Special nurses receive thanks

YET again medics in the North East have been honoured for their health expertise.

Yet again medics in the North East have been honoured for their health expertise. Reporter JANE PICKEN finds out about the latest batch to receive accolades.

NORTHUMBRIA University’s Coach Lane Campus has a long history of producing highly-trained nurses, and last week six outstanding ones were commended for their dedication and patient care as part of a unique scheme set up over 100 years ago.

The six all studied at Northumbria University, which has the largest education centre for nurses in the North East.

Philomena Hollingshurst and Eileen Sanderson from Alnwick, Michelle James from Amble, Warren Raine from Sunderland Susan Elliott, from Winlaton and Scott Thomson from Cramlington have all been presented with Heath Award medals by John Fenwick, Vice Lord Lieutenant for Tyne & Wear.

The Heath Awards were a bequest by South Shields-born George Yeoman Heath, a surgeon and teacher who was president and the first professor of surgery at the Durham University’s college of medicine in Newcastle.

He died in 1892 and part of his legacy was the awarding of prizes for the best nurses of the year in Newcastle hospitals.

The award-winners have been studying for a BSc in nursing studies, which prepares them for registration with the Nursing and Midwifery Council.

Throughout the course, students gain valuable experience in a real working environment and staff from the Freeman Hospital in Newcastle, Wansbeck Hospital in Ashington and health centres in Alnwick and Sunderland, where the students have worked, have nominated them for their awards.

Scott Thomson, 42, works in peri-operative adult nursing at Wansbeck General Hospital. He graduated with an advanced diploma in nursing studies on the same day as receiving the award.

He said: “I’m over the moon that I have been selected for this award. It makes all the hard work doubly worth while.”

Susan Elliott, 39, from Winlaton, also graduated on the same day and currently works as a community nurse in Newcastle’s East End.

She was selected for the award because of her level of care and empathy skills, as well as her excellent communication.

Susan said: “It’s been hard work but I’m very proud of what I’ve achieved. I really love my job and I’m really pleased that my work has been appreciated.”

Margaret Rowe, associate dean at the Northumbria University School of Health, said: “I am delighted that six of our students are receiving the Heath Award, which is a prestigious award presented only to those who achieve the highest possible standards in nursing and midwifery.”


New honour for medical staff

HEALTH Minister Andy Burnham has unveiled a new medal to honour NHS ambulance workers during the 70th year anniversary of the 999 service.

The Queen’s Ambulance Service Medal will reward ambulance staff who have made an outstanding contribution to the national or local development of the ambulance service or who have demonstrated commitment beyond the call of duty.

It will bestowed by the Queen and will be similar to the Queen’s Police and Fire Service medals which already exist.

Andy Burnham said: “I have work shadowed ambulance staff and witnessed the dedication they put into saving lives and supporting people when they are at their most vulnerable.

“It’s an incredibly challenging job and due to the dedication and professionalism of ambulance staff, we have one of the best ambulance services in the world.

“This medal will be a recognition of what the whole country feels towards the ambulance service and the remarkable contribution they make. It is a fitting way to mark the 70th anniversary of 999.”


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