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Ward Sister named Wales Nurse of the Year 2015

20 Nov 2015

Claire Harris was named the overall winner at the RCN in Wales Nurse of the Year Awards 2015.

Claire Harris was named Wales Nurse of the Year 2015 at last night’s Fourth Annual RCN in Wales Nurse of the Year Awards, held at City Hall, Cardiff. 

Claire, a Ward Sister at Aneurin Bevan University Health Board, emerged as the overall winner of the night, with competition from 12 other category winners. Steve Ham, Chief Executive at Velindre NHS Trust (the sponsors of the award this year), presented the award to Claire alongside RCN President Cecilia Anim, RCN Wales Board Chair Gaynor Jones and Director of RCN Wales, Tina Donnelly. Claire was recognised for her innovative and pioneering work in stroke services. 

Ward sister Claire has been instrumental in delivering the Stroke Design Programme within her health board.  This programme aimed to create a single site stroke service and has seen the introduction of six hyper acute stroke beds at Royal Gwent Hospital. Claire has used hard work, professionalism and commitment in achieving this with the existing resources available. As a result the Acute Stroke Unit (ASU) has seen an increase in discharge rates and a reduction in the average length of stay for patients. This has had a direct effect on patients who have suffered a stroke, enabling them to be transferred to ASU sooner meaning their patient journey to recovery could begin earlier. To aid this Claire has also created strong links with ward sisters in the community setting, allowing a swift and seamless flow to community hospitals, clearly further enhancing patient experiences. 

Claire strives for excellence in her work and has created relationships with other ASUs around the UK in order to learn from best practice. She has raised staff perception of the importance of communication with patients and relatives, which has been achieved through carer’s clinics and other proactive communication tools. She is an exceptional individual who puts patients and their families at the centre of care.  

Commenting on Claire’s achievement, Tina Donnelly, Director, RCN Wales, said: “The care of stroke patients is a priority within Welsh health care. With an ageing population that have increasingly specialist needs, we require outstanding clinical practitioners to be in place to ensure the highest standards of care for this vulnerable group. Claire Harris is a prime example of the right nursing care for the right patients. She is dedicated to ensuring high levels of care for stroke patients and the increase in discharge rates and reduction in length of stay of patients have proven this.  She is an admirable individual and a worthy winner of the Wales Nurse of the Year Award 2015. I would like to extend my congratulations not just to Claire but to all the award winners and shortlisted nominees.”

Claire Harris, RCN in Wales Nurse of the Year 2015 said: “I’m really overwhelmed by winning this award. To win the Chief Nursing Officer’s Award and the Wales Nurse of the Year award doesn’t seem quite real. Nursing is something that I do every day and something that I love.  It doesn’t feel like a job. I wouldn’t be where I am without the help and support of all the nurses that I’ve worked with. It really is a team effort.”

Secretary of State for Wales Stephen Crabb MP said: “In its 50 year history the Royal College of Nursing in Wales has earned incredible respect for its authenticity and its integrity. Its nursing workforce is steadfastly dedicated - making a real difference to the lives of thousands of people every day. 

“These awards celebrate the outstanding work they do, often in extremely difficult situations. They are the beating heart of any hospital, any clinic, any surgery. They have my utmost admiration and it was an absolute privilege to be a part of this important ceremony.”

The evening was a great success, with a total of 16 categories, including a Lifetime Achievement Award and the Wales Nurse of the Year Award, commending a range of nursing practice in Wales. 

Attendees included Dr Peter Beck, Her Majesty’s Lord Lieutenant, the Right Honourable the Lord Mayor of Cardiff, Councillor David Walker Minister for Health & Social Services Mark Drakeford AM, Assembly Members and health care dignitaries. The ceremony was hosted by television and radio presenters Jason Mohammad and Mariclare Carey-Jones.


