Marathon record-breaker among latest staff honoured by CNO

Dr May has given out several awards in recent weeks as part of a scheme she set up when becoming CNO at the start of this year to honour the achievements of nurses and midwives across the country.

“It’s an honour to be able to acknowledge all that they do”

Ruth May 

The silver badge celebrates those who go beyond the expectations of their role to support patients and the gold recognises the lifetime achievements of remarkable staff.

Among those honoured was Jessica Anderson, who hit headlines around the world earlier this year after she was denied a world record for the fastest marathon in a nursing uniform because she was wearing scrubs rather than a dress.

The decision by the Guinness World Records was eventually reversed after Ms Anderson, senior sister at the acute assessment unit at the Royal London Hospital, spoke out and sparked a social media campaign supported by the hashtag #whatnurseswear.

Dr May gave Ms Anderson a CNO silver award for challenging the public perception of modern nursing.

When giving her the badge, Dr May told Ms Anderson: “Part of what you did was leave a legacy that the nursing uniform perception has to change, and it’s something that really connected with me. Thank you for your nursing leadership and for what you did for our profession.”

pamela campbell wins national lifetime achievement award

Pamela Campbell wins national lifetime achievement award

Pamela Campbell with Matt Hancock, secretary of state, and Simon Stevens, NHS England chief executive, receiving her parliamentary lifetime achievement award

Pamela Campbell, a nurse consultant for homelessness and health inequalities at Solent NHS Trust, received a CNO gold award.

It came in the same month that Ms Campbell picked up the lifetime achievement gong at the prestigious NHS Parliamentary Awards.

Qualifying as a registered nurse in 1979, Ms Campbell has played an instrumental role in the homeless healthcare team at the trust originally set up in 1992 and has also been crucial in the development of key initiatives such as the “alcohol day detoxification project” and the “breathing space project”, which allows homeless patients to be supported after they have been discharged.

She has also recently been involved in helping Syrian refugees who have been given asylum in the UK get access to the healthcare services they require.

“The events of the past few weeks have been quite extraordinary”

Pamela Campbell

The CNO gold award honours Ms Campbell’s long and distinguished career in nursing and celebrates the vital contributions she has made to help some of the most vulnerable in society.

Following her receipt of the CNO award, Ms Campbell said: “The events of the past few weeks have been quite extraordinary, culminating with a visit to the chief nurse in Portsmouth to be awarded the CNO gold award. 

“It was both humbling and undeserved to hear Ruth May, an admirable example of our profession, describe my work, in terms such as inspirational leadership, having a positive impact on people’s lives, and leaving a legacy here on the streets of Southampton.

“I have never viewed my 27 years of interaction with some of the most deprived but uplifting individuals I could hope to meet as such, but do feel a sense, in these days, of being able to pass on a working ethos of which I am proud.”

debbie brown cno

debbie brown cno

Debbie Brown receiving her CNO award from Dr Ruth May

Meanwhile, Debbie Brown, clinical director at Lewisham Clinical Commissioning Group, advanced nurse practitioner at Lee Health Centre, and clinical director for Lewisham Community Education Provider Network Training Hub, was presented a gold CNO award to mark her almost 40 years’ nursing experience.

On receiving the award, Ms Brown said it was an “honour” and added that it would not have been possible with the support of her colleagues.

“I have a passionate belief in the importance of primary care, and its role in helping our patients lead happier and healthier lives,” she said.

“By empowering our nursing staff, developing their self-confidence and fostering their potential, we immediately transfer the benefits to patient care.”

“I have a passionate belief in the importance of primary care”

Debbie Brown

Commending Ms Brown, Dr Charles Gostling, Lewisham CCG senior clinical director and a GP, said: “Her key achievement is becoming a true leader, inspiring those around her to achieve the best possible for our community. She is a true team player and is keen to bring out the best in more junior nurses, doctors and everyone contributing to healthcare in Lewisham.”

Caroline Alexander, chief nurse at Barts Health Trust, also received a CNO gold award for her significant career in nursing spanning more than 30 years.

During that time she has held high-profile roles including NHS England’s chief nurse for London. 

A visiting professor, Ms Alexander was awarded honorary doctorates from City, University of London in 2017 and Middlesex University in 2018.

Meanwhile, Dr May gave silver awards to two members of staff at University Hospital Lewisham. 

caroline alexander

caroline alexander

Caroline Alexander

Itohan Ibude received the badge for her innovative work as ward manager on the hospital’s Chestnut Ward.

She was nominated by Jackie Taylor from the patient experience team who said Ms Ibude had made a “real difference” on the ward including by bringing the breakfast service forward by half an hour after patients commented on the length of time between the evening meal and breakfast the following day.

Ms Ibude also worked with pharmacy teams to create a dispensary on the ward, leading to reduced delays in the time taken to receive medication on discharge.

“She said that it didn’t feel like work when you love the job so much”

Jackie Taylor 

Ms Taylor said: “Itohan is a real credit to the trust. I asked her why she’d been working Sundays, and she said that it didn’t feel like work when you love the job so much.”

The other award went to Sue Percival, fetal medicine midwife, who was nominated by head of midwifery Giuseppe Labriola for going above and beyond for patients.

Mr Labriola said Ms Percival was regularly given thank-you cards by families and added that staff “think the work she does is amazing”.

Reflecting on a story he was told by a couple who had been supported by Ms Percival, Mr Labriola said: “They knew that their baby was born with a syndrome that was incompatible with life, after the birth of their baby on the labour ward Sue encouraged them to take out their baby in a pram, in the nearby park, to get out of the bereavement room and experience a happy moment. The family now spend regularly time in this park as it reminds them of their child.”

itohan idube and sue percival

itohan idube and sue percival

Dr Ruth May hands Itohan Idube and Sue Percival their CNO awards

In addition, three nurses from University College London Hospital were given CNO silver awards for their work setting up a haematology podcast.

Ward sisters Sonia Thomas and Sarah Jordan and senior clinical practice facilitator Gavin Cooper launched Bolus: Education Delivered Stat in June 2019 to help educate nurses, junior doctors and allied healthcare professionals on issues such as CAR T-cell therapy, cancer clinical trials, lymphoma, acute myeloid leukaemia, thalassaemia, thrombotic thrombocytopenia purpura and cancer cell biology.

Dr May said the awards provided the “perfect opportunity” to recognise the contribution that nursing and midwifery staff made across the health and care system.

“It’s an honour to be able to acknowledge all that they do,” she added.