Maria Lorena Pena

Advanced Nurse Practitioner / Critical Care Outreach Lead

Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

Biography: As the lead of the Critical Care Outreach Team (CCOT) and an advanced nurse practitioner, Maria takes on the responsibility of ensuring effective and efficient service delivery and achieving target outcomes. To fulfil these tasks, she ensures that all CCOT nurses are well-equipped with the knowledge and skills necessary to attend to deteriorating patients and maintain safe clinical practice. Maria also supports their professional development and helps them maintain a work-life balance.

Maria collaborates with the multidisciplinary team and the NWL network to identify effective measures for delivering high standards of care to patients and addressing any gaps in clinical practice. She actively participates in projects focused on improving the management of deteriorating patients. Additionally, Maria serves as the overall coordinator for CCOT trainings. She delivers four major trainings, including ALERT, BEACH, NIV, and tracheostomy, to both CCOT nurses and practice development nurses whom she has trained to become competent trainers.

Horizon Fellowship project summary: Maria’s main goal of the project is to improve the management of deteriorating patients by preventing adverse outcomes as a result of any sub-optimal care. It covers every key component of the “chain of prevention” such as education, monitoring, recognition, escalation, and safe provision of adequate and appropriate treatment without delay.

Hence, it is aimed to improve the clinical performance of nurses, healthcare assistants and doctors and adherence to the NEWS2 and escalation trust protocol through rigorous training and measures that help them to fulfil their clinical tasks.

Estimated number of patients / staff impacted by the project: Maria’s project covers all adult wards in Emergency and Integrated Care and Planned Care Division with approximately 240 patients and more than 100 nurses HCAs and doctors.

Goal(s) for time on the Horizon Fellowship programme: Maria’s goal is to gain more insights and enhance further her knowledge and skills in fulfilling the tasks entailed in achieving the target outcomes of the project. As well as this she will have an opportunity for networking that will contribute to finding effective measures in completing and promoting the project successfully.