Nurses who have led the way in improving healthcare services for some of the most vulnerable patients and been an inspiration to nursing colleagues are among the outstanding healthcare professionals in the running for a prestigious national award.
The nursing profession features heavily in the national shortlist for the second NHS Parliamentary Awards, aimed at celebrating the achievements and unwavering efforts of hard-working health service employees and volunteers.
“A huge congratulations to all those who have been recognised for their outstanding contribution”
Dr Ruth May
The awards, which were created last year to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the NHS, feature 10 categories including a lifetime achievement award with contenders for all awards nominated by MPs.
Winners from each of the English regions have been announced and are now in with a chance of scooping a national award to be decided by an expert panel chaired by England’s chief nursing officer Ruth May.
This year all seven of the shortlisted candidates in the lifetime achievement category come from a nursing background.
They include nurse consultant Pamela Campbell from NHS Solent Trust, who has led the way in improving healthcare services for homeless people.
Having qualified as a nurse in 1979 she has devoted her career to working with some of the most vulnerable patients and recent work has included helping develop healthcare services for Syrian refugees granted asylum in the UK.
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Also up for a lifetime achievement award is Andy Styring, who started his career as a charge nurse and is now director of operations at Cheshire and Wirral Partnership Foundation Trust.
Over the past 40 years he has dedicated his life to empowering people with learning disabilities to live independent lives, ensuring they are at the heart of decision-making.
Mandie Sunderland 2017
Others recognised for their inspirational work over a lifetime include former matron and hospital manager Mary Robertson from South Petherton Community Hospital League of Friends in Somerset, who helped spearhead a local campaign to create a new hospital dedicated to stroke rehabilitation and community care when the old hospital was earmarked for closure.
Professor Mandie Sunderland, chief nurse at Nottingham University Hospitals Trust, also features in the shortlist for the lifetime achievement award alongside Jane Pettifer who began her NHS career as a nursing auxiliary in 1975 and now leads on continuing care at NHS Sutton Clinical Commissioning Group, and experienced heart surgery nurse Madeline Large who retired this year after a 55-year career in the NHS.
Finally, role model nurse Kathy Gibbs was until very recently the longest serving member of staff at the Princess Alexandra Hospital Trust having worked there for 53 years.
Ms Gibbs, who started work at the hospital as a cadet nurse aged 17 and qualified as a registered nurse in 1966, has played a central role in nurse education and quality improvement at the trust.
“It will be a tough task selecting our overall winners”
Dr Ruth May
According to awards organisers, nurses and nursing teams make up about 60% of the regional winners who will find out if they have won a national award at a ceremony later this year.
The shortlist features nurses from a wide range of fields and specialities including end of life care, dementia care, primary care, nutrition and safeguarding.
Regional winners in the Excellence in Healthcare category include a team of nurses from 2gether Foundation Trust in Gloucestershire who set up Well Woman clinics at an acute mental health hospital to encourage female inpatients to attend cervical screening.
Source: 2gether NHS Foundation Trust
Those shortlisted for the Care and Compassion award include the Arthur Rank Hospice Community Team, which provides palliative care and “hospice at home” services to people in Cambridgeshire including home visits by nurses.
Meanwhile, national finalists in the Wellbeing at Work Award include Lucy Eldon, primary care nurse co-ordinator for East and North Hertfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group, for her work in driving forward the professional and personal development of practice nurses.
Other awards are for Excellence in Mental Healthcare, Excellence in Primary Care, Excellence in Urgent and Emergency Care, the Future NHS Award for innovative use of technology, Health Equalities Award and Volunteer of the Year.
Source: NHS England
Ms May said it would be a difficult task to choose overall winners from such a strong shortlist.
“A huge congratulations to all those who have been recognised for their outstanding contribution to the NHS as well as making a genuine difference to the patients they care for,” she said.
“It will be a tough task selecting our overall winners - I look forward to hearing more about their fantastic achievements and celebrating with them all at the national award ceremony.”