Three dedicated nurses have been awarded a prestigious national award for their incredible service to the NHS.
On the eve of International Nurses’ Day, the Chief Nursing Officer for England Ruth May made a ‘surprise’ appearance on a virtual meeting to present the three colleagues at Salford Royal with her coveted Chief Nursing Officer Silver Award.
On the call Ruth gave a moving tribute to the commitment of all NHS staff during the pandemic.
She said: “It has been challenging for us all professionally and personally and we have seen our nurses, midwives and care workers’ contribution to population health come to the fore.
“People can now really understand what we nurses do; the breadth and depth of the skills needed to be a nurse or midwife. Today I want to personally say a big thank you for all you do.”
The three nurses who were presented with the Chief Nursing Officer Silver Award were Julie Wallace, Victoria O’Loughlin and Beverley Brooks-Nwokeochar.
Victoria is Assistant Director of Nursing Research and Innovation at the Northern Care Alliance (which brings together Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust and Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust). Ruth said the past 15 months has seen a big focus on the need for research in the NHS.
She said: “Victoria has constantly driven standards to improve the number of people involved in research. She has led the team to recruit more than 3,000 patients on to more than 400 studies across four hospitals.
“Research is important all the time but in these times in particular, we have seen research come to the fore and the speed we have needed to see outcomes has been so important.
“What Victoria has done is play her part not only locally but nationally in our response to COVID. Thank you.”
Julie, a sister in the Emergency Department at Salford Royal, has been a nurse for more than 35 years. Her career has taken her all over the world including New York and Sierra Leone during the Ebola crisis.
In presenting Julie with her award, Ruth added: “Who would have thought that the experiences you gained have been used to their full advantage here during the pandemic? You didn’t hesitate when the opportunity came to work in the Nightingale Hospital and your colleagues say you are one of a kind.”
Beverley Brooks-Nwokeochar, Nurse Practitioner at The Maples nursing home in Salford, was praised for always going above and beyond and for her innovation and enthusiasm in maintaining patient safety and for also supporting her colleagues.
Ruth added: “Thank you for what you have done day in and day out but particularly over the past 15 months to not only keep your patients safe but to support your teams.”
Libby McManus, Chief Nursing Officer at the NCA, thanked Ruth for making the time to present the awards and said we must all celebrate the nursing profession and all that has been achieved.
She added: “While it’s time to celebrate what the nursing profession has done over the past 15 months, some of what we have learnt is that we do it better together as multi professional teams. We have worked together as brilliant teams, working across boundaries and what we have achieved together is significant.
“Now is a time for reflecting, recognising and regenerating.”