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Praise for Teesside nurse after ‘very unusual and complex’ situation

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A nurse who helped with the complex arrangements for a patient to receive end of life care in her country of origin, having only qualified relatively recently, has been praised for her work by her trust.

She was among the high achieving nursing and midwifery staff honoured at the 16th annual Nightingale Awards for South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

“She was caring, patient, always approachable and remained a constant calming figure”

Clare Allinson

During a special ceremony at Teesside University, Beth Rookes was named overall winner of the Nightingales for her exemplary nursing care.

Beth, who also picked up the Staff Nurse Award, said: “I’m overwhelmed. It’s lovely to have the recognition. Although I don’t feel I did anything out of the ordinary – I just did my job.”

Clare Allinson, renal advanced nurse practitioner, nominated Beth after working together when reviewing a patient with a terminal kidney condition.

Ms Allinson said: “The situation was very unusual and complex. The patient, who spoke no English, had decided to stop treatment and return to her home country in Eastern Europe to die. Beth was heavily involved in this lady’s care and eventual discharge.

South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Beth Rookes with award

Beth Rookes with the Nightingale Award

“Beth was part of several lengthy multidisciplinary team meetings – where a group of professionals from a number of different clinical disciplines together make decisions regarding the recommended treatment of an individual patient,” she said.

She added: “Not only was Beth incredibly professional, she was caring, patient, always approachable and remained a constant calming figure. Her communication was excellent and, despite the language barrier, she was able to maintain communication and a therapeutic relationship.

“When the patient was ready to be discharged, Beth made sure the lady was comfortable and had the details of who to contact if she needed help,” noted Ms Allinson.

“Beth ensured all the appropriate medications had been appropriately reviewed and were ready so they could be transported with the patient – and importantly she had enough for her long journey,” she said.

Ms Allinson highlighted that it was only after the patient was safely discharged that she found out Ms Rookes had only qualified in 2017.

She said: “Having found this out, I was even more impressed with what Beth did because any nurse could have struggled to cope with such a complex situation and discharge, but Beth did it brilliantly and didn’t lose sight of what the patient wanted.”

Nightingale Award Winners 2019

  • Nightingale Award – Beth Rookes
  • Staff Nurse Award – Beth Rookes
  • Paediatric Award – Pauline Singleton
  • Senior Award – Pauline Singleton
  • Friends of the Friarage Award – Elaine Gray
  • Student Nurse Award – Robert Smith
  • Sister Award – Laura Simons
  • Military Award – Sgt Lindsay Collinson
  • Mentor Award – Tracey Jones
  • Healthcare Assistant Award – Mark Bond
  • Midwifery Award – Paulina Rossi
  • Community Services Award – Pam Hatt
  • Exceptional Act of Kindness Award – Helen Fysh
  • Team Award – Lynn Murphy and the Short Stay Team
  • Learning Environment Award – Ward 7
  • Patients’ Award – Ward 14
  • Poster Prize – Julie Tuttle and the Care CNS Support Services Specialist Palliative
  • Lifetime Achievement Award – Debbie Christian
  • Outstanding Contribution to Patient Experience – Val Fothergill
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