A mental health nurse who has encouraged men to open up about their feelings and a leading equality campaigner are among a fleet of inspirational nursing and midwifery professionals feted in the Queen’s birthday honours list for their outstanding contribution to their profession.
Those featured in the 2018 list include leaders, academics and frontline staff from all sectors of nursing including mental health, children’s, learning disability, district nursing and nursing research.
“As we approach the NHS’s 70th birthday, it is great to see so many NHS staff honoured for the fantastic work they do”
Among those named a Commander of the Order of the British Empire – one of the highest honours – was executive director of nursing at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust Professor Janice Sigsworth, who is chair of the influential Shelford Chief Nurses group.
A passionate advocate of the need to bring education, research and practice together, she has been playing a key role in shaping nursing and midwifery training as clinical strategic advisor for the Nursing and Midwifery Council’s review pre-registration standards.
Internationally renowned midwife Professor Billie Hunter, professor of midwifery at Cardiff University and fellow of the Royal College of Midwives, was recognised for her contribution to the profession with a CBE.
Five nurses and midwives were awarded an OBE, including Professor Laura Serrant, who is a professor of nursing at Sheffield Hallam University and a champion for equality and diversity in nursing and the NHS as a whole.
Ms Serrant, who chairs the Chief Nursing Officer for England’s BME strategic advisory group and advises the government on BME issues, received the honour for services to health policy.
Others to received the OBE accolade were Allison Ramsay, until recently lead nurse for learning disabilities at NHS Forth Valley, Veronica Donovan, consultant midwife for foetal medicine at Birmingham Women’s and Children’s Foundation Trust, and Kimberly McCutcheon, former commanding officer of volunteer nursing organisation First Aid Nursing Yeomanry – the Princess Royal’s Volunteer Corps – which provides vital nursing support in emergency situations.
Kathryn Halford, chief nurse at Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust, was also recognised with an OBE for her services to nursing during a 37-year career that has seen her care for some of the first people to contract HIV and AIDS in the 1980s and the victims of the 7/7 terrorist attacks on London.
Ms Halford, who admitted she had been inspired to join the profession by watching the television series Angels, said one of things she was most proud of was helping develop the next generation of nurses and nursing leaders.
“I’m proud of how I’ve been able to help improve the career opportunities of nurses, midwives and healthcare assistants by embracing new ideas and being flexible about how we support people,” she said.
“Providing the opportunity for people to start their career as apprentices, moving into nursing associate roles and ultimately being able to train as a registered nurse or midwife, introducing support for nurses such as our ‘senior intern’ programme – all of this has enabled people to join a profession I am proud to be part of,” she added.
Trust chief executive Matthew Hopkins said Ms Halford had made an “enormous contribution” to the organisation and the NHS as a whole and was “never afraid to roll up her sleeves and lead from the front”.
In one – now infamous incident – she dismantled a commode on one of her very first ward rounds at the trust because she was not satisfied with how clean it was.
“I can only guess at how many thousands of lives that Kathryn must have touched either directly or indirectly over the years,” said Mr Hopkins.
“I knew when I first met her that she was a person totally dedicated to caring for patients, and absolutely passionate about nursing in all its forms.”
Among nurses to be awarded an MBE was Alexandra Cotton a mental health nurse on a street triage team at Coventry and Warwickshire Partnership NHS Trust.
Ms Cotton, who was given the honour for her services to mental health, is the founder of the “It Takes Ball to Talk” campaign, which encourages men to open up about their feelings by targeting sporting events.
Meanwhile Katharine Bird, advanced nurse practitioner at Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust, was awarded an MBE for her work with vulnerable young women.
Having started her career at the trust 15 years ago as a student nurse she has worked in a number of roles including as a staff nurse and deputy ward manager in eating disorders, a community psychiatric nurse in the mother and baby unit and a ward manager in a young people’s acute ward.
Most recently she has been working to support adults and teenagers with complex mental illness in the trust’s secure care facilities.
She said the honour was “totally unexpected” and paid tribute to the hard work of colleagues.
“Every day I observe staff giving 110 percent to ensure that our young people and their families receive the support that they need,” she said.
“I dedicate this award to everyone in our team and to the young people that we care for. Seeing the young people make progress within their recovery is the reward in itself.”
Trust chief executive John Short said Ms Bird “embodies everything that is best in nursing”.
“She is a strong, compassionate and effective leader who has created a culture where staff, service users and carers are truly involved, change is championed and people are encouraged to speak out and learn,” he said.
“I am particularly pleased that this honour goes to a colleague who works at the frontline of our services day-in day-out, providing the best quality care and inspiring others.”
Nurses from all four UK nations featured in the honours list including Mairi Chrystal, head of the stroke nurse and therapist service at Chest Heart and Stroke Scotland who received an MBE and Bernadette Michaelides who was awarded an MBE for services to community nursing in Londonderry, Northern Ireland.
Gaynor Jones, senior staff nurse at Prince Charles Hospital, Merthyr Tydfil and chair of the, Royal College of Nursing Welsh Board was awarded an MBE for services to the nursing profession in Wales.
