Nurse could win top UK award for her work teaching John Howard Centre patients about sex and intimacy

Rachel Luby. Picture: David Gee

Rachel Luby. Picture: David Gee - Credit: © David Gee

A nurse who is transforming the approach to sex and intimacy on her forensic mental health unit at Homerton’s John Howard Centre has been nominated for a national award.

Rachel Luby, who has driven policy and guideline changes around sexual health and expression, is in the final of the Mental Health Nursing category at the RCNi Nurse Awards.

The competition is the profession's top accolade and this year almost 700 entries were submitted.

Rachel believed existing practice towards sexual health and intimacy failed to recognise patients were sexual beings who should not have to give up healthy sexual expression while in hospital, saying it could make forming new relationships more difficult once they leave.

Now patients at the medium secure unit can attend weekly sessions on love, sex and intimacy and are offered a sexual expression care plan.

"I feel honoured the work has been recognised and hope this nomination will see the work shared, not only across the unit, but across the trust and beyond" said Rachel.

Rachel will find out if she has won tomorrow night at the awards ceremony in central London.