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Northampton General Hospital NHS Trust

NGH nurse shortlisted as Nurse of the Year for the way she has helped to improve end-of-life care

MR1377 Kerry Messam Deputy Lead Nurse Palliative and End of Life Care NGH.png

Kerry Messam, Deputy Lead Nurse for Specialist Palliative and End of Life Care at Northampton General Hospital, is in the finals of the British Journal of Nursing (BJN) Awards 2023 for Nurse of the Year.

A nurse at Northampton General Hospital has been shortlisted for a national Nurse of the Year Award for the way she has helped enhance end-of-life care for patients and their families.

Kerry Messam, Deputy Lead Nurse for Specialist Palliative and End of Life Care at Northampton General Hospital, is in the finals of the British Journal of Nursing (BJN) Awards 2023.

The awards celebrate the hard work and dedication of nursing teams and individuals across the country and acknowledge and celebrate the positive impact they have on patients' lives.

Kerry was nominated for the Award by NGH’s Macmillan Lead Nurse for Specialist Palliative and End-of-Life Care, Claire Mansfield.

In her nomination Claire said: “Kerry developed a project at the hospital called ‘Walking the Walk’ which looks at the lived experience of relatives and carers spending time in hospital with a dying loved one.

“As a result significant initiatives have been introduced to support patients, relatives, carers and ward staff.

“These have included Swan Rooms decorated to create a tranquil environment and equipped with chair beds so relatives can sit or sleep by the bedside of a loved one.

“They also have comfort cabinets containing toiletries, information resources, phone chargers, blue tooth speakers, LED candles, and drink-making facilities.

“The initiative has also ensured visitor passes and free parking are available to those spending time with dying loved ones.

“Kerry’s determination, passion, and skill in negotiation, has helped the hospital to provide the best possible end-of-life care benefitting so many people at one of the most difficult times of their lives. That was why I have nominated Kerry for the Nurse of the Year Award.”

Kerry, who has worked at NGH for the last 16 years said: “I have been overwhelmed with how the project has been embraced by ward teams, estates and facilities, and senior management, across the hospital.

“The support and enthusiasm of colleagues across the hospital, and from the Northamptonshire Health Charity, has enabled me to turn this vision into reality.

“I am looking forward to attending the awards ceremony and seeing some of the amazing work being showcased by nurses from across the country. I would like to thank Claire for making the nomination and working alongside me to champion this project. “

Northampton General Hospital’s Director of Nursing and Midwifery, Debra Shanahan, said: “Kerry is a truly outstanding nurse and I am delighted to see her being shortlisted for a Nurse of the Year Award.

“She has helped us to make a real difference to the way we care for patients, and their families, at end of life.

“Walking the Walk has helped our teams to better understand the support families appreciate the most at this difficult time.”

Kerry also made a bid at an internal hospital Dragon’s Den event last year showcasing the Swan Rooms and successfully securing £17,500 for a further five Swan Rooms across the hospital.

If you would like to support future Swan Rooms you can contact the Northamptonshire Health Charity at

The ‘Walking the Walk’ initiative has also been presented at a national conference and shared with other NHS Trusts to ensure maximum benefit to patients, relatives, carers and staff.

Kerry will compete against two other finalists in her award category at the finals of the BJN Awards 2023 which are being held on Friday March 24, 2023, at The Banking Hall, London.

Posted on Thursday 16th March 2023
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