Mayo health care specialist awarded OBE

Posted in Connect on January 3, 2019.


A CASTLEBAR-trained psychiatric nurse has been awarded an OBE in the UK’s New Year’s Honours List, writes Tom Gillespie.

Professor Brian Dolan, originally from Riverdale Court, and son of Billy Dolan (Holyhill) and Chrissie Dolan (nee Redmond, Spencer Street), was awarded the honour for services to nursing and emergency care.

Professor Dolan, who is visiting professor of nursing to Oxford Institute of Nursing, Midwifery and Health Visiting and Director of Health Services 360, Stratford-Upon-Avon, did his nursing training in St. Mary’s Hospital, Castlebar.

He said: “My passion for nursing was ignited by my two greatest teachers, Willie McNamee and John McCormack, then tutors at St. Mary’s, and the foundation of my career and any subsequent success was from the nurses who inspired and encouraged me as a beginner. I am so proud to talk about Castlebar wherever I am in the world, be it New Zealand or Canada.”

Professor Dolan, who has written and/or edited seven nursing books, also leads a global social movement, recently adopted in Mayo University Hospital, Castlebar, called #EndPJparalysis, to encourage patients to get up, dressed and moving while in hospital in order to reduce the risk of falls, pressure ulcers and even the length they spend in hospital.

Professor Dolan added: “Even with a masters degree with distinction from Oxford University the qualification I am proudest of is having my psychiatric nursing from Castlebar because it was the foundation stone of my career and anything you do is built up on that.

“There were so many good people up in St. Mary’s that I learned so much from, who shaped the person I am now. I have never forgotten that. It is about remembering where you came from.”

In the 1980s Brian went to England and at St. Mary’s in Paddington he did his post-graduate and general nursing and spent time in casualty.

He became a script advisor for Holby City after getting a call that a new BBC drama were looking for someone with the knowledge and understanding of the big picture (casualty).

He said: “That went on for five or six years. It was great craic. I was teaching them how to inject oranges.

“We were based in Elstree Centre in Hertfordshire where they film Eastenders and you would see Barbara Windsor, who was very chatty, and she would be smoking beside the No Smoking sign.

“It was a very interesting experience. It takes 11 hours to get eight minutes of footage.”

Brian was sent the various versions of scripts to see what worked or what was against the law.

He added: “Our job was to give them advice and they could ignore it if they wished. Most of the time they didn’t. But occasionally you would think is it drama or documentary. We wanted to have it as realistic as possible. I am very proud of the fact that I persuaded them to feature what’s called ‘family resuscitation’ so that families are present when they are doing resuscitation.

“There is good evidence why it is a good thing. My argument was that it makes good drama for families to see that. It was also an insight that the evidence is never enough – you have to connect with people emotionally, then the evidence follows. I do a lot of work in the leadership space, engaging people to realise it’s hearts and minds in that order.”

Brian and his wife, Lynda Holt, are founding directors of Stratford-Upon-Avon based Health Service 360, an award-winning consultancy company who have helped hundreds of health professionals to lead well, change practice and put patients first.

Connaught Telegraph – December 31st 2018

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