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06.08.2020

Queen’s Nurse honours for Northern Devon Healthchare NHS Trust staff

Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust (NDHT) is thrilled that three community nurses from the Trust have been named Queen’s Nurses. A fourth Queen’s Nurse has also been honoured for her 21 years’ service.

The Queen’s Nurse title is awarded to community nurses who have demonstrated a high level of commitment to patient care and nursing practice. The three nurses from NDHT that have been awarded the title are Gina Rogers, Charlotte Emery and Anita Higgins. Between them they have over 60 years of nursing experience.

Gina Rogers is a clinical matron (community) and has been working as a nurse for 25 years and has worked across many areas of the NHS and private sector, including on acute wards, in the community and community hospitals and care homes.

She said: “The Queen’s nurse platform is an amazing way to network and link with other community nursing professionals and to help inspire and change practice for staff and patients.”

Charlotte Emery started working in the community of London’s East End in 1996 and qualified as a district nurse in 1998. She has worked in the community ever since in varying managerial and clinical roles and set up and led the community matron service when the role was first implemented back in 2005/6. Since moving to North Devon in 2013 she has worked as an advanced nurse practitioner for Devon doctors and as a community Matron in South Molton and Chulmleigh.

She said “The application to become a Queen’s nurse was quite challenging and as a clinician on the frontline of community care, I had to obtain references from patients and my manager as well as completing an extensive application form.

“It was well worth it as I feel privileged to have been awarded this prestigious title and is one of the highlights of my career to date. It will also mean that I will become a member of an exclusive body which continually acknowledges the quality of community nursing care as well as constantly striving to give a voice to community nursing nationally.”

Anita Higgins first started working in the community in the out-of-hours service in 2002 before moving to Barnstaple as a senior healthcare assistant.

After gaining her nursing diploma she worked on a surgical ward for two years before returning to the community as a community nurse.

She is currently working as community nurse team manager in South Molton and Chulmleigh.

She said: “Community nursing is changing so quickly and we are expecting our teams to do so much more with our patients at home and the teams embrace these changes so willingly. We work hard to keep our patients at home by working together with the social care and therapy teams and working closely with our GP practices and the hospice.

“I have the most amazing team here and feel I have learnt so much from them and they inspire me daily. I see them grow and develop and some have been promoted either within this team or moved on to other places.

“I feel proud to call myself a community nurse and feel there is no greater job in the world.”

Sarah Winfield-Davies, NDHT safeguarding nurse/team lead and a Queen’s Nurse for approximately five years, has been honoured for 21 years’ community service.

Sarah said: “I remember feeling very scared and overwhelmed working in the community after previously working in a recovery department where there were doctors and nurses surrounding me every day. However, what was very clear from day one was that caring for patients and supporting their family in their own home is such a privilege and absolutely pivotal in healthcare. I had given this little consideration when working in an ‘acute’ setting role.

“The broad range of skills and autonomy required working as a community nurse enabled me to develop both personally and professionally at fast pace and subsequently has led to some incredible roles over the years. These include specialising as a tissue viability nurse, working as a community practice educator, continuing healthcare lead, community matron and more recently care homes team lead nurse, a role which allows me to  enhance and champion partnership working with colleagues working in the independent sector.

Sarah said: “I remember feeling very scared and overwhelmed working in the community after previously working in a recovery department where there were doctors and nurses surrounding me every day. However, what was very clear from day one was that caring for patients and supporting their family in their own home is such a privilege and absolutely pivotal in healthcare. I had given this little consideration when working in an ‘acute’ setting role.

“The broad range of skills and autonomy required working as a community nurse enabled me to develop both personally and professionally at fast pace and subsequently has led to some incredible roles over the years. These include specialising as a tissue viability nurse, working as a community practice educator, community matron, continuing healthcare lead and more recently care homes team lead, a role which allows me to  enhance and champion partnership working with colleagues working in the independent sector which is something I am very passionate about’

Sarah is currently supporting the QNI develop work on the after care needs of in- patients recovering from Covid 19. 

Lucy Bates, interim deputy chief nurse at NDHT said: “Our Queen’s Nurses have shown exceptional dedication to their patients and do a vital job enabling them to remain at home. This award is very well deserved and demonstrates the depth of skills and expertise within our community services”

Gina, Charlotte and Anita join a national network of supportive and caring Queen’s Nurses, including nursing colleagues working in Lynton, Holsworthy, Torrington and Bideford, and in specialist nursing areas such as care home staff training and support for patients with learning disabilities.

Queen’s Nurses benefit from development workshops, bursaries, networking and other opportunities.

The title is given following an application process which includes feedback about the individual from managers and patients.

 

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