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Children’s nurses to receive awards from Prince Harry

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Three nurses and a hospice team are among the health professionals set to be recognised next week for their work caring for seriously ill children, young people and their families.

Prince Harry and a host of celebrities will recognise nurses, carers and others who have “gone the extra mile” to make a difference to the lives of sick children at the 2014 WellChild Awards.

“All the panel members are moved by… the stories of selfless care and support and the dedication of the doctors, nurses, teachers, brothers and sisters”

Linda Partridge

Also honoured at the ceremony will be children and young people who have shown exceptional courage in the face of serious illnesses and complex conditions.

This year’s winners include Jo Collins, a matron at East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust, Bernadette O’Gorman, a paediatric community matron at Whittington Health, and David Widdas, a consultant nurse at South Warwickshire NHS Foundation Trust.

Meanwhile, the Northern Ireland Children’s Hospice Team won the WellChild Best Team Award.

The annual awards ceremony, run by the national charity for sick children, is due to be held on 22 September at the Hilton in Park Lane.

The ceremony will be attended by many of WellChild’s supporters, including its patron Prince Harry, Vernon Kay and Pixie Lott.

The award winners are chosen from thousands of nominations by a judging panel consisting of leading health professionals and some of the sick children themselves.

Linda Partridge, WellChild’s director of programmes, said: “It is a tremendous challenge selecting winners from the many, many truly amazing nominations we receive from across the UK.

“All the panel members are moved by the bravery of the children, the stories of selfless care and support and the dedication of the doctors, nurses, teachers, brothers and sisters who make a great difference to the lives of children and young people with seriously illnesses or complex care needs,” she said.

The charity’s network of WellChild Children’s Nurses provide practical and emotional support to children with serious or complex care needs and their families, enabling them to be cared for at home wherever possible.

At last year’s ceremony, Margaret Clapson, lead clinical nurse for children and young people with HIV at Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children Foundation Trust, received the 2013 WellChild Nurse Award.


Nurse winners at the WellChild Awards 2014


Team Award sponsored by Healthcare at Home

Northern Ireland Children’s Hospice

This exceptional team has responded to the needs of long-term ventilated children and their families working tirelessly to provide a high quality alternative option for those families experiencing protracted discharge from hospital.  In particular their ‘Step-Down’ care initiative has introduced a more home-like hospice environment for some children in order to give them a gentle transition back home. It is hoped the model will offer guidance to other hospice organisations who are attempting to develop this type of care in the future.


Above and Beyond Award sponsored by Healthcare at Home

Bernadette O’Gorman

Berni is the Community Matron in charge of Life Force Children’s Palliative Care Service in London. She has been with the Life Force team since it began, supporting families in the community with children who are at the end of their life or have life-limiting conditions. She has grown and developed the service from just a couple of members of staff. Nominator, WellChild Nurse Diane Miles said: “Berni shows compassionate care to the families.  She will always go the extra mile to assist and support families. As team leader she is approachable supportive, caring and leads by example.”


Impact in Child Health Award sponsored by Venture Photography

David Widdas

David is a Consultant Nurse for Children with Complex Health Care Needs in South Warwickshire. He was nominated for being a great communicator and advocate for children and families. He has also given much time to developing clinical documents and led strategy for children’s health charities which has had a national impact to help children with complex needs. His PhD at Coventry University is important as it explores children with their ventilation needs and impact on their families.  David was part of the team who worked with Professor Jane Coad to develop an online Masters programme for Children’s Complex and Palliative Care in Coventry University. This is the first programme of its kind in the UK.


Nurse Award sponsored by Martin & Co

Jo Collins

Jo is Senior Nurse for the Children’s Continuing Care Team in East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust. Over 12 years she has established an excellent service, always going the extra mile so that children with complex health needs are cared for safely at home. Jacinta Dunlea, Nursing Services Manager said: “Jo shows real compassion as a true advocate for the children, young people and families she supports and the nursing team she leads.”

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