Cumbria Crack

Royal recognition for three leading nurses

L-R: Sue Smith, Zoe Butler and Lauren Mawson

[T]hree leading lights in the Cumbrian nursing world have been recognised with a royal invitation for people engaged in front line nursing.

Sue Smith, Executive Chief Nurse, University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust (UHMBT); Lauren Mawson, Principal Lecturer from the University of Cumbria; and newly-registered nurse Zoe Butler, have been invited to a reception with HRH Prince of Wales at Buckingham Palace on 14 March 2018 to celebrate the great work of front line nurses.

Sue Smith has been recognised as one of the driving forces behind the transformation of quality, safety and care at the Trust covering South Cumbria and North Lancashire hospitals. The Trust received an improved overall rating of ‘Good’ with ‘Outstanding’ for care from the Care Quality Commission in 2017 after previously being rated as ‘Inadequate’ just three years earlier. The new rating followed significant changes to the culture, leadership and communication within the organisation, with Sue being an instrumental part of the leadership team that continues to strive for improvement.

Sue said: “This is a huge honour bestowed on us as representatives of the many nurses across the country engaged in excellent front line nursing. It is a huge privilege to be chosen to represent my colleagues, and I feel very lucky to have been put forward for this opportunity.”

Using her knowledge and skills to improve nursing internationally as well as locally, Sue is one of the founding members and trustees of the charity ‘Transform Healthcare Cambodia’ which aims to improve health services and outcomes for people in the Battambang Province of the country. So far, the project has helped to train health care workers, provide education to local people on the prevention of diseases and hygiene, and improve the provision of equipment and financial support for health and care services.

Lauren Mawson, Principal Lecturer of Professional Practice at the University of Cumbria, has been a nurse educator for over 25 years and has worked in partnership with UHMBT to help grow the local workforce, specifically developing an innovative nurse apprenticeship degree programme to train future generations of nurses at the university.

Lauren said: “It was a big surprise to receive the invitation and I’m so pleased that I am going to Buckingham Palace to celebrate the university’s contribution in supporting the apprenticeship development. It is so important that nurses get recognised for their work and it is an honour to be able to celebrate alongside them.”

Zoe Butler is a newly registered nurse working for UHMBT at the Royal Lancaster Infirmary. She studied at the University of Cumbria and whilst there, worked with young people to write and film a series of monologues as part of ‘The Hot Potato’ project aimed at raising awareness of mental health. The video is in use in schools across Cumbria and already has seen an increase in young people accessing primary mental health care in the local area. Zoe won the Andrew Parker Student Nurse of the year award for her project.

Zoe said: “It was a total shock when I received the invitation. I’ve only been a newly-registered nurse for six months so it is a great honour to be included in this celebration.”

Zoe’s ‘Hot Potato’ films have been so successful that she is now developing it further by inviting healthcare professionals to hear how young people with mental health issues want to be treated to help inform their approach. She is also writing for the Nursing Standard sharing her experience of graduating from a student to a qualified nurse and helping others to deal with the challenging transition.

27 nurse degree apprentices started the four-year programme on 19 February. They will be spending three weeks at university before starting their clinical practice placement hubs in the Royal Lancaster Infirmary, Westmorland General Hospital and Furness General Hospital.

Sue, Lauren and Zoe will join healthcare professionals from across the UK at Buckingham Palace on 14 March 2018 to celebrate the work of front line nurses.

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