceremony at the UnderGlobe at the Globe Theatre in London on 18 May.