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American family that founded DAISY Awards visit NGH

DAISY Foundation founders Mark and Bonnie Barnes present a lifetime achievement award to outgoing Director of Nursing

DAISY Foundation founders Mark and Bonnie Barnes present a lifetime achievement award to Debbie Shanahan

Nurses at Northampton General Hospital yesterday (Wednesday, June 14) met the American family who set up the DAISY Awards for compassionate nursing care - now established at 39 countries across the world.

DAISY Foundation founders Mark and Bonnie Barnes were in the UK to celebrate International DAISY Day on Friday, June 16.

They visited the hospital as part of a national tour to see the awards in action in the UK and meet some of the hospital’s outstanding nurses and midwives who have won the award.

Mark and Bonnie are the father and stepmother of J Patrick Barnes who died of an immune disease in 1999 aged only 33. They set up the DAISY Foundation as a way of celebrating the compassionate care nurses and midwives deliver each day.

Mark and Bonnie visited three of NGH’s wards where they met staff members who had received DAISY Awards.

These included Junior Sister Emma Cuthbert from Talbot Butler oncology ward, Staff Nurse Donna Reddington from Esther White medical ward and Staff Nurse Caroline Marriott from Collingtree B surgical ward.

Mark and Bonnie also presented the hospital’s retiring former Director of Nursing, Debra Shanahan, with a DAISY lifetime achievement award for her 35 years of service at NGH, rising from staff nurse through to becoming Director.

NGH’s new Director of Nursing, Midwifery, Allied Health Professionals and Patient Services Nerea Odongo, said: “We were delighted to welcome Mark and Bonnie to NGH to see for themselves how we have adopted the DAISY Award scheme and are continuing to celebrate the extraordinary care delivered by our nurses and midwives.

“Since we launched the DAISY Awards at NGH some six years ago we have had 65 staff who have won them and many more have been nominated.

“It was fantastic for our staff to meet the actual DAISY Foundation founders and hear from them first-hand how important the wards have become worldwide.”

Mark and Bonnie were accompanied by Christine Pabico the programme director of the Pathway to Excellence accreditation scheme from the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC).

Northampton General Hospital also has a strong connection with the Pathway to Excellence scheme after becoming the first hospital in the UK to achieve the prestigious award in 2018.

During the visit the hospital was able to showcase some of its ongoing work in nursing leadership, safety, quality, shared decision-making, wellbeing, and professional development, and to explain how it is currently working to become the first hospital in the UK to achieve reaccreditation in Pathway to Excellence.

NGH’s Director of Nursing, Nerea Odongo, said: "Over the past four years our nursing teams have continued to go from strength-to-strength and have shown an unwavering commitment as they strive for nursing excellence and make NGH the best place to work.

“It was particularly special today to see Debbie Shanahan, our outgoing Director of Nursing, honoured with a lifetime achievement award from the DAISY foundation.

“This is a great example of the culture of recognition we have built within our NGH family but is also a testament to Debbie leading the organisation to be a place where nursing and midwifery colleagues continue to flourish.”

Mark and Bonnie Barnes warmly thanked all the nursing teams and individuals they met on the day.

Bonnie said: “I am proud beyond words to see such amazing nurses and midwives doing such important work every day.

“Northampton General was the first hospital in the UK to launch the awards which are now established in 39 countries and have almost 6,000 healthcare organisations taking part.

“I wish everyone at Northampton General Hospital well – they are such a wonderful team.”

Posted on Thursday 15th June 2023
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