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The 25 people who make up this year's judging panel have been carefully considering each entry, knowing that behind every name is a nurse with an inspiring story of care and innovation. It's a hard job deciding upon the winners.

Two finalists for each category presented their initiative to an eminent panel of nursing professionals which include representatives from NHS England, the Department of Health, Public Health England, the Welsh Government, and the Royal College of Nursing, as well as nurses in clinical practice.

Read more about the judges choosing 2015's inspiring winners

Amanda Cheesley, specialist judge, Excellence in Diabetes Specialist Nursing award
Professional Lead for Long Term Conditions, Royal College of Nursing
Biography to follow

Dr Ben Thomas, specialist judge, Mental Health award
Ben is the mental health, learning disabilities and dementia care professional officer in the Public and International Health Directorate at the Department of Health, England. In addition to providing professional advice to ministers, the director of nursing for public health and other senior officials on all matters relating to mental health, learning disabilities nursing and dementia care, he provides national leadership to nurses working in mental health, learning disabilities and dementia care in England. Ben is the chair of the mental health independent advisory group for the Healthcare Quality Improvement Partnership. He is a fellow of the Royal College of Nursing, honorary senior fellow at Kingston University and St Georges, University of London, and visiting professor at London South Bank University.

Cecilia Anim, Chair, 2015 judging panel
Cecilia Anim was elected President of the RCN in 2015, having been a member for over 30 years, elected deputy President in 2010 and re-elected to the role in 2012. She was also an RCN steward for 19 years and a health and safety representative for 17 years. She has worked tirelessly supporting members in three central London NHS trusts. Cecilia was also the staff-side secretary working in partnership with other unions, and secretary of her local RCN branch for 10 years. She then chaired the new branch and served on the London board before taking up the position of deputy president. In addition to these responsibilities, Cecilia previously served on the Ethics Forum Steering Committee and was also a member on the RCN Menopause Nurses Steering Group. Cecilia still coordinates the Network Group in London. In recognition of Cecilia's contribution, she and was awarded the RCN Certificate of Merit for outstanding service to members. Cecilia works as a clinical nurse specialist in sexual and reproductive health at the Margaret Pyke Centre in London and specialises in family planning and aspects of women's health. She has a particular interest in menopause and public health issues. Cecilia was awarded the Bevan award for Health and Wellbeing in 2013. Cecilia originally trained as a midwife in Ghana, where she worked before moving to the UK and qualifying as a nurse in 1977.

Major Chris Carter, specialist judge, Defence Nursing award
Defence School of Healthcare Education, Birmingham City University
Biography to follow

Grace Vanterpool MBE, specialist judge, Excellence in Diabetes Specialist Nursing award
Grace is a diabetes nurse consultant at London Northwest Healthcare NHS Trust. She has been nursing for 33 years, having worked as a diabetes specialist nurse for 19 years and a consultant nurse in diabetes for seven years. Grace works across secondary and primary care, and lectures at two universities on diabetes. Grace has received several awards for her services to diabetes and nursing, and her services to black and minority ethnic communities, including an MBE in 2006.

Graham Scott, core panel judge, Patients Choice award
Graham has been editor of Nursing Standard since 2009, having previously been deputy editor and news editor since 1999. He joined RCNi from the British Medical Association, where he was a senior writer on BMA News Review. Away from work, Graham referees on the Premier League and Football League.

Grinne Kavanagh, specialist judge, Cancer Nursing award
Grinne is head of professional engagement at Macmillan Cancer Support. Her role includes implementing a programme of professional support for the 8,000 Macmillan professionals across the UK. Grinne has held a number of roles within Macmillan since joining the organisation in 2001, including head of strategy implementation, where she was responsible for strategy development, corporate planning and performance reporting and head of services, business management. Prior to joining Macmillan, Grinne managed the co-ordinating centre for the NHS Service Delivery and Organisation (SDO) research and development programme. Before that worked at the Kings Fund for 15 years, during which time she completed her MBA. Grinne was a judge for the Health Services Journal Patient Safety and Care Awards in 2014 and is a judge on the Macmillan Excellence awards panel.

Ian Hulatt, specialist judge, Mental Health award
Ian Hulatt is the professional lead for mental health at the Royal College of Nursing. He trained as a general nurse, gaining his RMN in 1981. Ian then worked in acute admissions, management and education before joining the Royal College of Nursing in 2004. He has trained as a counsellor, teacher and as a Thorn nurse at the Institute of Psychiatry. Ian's remit is UK-wide. He advises and liaises with individual members, statutory and non-statutory organisations on mental health policy and nursing practice.

Jan Baptiste, core panel judge, Community Nursing award and Defence Nursing award
Jan Baptiste is the chief nurse at North Hampshire Clinical Commissioning Group. She is one of a handful of black and minority ethnic nurses to break through the glass ceiling and was appointed to her first nurse director post in 2001. Jan is an experienced senior NHS manager and nurse with more than 30 years NHS experience. She has held board or sub board portfolios in nursing, quality and governance, and her experiences in senior leadership positions span primary and secondary care, as well as working in the Department of Health as the clinical advisor and holding the associate director of nursing position in Thames Valley Strategic Health Authority. A passionate advocate for patient quality, Jan embraces the patient voice in all of her roles, and her enthusiasm for leadership development is embraced in her passion for coaching senior managers and clinicians across the NHS.