As well as nurses and midwives working in NHS services, the list recognised the work of those in the voluntary and independent sector.
Among those awarded an MBE for services to nursing was Alison Hopkins, chief executive of social enterprise Accelerate Community Interest Company, which specialise in wound and lymphoedema care.
Overall, one in eight or 12% of the Queen’s Birthday Honours were awarded this year for contributions to health, with more than 60 awards going to NHS staff, as the service gets ready to celebrate 70 years since it was founded next month.
Chair of NHS England Sir Malcolm Grant said this was a fitting tribute to the hard work of health service employees as the institution prepared to celebrate its 70th birthday.
“As we approach the NHS’s 70th birthday, it is great to see the importance of health recognised so strongly in these awards and so many NHS staff honoured for the fantastic work they do.”
List of nurses in the Queen’s Birthday Honours
Commanders of the Order of the British Empire (CBE)
- Yvonne Veronica Coghill, OBE, director, Workforce Race Equality Standard Implementation, NHS England. For services to race equality in the NHS.
- Professor Jill (Billie) Hunter, professor of midwifery, Cardiff University. For services to midwifery and midwifery education in the UK and Europe.
- Professor Janice Debra Sigsworth, executive director of nursing, Imperial College Healthcare Trust. For services to nursing.
Officers of the Order of the British Empire (OBE)
- Veronica Donovan, Consultant midwife for foetal medicine, Birmingham Women’s and Children’s NHS Foundation Trust. For services to midwifery.
- Kathryn Halford, Chief Nurse, Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals Trust. For services to nursing.
- Kimberly McCutcheon, lately commanding officer, First Aid Nursing Yeomanry. For services to the First Aid Nursing Yeomanry and emergency response in London.
- Allison Ramsay, Lately lead nurse, learning disabilities, NHS Forth Valley. For services to learning disability nursing.
- Professor Laura Serrant, Professor of nursing, Sheffield Hallam University. For services to health policy.
Members of the Order of the British Empire (MBE)
- Katharine Bird, advanced nurse practitioner, Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health Foundation Trust. For services to vulnerable teenagers.
- Sarah Charters, consultant nurse, University Hospital Southampton Foundation Trust. For services to vulnerable adults.
- Mairi Chrystal, head of the stroke nurse and therapist service, Chest Heart and Stroke Scotland. For services to stroke patients in Scotland.
- Janice Clarke, for services to health and social care and the community in Northern Ireland.
- Alexandra Cotton, mental health nurse, street triage team, Coventry and Warwickshire Partnership Trust. For services to mental health.
- Colette Ferguson, director of nursing, midwifery and allied health professions, NHS Education for Scotland. For services to health education and training
- Sarah Haughey, lately executive director, nursing and quality, Dorset Healthcare University Foundation Trust. For services to nursing.
- Alison Hopkins, chief executive, Accelerate Community Interest Company. For services to nursing.
- Gaynor Jones, senior staff nurse, Prince Charles Hospital, Merthyr Tydfil and chair, Royal College of Nursing Welsh Board. For services to the nursing profession in Wales.
- Staff Sergeant Kenneth Johnston, Queen Alexandra’s Royal Army Nursing Corps
- Professor Sally Kendall, professor, community nursing and public health, University of Kent. For services to nursing and research.
- Helen Laverty, professional lead for learning disability nursing, University of Nottingham. For services to nursing especially people and families with learning disabilities.
- Bernadette Michaelides, for services to community nursing.
- Anne-Maria Newham, director, nursing, allied health professionals and quality, Lincolnshire Partnership Foundation Trust. For services to nursing.
- Gillian Robinson, lately consultant nurse for acquired brain injuries, Central Manchester University Hospitals Foundation Trust. For services to children’s nursing.
- Mahesh Seewoodhary, senior lecturer, adult nursing, University of West London. For services to opthalmology nurse training and sickle cell awareness.
- Moya Sutton, director, education and partnerships, Alder Hey Children’s Foundation Trust. For services to nursing.
Medallist of the Order of the British Empire (BEM)
- Susan Lewis, paediatric epilepsy specialist nurse, County Durham and Darlington Foundation Trust. For services to nursing.
- Nicola Parry, associate director of nursing and head of midwifery, Blackpool Teaching Hospitals Foundation Trust. For services to midwifery.
- Alison Pugh, clinical nurse manager, Royal Gwent Hospital. For services to haematology and cancer care.
- Agimol Pradeep, volunteer nurse, Manchester University Foundation Trust. For services to organ donation.
- Mary Richardson, district nursing sister, County Durham and Darlington Foundation Trust. For services to patient care.
- Debra Smith, Macmillan Cancer Information and Support Centre, Manchester University Foundation Trust, Wythenshawe Hospital. For services to nursing.
- Marie Louise Tait, healthcare assistant, Coventry and Warwickshire Partnership NHS Trust. For services to older and mentally ill patients.
Royal Red Cross
- Major Karen, Jamieson, Queen Alexandra’s Royal Army Nursing Corps