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RCN Nursing Awards: winners announced

Julie Roye, an inspirational nurse commended for transforming care in GP surgeries, has been named RCN Nurse of the Year 2023. 

Julie Roye

Queen's Nurse Julie, (pictured above) received her award for demonstrating exceptional leadership and drive to reduce health inequalities by increasing smear test uptake in a diverse community.

Julie, who is Head of Nursing for Primary Care at the East London NHS Foundation Trust, won praise for her inclusive and comprehensive approach. In 9 months at Cauldwell Medical Centre in Bedford, cervical smear test uptake by 25 to 64-year-olds increased from 52% to 80%.

Julie said she was “delighted and humbled” to win the award.

She added: “I’m grateful for my fantastic team to have this project recognised nationally. They believed in me when I come up with ideas for improvement. This shows a deprived borough can achieve the same health care as privileged areas with the right leadership and by accepting change.”

RCN Chief Nurse Professor Nicola Ranger said Julie deserves the accolade: “Julie is a passionate nurse and an incredible role model. Her leadership to improve cervical screening uptake in a diverse patient population is exceptional. Her drive to address health inequalities is outstanding. And Julie is ensuring this work can benefit other communities too.”

Julie added: “Bedford is one of the most deprived areas in our integrated care board. It's really important to bring up standards for this community."

The Nurse of the Year is chosen from the 16 category winners. Julie won the leadership category in the awards before being named RCN Nurse of the Year 2023.

Other RCN Nursing Awards 2023 category winners include nursing student Leanne Howlett, from Coventry University, for her work supporting young people discharged from mental health services.

The Nursing Support Worker Award was presented to Christian Harris and Kirsten Jenkins from Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board, for ensuring all staff at their children and adolescent mental health inpatient unit received prevention and management of violence and aggression training.