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Nurses who helped after terror attacks recognised at Kate Granger awards

Staff from 25 trusts that responded to the terror attacks in Manchester and London and the Grenfell Tower fire received special recognition awards at the Kate Granger Compassionate Care Awards

Nurses and other healthcare professionals who cared for those affected by recent terror attacks and the Grenfell Tower tragedy have been recognised for their ‘resilience and compassion’.


Chief nursing officer for England Jane Cummings, centre, with nurses Charlotte Brownhill, left, and Joe O’Brien, who helped people following the Manchester Arena attack. Picture: Chris Longhurst

Representatives from 25 hospital trusts that responded to the events in Manchester and London received special recognition awards at the Kate Granger Compassionate Care Awards on Tuesday.

Off shift

Emergency department matron Charlotte Brownhill and surgical department senior sister Joe O’Brien, of Stepping Hill Hospital in Stockport, collected an award on behalf of Stockport NHS Foundation Trust.

Both had come off shift the night of the bomb attack at Manchester Arena in May, but immediately returned to work when they heard the news.

Ms O’Brien said: ‘We just wanted to support our teams and look after patients.

‘They wanted to reassure their families they were okay, but their phones had run out of battery. So people also did things like find phone chargers.

‘We had to stop some staff from coming in because we needed to make sure there were staff for the morning.’

Ms Brownhill added: ‘It was horrific, what we saw, for patients. But our team and hospital worked well, so to see them in action was amazing.’

Outstanding care

The Kate Granger Compassionate Care Awards are given to individuals, teams and organisations who demonstrate outstanding care for their patients (see box for list of winners).

Now in their fourth year, the awards were set up by Kate Granger, a doctor and cancer patient who worked to encourage compassion in the NHS through her #hellomynameis social media campaign. Dr Granger died of cancer in July last year.

The awards were held during the NHS Health and Care Innovation Expo in Manchester, not far from the Manchester Arena, which only reopened last weekend.

Chief nursing officer for England Jane Cummings, who presented the special recognition awards, said: ‘What these tragedies highlighted is the resilience and compassion of emergency services and NHS staff, who time after time responded and tended to the victims who had suffered unimaginable injuries.

‘NHS at its best’

‘They kept putting the needs of those people first, hour after hour after hour.

‘This was the NHS at its best. This is why so many of our staff do the jobs they do because they want to help those who are in pain, who are distressed, who are suffering from trauma.’

Health secretary Jeremy Hunt used his keynote speech at the expo to pay tribute to NHS staff, saying: ‘This is actually the first speech I have given in Manchester since the horrific bombing at the arena, and I just want to start by saying how incredibly proud I was of the NHS response when that happened.’

Kate Granger Compassionate Care Awards

Individual Award

  • Winner Jean McVann, general practice nurse, The Gate Surgery, Rotherham.
  • Highly commended Andrew Weatherburn, Blackpool Teaching Hospitals, and Rajesh Mohan, South London and Maudsley Trust.

Team Award

  • Winner Palliative Care Northumbria.
  • Highly commended Interact, a child and young person crisis prevention and resolution service at North East London Foundation Trust, and the Daisy, Devizes, Cornwall.

Organisation Award

  • Winner South West Yorkshire Partnerships NHS Trust.
  • Highly commended St Luke’s Hospice, and Shropshire and Staffordshire Leadership Leads Group.

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