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Our amazing nurses receive national awards

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Left: Liz Summers, Gold winner with Ruth May. Top right: Maria Sagucio, Silver winner with Ruth May. Bottom right Tina Taylor with Ruth May.

Emotions ran high, and tears flowed, when three nurses from Northampton General Hospital received national awards from England’s top nurse on 20 July 2023.

Chief Nursing Officer for England, Dame Ruth May, presented the Chief Nursing Officer for England Awards during a visit to the hospital to celebrate its reaccreditation for an internationally recognised Pathway to Excellence® nursing quality award.

Macmillan Cancer Lead Nurse Liz Summers won a rare Gold Award for her exceptional contribution to nursing through her work in cancer care – the first nurse at NGH to win a gold award.

Liz was nominated for her award by Chief Executive, Heidi Smoult, Deputy Director of Nursing, Jo Smith, and Medical Director, Hemant Nemade, and received it in a surprise ceremony with Dame Ruth.

Jo said: “Liz always ensures that patients with cancer and their relatives are at the centre of the service provided at Northampton General Hospital. She is a phenomenal nurse leader who fearlessly champions her patients and staff. She has established an amazing legacy of outstanding and transformation work."

Heidi said: “Our nursing teams are incredible, it is an honour to work alongside them. I am so proud of Liz, Tina and Maria on their achievements in receiving these coveted awards. They are just three of our team who have gone above and beyond to offer the best patient care and staff experience, as I know our teams do every day. They are truly special people."

“Liz has such genuine passion and dedication to her patients, it is amazing to see. She is truly an inspiration to us all – the way throughout her career she has always listened to our patients and co-produced initiatives to make their care better. When one lady said was worried about maintaining her hair she developed a hair and beauty salon for cancer patients at the hospital. This is just one of the incredible improvements she has made to our hospital and our community.”

Hemant said: “There is only one word for her – legend.”

Liz said: “I was really shocked and humbled to have received the award – I am just a small part of the team that provides cancer care.

“I always think of my work as walking alongside patients and supporting them at the most vulnerable time in their lives.

“When someone is treated and recovers that is something joyful for them and for our team.”

Outreach Lead Nurse for the Critical Care Unit, Tina Taylor, was presented with a Silver Award for her work with critically ill patients.

And Maria Sagucio, International Nurse Pastoral Support Facilitator, received a Silver Award for the exceptional way she has supported nurses from overseas to join the NGH team, which led to the hospital receiving the NHS Pastoral Care Quality Award for International Nurses in May this year.

Tina Taylor was nominated for her award by Lead Professional Nurse Advocate Sophie Mayes, who said: “Tina has provided exceptional leadership during some of the most difficult of times working to support patients and their families. Most recently she launched Call4Concern, a scheme to give families a voice and help them to help us spot deterioration in patients.”

Tina said: “I was shocked and felt very grateful to receive the award. I was emotional and it felt like a reward for the hard work we have done.”

Associate Director of Nursing for Surgery, Kirsty Spazzolino, was one of the people who nominated Maria Sagucio. She said: “Maria has gone above and beyond the call of duty to support international nurses from the moment they arrive and throughout their integration into the hospital team.

“She has made joining NGH a wonderful experience for them when they may be feeling vulnerable.”

Maria said: “It was an honour to receive the award and I feel privileged. I think it is so important to look after our international nurses and I do everything I can to do that.”

Dame Ruth May said: “It was a pleasure to present the awards to Liz, Tina, and Maria, who have all demonstrated an incredible commitment to our nursing profession and to delivering person-centred care. It is clear to see that their work has made a huge difference to patients and their loved ones, and their colleagues.”

As part of a wider commitment to recognising the value of nurses and midwives, Dame Ruth May launched the Chief Nursing Officer and Chief Midwifery Officer for England Awards at the CNO Summit 2019.

Silver award – recognising the contribution of nurses and midwives to patients and the profession which goes above and beyond.

Gold award – recognising the exceptional contribution of nurses and midwives with a distinguished career.

Posted on Monday 24th July 2023
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