Who will be crowned the RCN Nurse of the Year in the International Year of the Nurse and the Midwife? Who will win the Patient's Choice Award, which provides an opportunity for members of the public to thank a nurse, midwife, health visitor or nursing support worker who has made a real difference to their care or that of a loved one? Watch this video to find out as the RCNi Nurse Awards 2020 draw to a close.

The finalists for the Patient's Choice Award

Noreen Ferguson
Western Health and Social Care Trust

Health visitor Noreen Ferguson has been described as ‘a guardian angel, who shows great empathy and gives the families in her rural Northern Ireland community strength and confidence’. Her nominator, Olivia McManus, says Ms Ferguson helped and guided her family through their son’s autism diagnosis, and is a source of support for the whole community. She says Ms Ferguson not only works hard to ensure families get the services and referrals they need, but that ‘her compassionate and practical approach unravels the stigma of those referrals’. ‘Whether it be bereavement in a family, special or additional needs, illness or isolation, Noreen is the one we can turn to.’

Rekha Govindan
Chegworth Nursing Home

A man who was discharged to a nursing home with just weeks to live, but thanks to exemplary care is now happily living his ‘second life’, has nominated manager Rekha Govindan and her team. Trevor Quinlan says: ‘I had a 15cm hole in my stomach, couldn’t eat or walk. Rekha came up with a plan that saved my life. She came in when she wasn’t meant to be working to check on me, and with her skill the wound healed. The team helped me to walk again. When I was a little better, they took me to a pub for pie and mash and drove me to see my mum. They filled me with hope and made me want to fight and not to die.’

Mary Makarau
Central London Community Health NHS Trust

Three patients have nominated their HIV clinical nurse specialist. ‘I was full of dreams when I was diagnosed,’ says one. ‘My hopes seemed in tatters, my family rejected me. Mary tried to enter my life but I refused to see anyone. But with infinite kindness and compassion, she pleaded with me for weeks to give her a chance. When I did, she made me understand I could enjoy a healthy, happy and fulfilling life if I took my meds. At my most distressed, I frequently called her at night and she always answered. Now I am commencing doctoral studies. It has only been possible because of Mary.’

Marie Perry
NHS Walsall Clinical Commissioning Group

Marie Perry has been nominated by Nicola Protheroe-Jones for her work to safeguard a young man with learning disabilities who was being neglected. ‘Without her determination, he would have died,’ she says. ‘For nine months she went all out to unravel the history and make sure this information was heard. She became a medical detective, chasing leads and clinicians to collect information, to show evidence of abuse and drug misuse. She engaged every professional connected to the case – GPs, pharmacists, consultants, care providers, learning disability nurses, drug rehabilitation units, social services, commissioners and police – before formulating a plan they had to adhere to. He would want to thank her for he is now safe, happy and living his best life.’

Rebecca Betts-Richards
Aspire Mental Health Care

The young women at a mental health residential facility nominated Rebecca Betts-Richards. ‘Rebecca works past her hours nearly every day,’ say the nominators, residents at Chilwell House in Derbyshire, where Ms Betts-Richards works. ‘If we need to see her five minutes before she’s due to leave she stays. She never gives up on us. We have all faced negativity due to our personality disorder diagnosis, but Rebecca treats us like we have a superpower not a disability. She has stuck her neck out to challenge doctors, nurses, police and people who were not supportive. She teaches us to move forward with our lives and make them what we want them to be.’

Isobel Corrie
South Warwickshire NHS Foundation Trust

James Birch was on a flight home from Thailand with his partner when he went into sudden cardiac arrest. He credits fellow passenger Isobel Corrie for saving his life, and has nominated her for the Patient’s Choice award. ‘Despite only recently having qualified, this brave young lady answered the call for help and pulled me back from a flat-line cardiac arrest,’ says Mr Birch. ‘In the cramped environment of a long- haul aircraft at 38,000 feet, she managed the small cabin crew team for 45 minutes until we could divert to a suitable airport. The emergency care she supervised was so thorough that despite the length of time the event continued for, I suffered very few health consequences.’