Jane Denton, specialist judge, Andrew Parker Student Nurse award
Jane is director of the Multiple Births Foundation, a charity based at Queen Charlottes and Chelsea Hospital, London, which works with professionals to raise awareness and improve services to meet the specific and special needs of multiple birth families. Her professional background is nursing and midwifery, with a specialist interest in infertility, and she led the development of the nursing team in one of the first IVF programmes in the UK. As the implications of multiple births arising from infertility treatments began to emerge in the late 1980s, she moved to the Multiple Births Foundation and became its director in 1998. Jane has written and lectured extensively on all aspects of multiple births and has contributed to substantial change in public and professional attitudes. A former member of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority, and a founder member of the Royal College of Nursing Fertility Nursing Forum, Jane has wide experience of the clinical, scientific and ethical challenges presented by the advances in reproductive technologies. She was appointed honorary fellow of the British Fertility Socety in 2008 Jane was made a fellow of the RCN in 2006 and is the convenor for fellows. She was awarded a CBE in the Queens Birthday Honours in 2007 for services to nursing and health care

Professor Jean White, core panel judge, Public Health Nursing award and Cancer Nursing award
Jean was appointed chief nursing officer for Wales in October 2010. Welsh by birth, she trained as a general nurse in Swansea and worked as a theatre nurse in Wales and London. Jean has held positions in nurse education, at the Welsh National Board, Health Professions Wales and Welsh Government. She has worked with a number of European governments and is an expert adviser to the World Health Organization European Region. Jean is an honorary visiting professor at the School of Nursing and Midwifery Studies, Cardiff University, and a trustee of the Florence Nightingale Foundation. She was appointed fellow of Swansea University in 2013 and Fellow of Bangor University in 2014.

Joan Myers OBE, core panel judge, Child Health award
Joan is the nurse consultant in the community of practice for children and young people leading on health visiting, school nursing, CAMHS and community childrens nursing (CCN) services in North East London NHS Foundation Trust. She has a two-day a week secondment at London South Bank University as senior lecturer for CCN. Joan qualified as a paediatric nurse in 1986 at Guys Hospital and worked in A&E and cardiothoracic care before moving to the community setting, where she has been working for nearly 25 years. She became the first nurse consultant for CCN in 2003, working in Islington, after setting up and developing several CCN service across London. She was head of childrens services at Whittington Health, before moving to North East London NHS Foundation Trust. Joan is also the chair of the chief nursing officers black and minority ethnic advisory group, providing advice on BME nursing issues and health inequalities. Joan received an OBE for services to children and nursing in 2013.

Joanne Bosanquet, specialist judge, Public Health Nursing award
Deputy Director of Nursing, Public Health England
Biography to follow

Joanne McDonnell, core panel judge, Mental Health award and Innovations in Respiratory award.
A published writer and reviewer, Joanne is senior nurse for mental health and learning disabilities at NHS England and honorary lecturer at Liverpool John Moores University.With broad ranging experiences in mental health and learning disabilities, she has won several national awards, including Health Writer of the Year. She has starred in numerous promotional nursing films and is a regular contributor to the national media, including BBC Radio 4. As guest editor of the first mental health special focus edition of Nursing Standard, a Care Quality Commission expert advisor, RCP AIMS programme lead reviewer and a member of the expert advisory board for Mental Health Practice, Joanne has always been committed to highlighting and sharing innovation and creativity in mental health. She has extensive experience of presenting at local, national and international conferences. Current projects include the Positive and Safe Programme, Winterbourne Medicines Collaborative and the Mental Health Community of Practice development on the 6 Cs Live information hub within the Compassion in Practice website.

Karen Barraclough, specialist judge, Bank Nurse award
Karen is a registered nurse with more than 20 years experience of nursing in the NHS in Leeds, along with roles in research and audit in the private sector. Karen joined NHS Professionals in 2002, initially providing account management support to ward managers before moving into a clinical governance and risk management position in 2007. She is now senior nurse/head of governance in the organisation. Karens leadership portfolio includes the information governance and business continuity agenda, along with learning and development for the flexible workforce and the health and safety of corporate staff. As well as the different aspects of clinical governance and risk management in temporary staffing, Karen is also responsible for providing clinical leadership, support and advice across the organisation. She is a member of the national advisory group for cultural alignment with the Royal College of Nursing and acts as the governance lead for the group, which exists to support NHS and other healthcare bodies through the process of cultural change. NHS Professionals is the leading provider of flexible managed workforce services to the NHS, helping client trusts to save money and improve governance by centralising and standardising their approach to temporary workforce management.

