Nurses from across the UK donned black ties and evening dress last week in order to celebrate their own and their colleagues’ achievements at the Nursing Times Awards in London, writes Victoria Thompson
The awards celebrated inspirational nursing, innovative practice and outstanding contributions to care. It was a fantastic opportunity to recognise the extraordinary work done by nurses across the UK over the past year. The annual event, held this year at the Hilton Hotel in Park Lane, was the biggest to date, with over 600 nurses attending and a record number of entries.
The awards were hosted by Nursing Times editor Rachel Downey (pictured bottom right), who praised the standard of this year’s entrants but sounded a warning note that their skills and dedication should not be wasted.
‘I urge every nurse manager in the room – and Secretary of State for Health, Alan Johnson – to do all in their power to ensure that nurses are given the support and security to improve care for their patients and clients,’ she said.
Mr Johnson (pictured above) called the event the ‘Oscars of Nursing’. He said it was ‘a great opportunity to bring people together and celebrate the hard work being done nationwide’. He praised the high standard of nursing in the UK and paid tribute to all staff. ‘We want an NHS that is worthy of the people in it,’ he said. ‘We want an NHS that is clinically led and locally driven.’
This year saw the inclusion of three new categories Promoting Social Inclusion, the Chief Nursing Officer’s award and the Person of the Year award.
Sue Greenwood, a school nurse from Cornwall and Isles of Scilly PCT, won the Person of the Year award, which was voted on by users of nursingtimes.net. Nicky Hepden of Berkshire West PCT won the CNO award for setting up a clinic for clients who have difficulty accessing mainstream healthcare.
Ms Hepden said ‘We’ve had a fantastic time and are thrilled that the work we are doing has been recognised.’Tim Bennett (pictured) from the British Nursing Association. Unlike many agency nurses, Tim works on a long-term basis with two clients in their own homes. Both are paralysed and have extremely complex needs and Tim takes a leading role in coordinating their care and ensuring that other professionals understand their needs.
He demonstrates a great deal of flexibility in scheduling his own shifts to ensure his clients always have 24-hour cover and is highly valued by them and their families. Tim has helped develop a communication system for a client who is unable to speak and has trained other professionals to use it. Colleagues and clients alike are full of praise for his commitment, patience and caring nature as well as his excellent nursing skills.
Tim’s agency praised his reliability, saying he had never cancelled a shift due to illness. ‘If he has been unwell he has recovered the shift himself by asking one of the other members of his team, which they always do as he will also help them out with last-minute cover,’ branch manager, Grant Howell, said. ‘Tim is an asset to our branch, the BNA in general and to any service user that he nurses for.’
And the winners are…
CHIEF NURSING OFFICER’S AWARD
Nicky Hepden, Berkshire West PCT
PERSON OF THE YEAR
Sue Greenwood, Cornwall and Isles of Scilly PCT
AGENCY NURSE OF THE YEAR
Tim Bennett, British Nursing Association
CANCER NURSE LEADER OF THE YEAR
Liz Darlison, University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust
Sarah Pickles, Liz Webster, Lisa Allinson and Stephanie Harrison, Leeds Metropolitan University
June Rogers, Liverpool PCT
Jan Price and Delyth Davies, Swansea NHS Trust
INNOVATION IN YOUR SPECIALTY
Ram Gulrajani, West Essex PCT
Jinny Robinson, East Kent Hospitals NHS Trust
Rami Jumnoodoo, Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust
PUBLIC HEALtH NURSING: PROMOTING SOCIAL INCLUSION
Carol Trill, Northamptonshire Healthcare NHS Trust
Jeanette Ashcroft, Margaret Byrne, Pat McCormack and Val Dawber, Salford PCT
TEAM OF THE YEAR
Faye Lilley, Sam Smith and Lorraine Case, Christie Hospital NHS Foundation Trust