Wales Nurse of the Year Award

Sponsored by Velindre NHS Trust
 

Winner

Claire Harris 

Ward Sister 

Aneurin Bevan University Health Board 


Lifetime Achievement Award

Sponsored by Cwm Taf University Health Board
 

Winner 

Brenda Scourfield 

School Health Nurse 

Hywel Dda University Health Board



Humanitarian Nursing Award

Sponsored by University of South Wales
 

Winner

Roisin O’Hare

Asylum Seeker Nurse

Aneurin Bevan University Health Board 


Runner-up

Emily Brace 

Specialist Midwife 

Cardiff and Vale University Health Board


Nursing Student Award

Sponsored by NHS Wales Shared Services Partnership 


Winner 

Steffan Robbins

Student Nurse 

Bangor University


Runner-up

Jade Silver

Student Nurse

University of South Wales 


Health Care Support Worker Award

Sponsored by The Open University Wales
 

Winner

Justine Jamieson

Health Care Support Worker 

Aneurin Bevan University Health Board


Runner-up

Karen Williams 

Health Care Assistant 

Glan-yr-Afon Nursing Home


Clinical Nurse Specialist Award

Sponsored by Cardiff and Vale University Health Board
 

Winner

Emily Carne 

Lead Clinical Nurse Specialist Immunology and Allergy Service 

Cardiff and Vale University Health Board 


Runner-up

Richard Jones  

Advanced Nurse Practitioner 

Hywel Dda University Health Board



Mental Health and Learning Disabilities Award

Sponsored by Aneurin Bevan University Health Board 


Winner

Tracey Lloyd 

Macmillan Specialist Nurse 

Hywel Dda University Health Board


Runner-up

Lisa Kinsella  

Community Psychiatric Nurse

Hywel Dda University Health Board


Children and Midwifery Award

Sponsored by Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board


Winners

Helen Erasmus, Lead Midwife Public Health 

Liz Smith, Midwifery Borough Manager

Aneurin Bevan University Health Board


Runner-up

Marita Fernandez

Sister/Unit Manager 

Cwm Taf University Health Board


Chief Nursing Officer for Wales Award

Sponsored by Chief Nursing Officer for Wales, Welsh Government


Winner

Claire Harris

Ward Sister 

Aneurin Bevan University Health Board


Runners-up

Dr Carolyn Middleton, Senior Nurse

Dr Nicola Ryley, Assistant Director of Nursing

Aneurin Bevan University Health Board 


Registered Nurse (Adult) Award 

Sponsored by Cardiff and Vale University Health Board 


Winner

Debbie Davies 

Deputy Ward Sister 

Cardiff and Vale University Health Board


Runner-up

Lisa Marshall 

Ward Sister 

Hywel Dda University Health Board 


Innovation in Nursing Award

Sponsored by Frontier Medical Group
 

Winner

Sarah Ann Beuschel

Transfusion Practitioner

Aneurin Bevan University Health Board 


Runner-up

Bethan Lewis

Lead Nurse for Young Persons Tier 1 Service

Cwm Taf University Health Board 


Community Nursing Award

Sponsored by Hywel Dda Health Board 


Winner 

Ann Bamsey and Susan Grounds

Flying Start Health Visitors

Powys teaching Health Board


Runner-up

Richard Desir

Divisional Nurse 

Aneurin Bevan University Health Board


Older People’s Commissioner for Wales Award

Sponsored by the Older People’s Commissioner for Wales 


Winner

Arleen Testa

Nurse Manager

Glan yr Afon Nursing Home


Runner-up

Christopher Sayer

Mental Capacity Act Lead

Hywel Dda University Health Board 


Nurse Education Award

Sponsored by Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board
 

Winner

Dr Malcolm Godwin

Deputy Head (Teaching and Learning - Quality & Curriculum Delivery)

Bangor University 


Runner-up

Alison Kirton

Practice Educator for Scheduled Care

Aneurin Bevan University Health Board 


Research in Nursing Award 

Sponsored by Cardiff University
 

Winner

Dr Ben Hannigan

Reader in Mental Health Nursing

Cardiff University 


Runner-up

Professor Christopher Burton

Deputy Head of School 

Bangor University 


Improving Individual and Population Health Award

Sponsored by Public Health Board
 

Winner 

Kath Goode

Nurse Practitioner

Aneurin Bevan University Health Board 


Runner-up

Anne Thomas

Staff Nurse 

Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board