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Dame Elizabeth Anionwu receives Pride of Britain’s lifetime honour

Pioneering sickle cell nurse specialist recognised with lifetime achievement award
Dame Elizabeth Anionwu with pop star Janet Jackson, who presented her with the Pride of Britain Lifetime Achievement Award

Pioneering sickle cell nurse specialist recognised with lifetime achievement award

Dame Elizabeth Anionwu has become the first nurse to be honoured with a Pride of Britain Lifetime Achievement Award, in recognition for her work raising awareness on sickle cell disease.

The Pride of Britain Awards, which will air on ITV at 8pm on Tuesday 5 November, recognise the outstanding work and bravery of members of the public.

Raising the profile of sickle cell

Professor Anionwu was presented the award by singer Janet Jackson, and said it was amazing to be recognised in this way.

Who would think a nurse would win this. Its an incredible opportunity for sickle cell to get this high profile, Professor Anionwu said.

Pioneering sickle cell nurse specialist recognised with lifetime achievement award

Dame Elizabeth Anionwu with pop star Janet Jackson, who presented her with the Pride of Britain Lifetime Achievement Award
Professor Anionwu with singer Janet Jackson, who presented her with the Lifetime
Achievement Award at the Daily Mirror Pride of Britain Awards

Dame Elizabeth Anionwu has become the first nurse to be honoured with a Pride of Britain Lifetime Achievement Award, in recognition for her work raising awareness on sickle cell disease.  

The Pride of Britain Awards, which will air on ITV at 8pm on Tuesday 5 November, recognise the outstanding work and bravery of members of the public.

Raising the profile of sickle cell

Professor Anionwu was presented the award by singer Janet Jackson, and said it was ‘amazing’ to be recognised in this way.

‘Who would think a nurse would win this. It’s an incredible opportunity for sickle cell to get this high profile,’ Professor Anionwu said.

Having started her nursing career at age 16, Professor Anionwu went on to become the UK’s first sickle cell nurse specialist.

Sickle cell is an inherited blood disorder that can affect people of any race but is most common in people of African or Caribbean heritage.

Before Professor Anionwu’s pioneering work, the disease was often overlooked in NHS care.

Metropolitan Police sergeant Stevie Bull, who received a Pride of Britain award for tackling a man pointing a gun at a nurse
Police sergeant Stevie Bull tackled a
man who was pointing a gun at a nurse

The work that made sickle cell part of everyday NHS care

Alongside consultant haematologist Misha Brozovic, Professor Anionwu set up the UK’s first sickle cell and thalassaemia screening counselling centre in 1979.

As a result of her work, every child in England is now screened for sickle cell disease at birth.

Professor Anionwu was also involved in setting up the Sickle Cell Society and co-led a campaign to have a statue of Jamaican Scottish nurse Mary Seacole built outside St Thomas’ Hospital, London, in 2016.

Metropolitan Police sergeant Stevie Bull, who tackled a man who was pointing a gun at a nurse at University College Hospital, was also recognised at the awards for her bravery.


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