Ward sister Claire Harris named RCN Wales nurse of the year 2015

Ward sister Claire Harris honoured in glittering ceremony at City Hall, Cardiff, for her pioneering work in stroke services.

Claire Harris, a ward sister at Aneurin Bevan University Health Board, has been named RCN Wales nurse of the year 2015.

 Stuart Fisher

Ms Harris, who also won the chief nursing officer’s award, beat 12 other category winners to be named overall winner at last night’s ceremony at City Hall, Cardiff.

She was recognised for her pioneering work in stroke services at the health board, where she was instrumental in delivering the Stroke Design Programme – a single-site stroke service which has seen the introduction of six hyper-acute stroke beds at the Royal Gwent Hospital.

The service has improved patient care by reducing the average length of stay for patients and increasing discharge rates, enabling more patients to be cared for on the specialist acute stroke unit.

Ms Harris developed strong relationships with ward sisters in community hospitals to ease the discharge of patients to these settings and developed relationships with acute stroke units around the UK to learn from best practice. 

On winning the award, she said: ‘I feel incredibly honoured, and overwhelmed. To receive an award for something that I do every day and that I love, it doesn’t seem real.

‘I have only been a registered nurse for six years, and I would not be here without the nurses I have worked with. I respected their knowledge and experience, and they respected my enthusiasm and motivation. This award is for all the nurses who have helped me be the nurse I am today.’

RCN Wales director Tina Donnelly said: ‘Ms Harris is a prime example of the right nursing care for the right patients. She is dedicated to ensuring high levels of care for stroke patients, and the increase in discharge rates and reduction in length of stay of patients have proven this.

‘She is an admirable individual and a worthy winner of the award.’

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