A nurse has won a prestigious international award for her ‘inspiring’ work delivering liver care to those from marginalised groups, including homeless people and prisoners.

Amy Teague, a clinical nurse specialist, has been awarded the Rising Star award at the European Association for the Study of the Liver (EASL) Congress 2024 in Milan. 

The award seeks to highlight emerging liver nurses and allied health professionals (AHPs) who prioritise the wellbeing of individuals with liver disease and aim to enhance their overall experience.

Judges heard how Amy contributed to a community-based service that provides care to those who have difficulty trusting the health service, including people experiencing homelessness. The judges noted that she keeps in regular phone contact with those who have not attended clinic and is empathic and kind.

Dr Kathleen Bryce, a hepatology registrar at the Royal Free Hospital who nominated Amy for the award, said: “Amy actively communicates in a way that minimises the stigma often associated with these conditions and encourages other healthcare professionals to do the same. Amy has worked closely with outreach inclusion health teams and peer support workers to support people experiencing homelessness and incarceration in accessing hepatitis C treatment. 

“She also recognises the other pressing socio-economic priorities of these disadvantaged groups and works to meet their broader needs. She is clinically excellent and will discuss with the wider multidisciplinary team when she recognises a deteriorating patient or lab result which indicates an issue with medical treatment.”  
Thanks to her commitment Amy has engaged with many patients with hepatitis C in drug treatment services and in prison and she has become equally passionate about doing so for people living with hepatitis B. Amy was part of the CNS team who worked on the Royal Free London’s emergency department opt-out blood borne virus testing nurse-led follow-up programme. Amy analysed the data and successfully submitted an abstract to EASL summarising the trust’s experience with the nurse-led engagement part of this initiative. This was selected as one of the ‘top abstracts’ at EASL 2023.
Dr Bryce added: “Amy is a great colleague and always willing to help. She takes on extra work when she sees that this will make a difference and challenges the status quo if she thinks that a service could work better for the patient in a different way. She supports newer team members and passes on clinical knowledge. She is an excellent leader and mentor to others. She is a pleasure to work with and huge asset to our team. I find her personally inspiring as someone who is highly motivated to improve liver disease care for people experiencing barriers to access.”  
Amy said: “It truly is an honour to accept this award. We work very hard in the nursing team to deliver nurse-led, patient-centred care and it means so much that this has been recognised by EASL.”