Jacqui Binding, rheumatology nurse specialist at Gateshead Health NHS Foundation Trust, has won the regional arthritis care award for the North of England.
Ms Binding runs a range of services for patients with inflammatory arthritis at the trusts' Queen Elizabeth Hospital, as well as organising events through the local branch of the charity Arthritis Care.
'Patients with chronic arthritis often feel very isolated and their illness can mean they don't get out and enjoy life as much as they could,' said Ms Binding. 'The Arthritis Care group in Gateshead is a real lifeline to them. Patients can meet others in the same situation as themselves and can interact socially.
'Many of my patients at the hospital have developed a far higher quality of life as a result of joining the group,' she added. 'That's why I'm always very enthusiastic about it.'