Katherine Murphy, specialist judge, Patients Choice award
Chief Executive, Patients Association
Biography to follow

Kay Fawcett OBE, core panel judge for Bank Nurse award and Infection Prevention and Control award
Professional Nurse Adviser and Non-executive Director, RCNi
Biography to follow

Laura Serrant, specialist judge, Community Nursing award
Laura Serrant is professor of community and public health nursing in the Faculty of Education, Health and Wellbeing at the University of Wolverhampton. She is at present on secondment with NHS England as research lead for compassion in practice. Laura is also a non-executive director at Heart of England Foundation Trust and Skills for Health Academy, England. Laura has been awarded Queens Nurse status by the Queens Nursing Institute and has received a number of research scholarships and awards, including the Mary Seacole Nursing Research Leadership award, Florence Nightingale Travel Fellowship and Smith & Nephew Research Fellowship. She has more than 30 years experience of healthcare practice, research, policy development, training and management. In 2014, she was recognised by the Health Service Journal awards in three separate categories: Inspirational Women in Healthcare, BME Pioneers and Clinical Leadership.

Lin Graham-Ray, specialist judge, Child Health award
Nurse Consultant for Looked After Children and Care Leavers, Central London Community Health Care Trust
Biography to follow

Matthew Hodson, specialist judge, Innovations in Respiratory award
Matthew Hodson is COPD nurse consultant at Homerton University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust. He manages an award winning integrated COPD team covering all aspects of management, including hospital at home and a home oxygen service. Matthew completed his MSc in nursing at City University, where is also an honorary senior lecturer and studying for a professional doctorate in Nursing. He is also a non-medical prescriber. His main interests are COPD care, patient experience, education, oxygen therapy and advanced disease management in acute and primary care. Matthew has had a number of specialist roles across primary and secondary care. He is also a committee member on the Association of Respiratory Nurse Specialists and BTS Nurse Advisory Group. More recently, he won the Nursing Standard Nurse of the Year in 2013 for his work around end of life care for people with advanced COPD. He has a passion for the patient experience, which is fundamental to service redesign, and is designing a COPD patient reported experience measure questionnaire. Matthew also received an MBE for respiratory care in the 2015 New Years Honours.

Neil Churchill, specialist judge, Enhancing Experience of Care
Director Improving Patient Experience, NHS England
Biography to follow

Paul Jebb, core panel judge, Andrew Parker Student Nurse award and Enhancing the Experience of Care award
Paul qualified as a nurse in 1996 and worked in operational management. He is the assistant director of nursingand head of patient experience at Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. He is on secondment to the National Patient Experience team at NHS England as experience of care professional lead. Paul has led numerous quality improvement initiatives. In 2014, he and his team won a national healthcare communications award for best engagement. He is also an ambassador for the Mary Secole Statue Appeal and honorary senior lecturer at the University of Central Lancashire. Paul is a member of a Nursing and Midwifery Council advisory panel of senior registrants that helps to give strategic direction to the executive team. He has also represented the Royal College of Nursing at local, regional national and international levels, and is a member of Nursing Standards Editorial Advisory Board, regularly contributing opinion pieces to the magazine.

Rose Gallagher, specialist judge, Infection Prevention and Control award
Rose is the professional lead for infection prevention and control (IPC) at the Royal College of Nursing. She began her career in infection control in 1998 while collecting surveillance data for the national surgical site surveillance scheme. She has a degree in infection control and took up the senior nurse position at Stoke Mandeville Hospital in 2002, leading the infection control nursing team through the outbreak of Clostridium difficile and subsequent investigations.

Steve Jamieson, core panel judge, Innovations in your Specialty award
Steve is deputy director of nursing at the Royal College of Nursing, responsible for leading on the colleges professional nursing agenda, and delivering its mission to represent nurses and nursing, promote excellence in practice and shape health policies. He has a distinguished professional career and was until last year president of the European Association of Nurses in AIDS Care. He has worked with the International Council of Nurses and World Health Organization on projects relating to HIV/AIDS. Steve is a significant leader in health care and a key player in health and social care policy and practice. He has made significant change in the delivery of health policy at national and international levels. He was vice chair of the board of trustees at HIV Hospice Brighton and is a trustee of the Dementia Adventure Trust. Prior to working at the RCN, Steve has held senior nursing posts at St Thomas Hospital and Kings College Hospital London.

Tanis Hand, specialist judge, RCN Health Practitioner Member award
Tanis is a registered nurse who has been the professional lead for healthcare assistants and assistant practitioners for the Royal College of Nursing since November 2009. Her background is in practice nursing. From 2003 to November 2009, she co-founded a training business specialising in education and training for healthcare assistants in primary care, while also working part time as a chronic disease specialist nurse. Tanis is passionate about the roles of healthcare assistants and assistant practitioners, and keen to promote standardisation of training and education for all support workers, together with regulation of this section of the nursing workforce. Tanis developed Accountability and Delegation: What You Need to Know, and the web-based induction resource, First Steps for HCAs, shortlisted in the 2011 e-learning awards not for profit category. Tanis has been involved in the steering committees for many of the workstreams following the Cavendish review, including the care certificate, HCSW title and the work on strengthening the code of conduct and developing guidance for employers, HCSWs and patients and carers.

Find out more about the Nursing Standard Nurse Awards

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