Innovation Influencer Award 2021

Picture of Hayley Williams, Salford research nurse

Nov 2021: Hayley Williams, MND-SMART research nurse, wins Innovation Influencer Award

Last week we were delighted to discover that Hayley Williams, one of the MND-SMART research nurses in Salford, had received the 'Innovation influencer' award at the recent NIHR Greater Manchester Evening of Excellence. Hayley was nominated by her colleagues in the neurology research team after she pushed to incorporate community visits in MND-SMART. This was to ensure continued recruitment and follow-up to the trial during the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic. We're grateful to Haley for suggesting this change and for her dedication to people with MND. Huge congratulations from the MND-SMART trial team!   

Here's what Hayley had to say about her award and working on the trial.

After spending a year on secondment with the MND specialist nurses, I was blessed with an exciting opportunity and offered the position of a clinical research nurse to co-ordinate MND-SMART at Salford. I was new to research so quickly had to learn the procedures and processes.

As we were in the middle of the Covid-19 pandemic, non-essential visits to our hospital were stopped which meant MND-SMART was going to be delayed (again). However, I did not want people with MND to be affected and disheartened again, so I knew a change was needed. I asked the MND-SMART management team if we could incorporate community visits and more remote visits to benefit the patients and prevent further delay in recruitment. The trial management team were extremely supportive of the idea and worked hard to ensure this change could be implemented for use as quickly as possible. This became known as 'the Salford amendment'. This change has been beneficial to many participants in our area, particularly those who struggle with travelling. It is nice seeing people in the comfort of their own home. The feedback has been overwhelming and more positive than we could have ever envisaged.

As a result, my colleagues nominated me for an award at the Clinical Research Network Greater Manchester Evening of Excellence. I was recognised for initiating the change to MND-SMART and presented with an award for being an 'innovation influencer', which was heart-warming. Being part of the MND-SMART tem is an honour and privilege."

You can hear from Hayley's colleague Kathryn on why she was nominated {here} (external website). 

This article was published on: Monday, 29 November, 2021