Across the world, Florence Nightingale’s birthday is recognised as International Nurses’ Day and Trust staff took time to recognise and celebrate the excellent work nurses and midwives do day in, day out.
The Nurse of the Year awards ceremony was held at Epsom Hospital in partnership with the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) to honour international Nurses’ Day and highlight the sometimes unnoticed day-to-day efforts of nursing staff.
Carole Webster, Interim Chief Nurse, said: “I firmly believe, and I’m sure that most people would agree with me, that nursing is a profession to be extremely proud of. We are fortunate at the trust to work alongside some truly fantastic nurses, midwives and nursing support staff.
Mike Smith, an emergency nurse practitioner at Epsom Hospital and the trust’s RCN representative who helped organise the annual event, said he was proud of the day’s proceedings:
“This is the tenth year that the trust has organised a Nurses’ Day celebration, and the enthusiasm from our staff is continuing to grow. We had over 35 nominations this year, which says something about the positive appreciation that our staff have towards one another.”
The winner of the Nurse of the Year award was Lydia Baker; a midwife and team leader in St Helier’s maternity department who was nominated by three colleagues including consultant midwife Marion Louki who commended Lydia’s work:
“I have been particularly impressed by Lydia's commitment to caring for our women who have lost their baby. At such an emotional time in a family's life, Lydia provides practical support but with sensitivity, empathy and courage. Lydia has absolutely gone the extra mile, taking time to visit some patients at home, offering real compassion and continuity which will not have gone unnoticed.
Suzanne White, a maternity key worker who specialises in breast feeding, was awarded the Support Worker of the Year. Her nominator Sister Gerry Cotter said:
“Suzanne will always work towards achieving the trust values, by putting each patient first by her caring, respectful, and patient manner, and she always takes opportunities to improve and encourage excellence. Suzanne always does her best to encourage and support mothers with their feeding choices, giving them valuable advice and encouragement.”
The trust’s Friends and Family Award went to Lucille Higgins who works as a staff nurse in the assisted conception unit at St Helier. In the first three months of 2015, she received over sixty positive feedback comments from her patients in the national Friends and Family Test initiative.
There were several special guests also in attendance at the event, including guest speaker Bernell Bussue, Director for Royal College of Nursing (RCN) London, and Trust chief executive Daniel Elkeles.