04 July 2019

Rachel Luby, an inspirational nurse working as Clinical practice lead at the Trust’s  John Howard Centre has just won the 2019 RCNi Mental Health Nursing Award.

Rachel won because of her work on changing  approaches towards sex and intimacy with service users  in her forensic mental health unit.

The Ceremony took place on Wednesday 3 July at the Westminster Park Plaza in London. The award is the profession’s top accolade and almost 700 entries were submitted this year.

Rachel has been the driving force behind policy and guideline changes, leading a Quality Improvement project at the John Howard’s Centre Limehouse Ward.

She felt strongly that existing practices fell short in recognising patient sexual needs  and that people should not have to give up healthy sexual expression whilst in care, which would ultimately make creating new relationships once they had left more difficult. 

She has driven policy and guideline changes, and a sexual health nurse has attended the ward to offer screening, advice and treatment.

Plans include a weekly group on love, sex and intimacy and a sexual expression care plan for each patient.

On receiving the award Rachel said:  “I had absolutely no idea that I was going to win! Having heard stories of other people that had won I think it will take some time before it seems real.

“I even put the award on the pillow next to me last night so that when I awoke I would realise that it wasn't just a dream!

“I am very proud of the work that is being done in forensics now to recognise not only sexual violence, but also how better to meet people’s sexual health and sexual expression needs.” 

The 'Lets Talk About Sexual Health' presentation from the Trust Quality Conference 2019 is available here. 

A full list of the RCNi award winners is available here.