A community liaison charge nurse at Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust has won an “outstanding achievement” award for the difference he has made to spinal cord patients across the South West.
The awards, given by the Spinal Injuries Association (SIA), recognise outstanding achievements in each of the 11 spinal treatment centres across the UK.
Spinal nurse rewarded for ‘care and dedication’
Damian Smith spent the last 20 years working in the Duke of Cornwall Spinal Treatment Centre, which he said he originally joined to expand his experience before looking at his nursing options.
Since then he is credited with being instrumental in reviewing its patient education programme, taking the lead on the Solve It project – which covers a range of practical situations that help inpatients – and working closely with the SIA to help its peer support workers.
He also has a voluntary role with the charity the Back Up Trust, which helps rebuild people’s lives. This additional work formed a key part of his nomination.
Mr Smith said: “I am really grateful to the SIA for this award and also colleagues and patients at Salisbury District Hospital who have supported my nomination.
“I initially stayed in the Salisbury Spinal Centre because I was passionate about this area of nursing and I still get an enormous sense of pride and self-worth from working here and the difference that we can all make to people with spinal cord injuries,” he said.
Lorna Wilkinson, the trust’s director of nursing, added: “We are very proud of Damian and his achievement and he fully deserves the recognition that he has received from the SIA for his outstanding contribution.”
The Duke of Cornwall Spinal Treatment Centre provides specialist care for patients paralysed by spinal cord injury across much of southern England, from Cornwall in the west to Sussex in the east.