RCNi Nurse Awards 2017: Winners revealed

The innovation, talent and skill of the UK's nursing profession has been celebrated at the RCNi Nurse Awards 2017.

The innovation, talent and skill of the UK's nursing profession has been celebrated at the RCNi Nurse Awards 2017

Nurse Awards
Winners revealed at the RCNi Nurse Awards 2017. Picture: Mark Hakansson

The winners were announced at a glittering black-tie ceremony at the Westminster Park Plaza Hotel in London on Friday.

Celebrating the best

Categories spanned a range of areas, including learning disability nursing, child health and cancer nursing, and celebrated the best of the UK’s nursing workforce.

Melanie Davies was named RCN Nurse of the Year 2017, for her work making far-reaching changes to the care of vulnerable patients in Morriston Hospital, Swansea. Ms Davies also won the Learning Disability Practice award.

The Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board ward sister Ms Davies said: 'I am shocked, honoured and amazed - I just can't believe it.

'I've got a fantastic team behind me and work with fantastic people but ultimately this award is for Paul Ridd and his family.

'This is something we can give back to him and show how care has improved and now I just want to keep on going.

'We've done so much in the last few years and now we want to get the whole package of support out - maybe see a national mechanism in place.'

Other winners included respiratory specialist nurse Joanna O'Toole, who won the public vote to take the Patient's Choice title.

She was nominated by mum Lesley Chan for the comfort, support and compassion she showed to her daughter Amelie, even while terminally ill herself.

Ms O'Toole, of Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Trust, said: 'It is amazing. I have only done my job. I care for children and their families as I would care for my own.'

She added: 'Hopefully this will inspire my daughter for the future. There is so much negativity in nursing now and lots of people say "why did you let your daughter become a nurse" and I say "I love my job and I never want to retire".'

Among the high-profile nurses to attend the event was England's chief nurse Jane Cummings.

'Constant drive'

She told the audience: 'Nurses and midwives across England constantly strive to deliver safe, effective and compassionate care for the populations we care for.

'You are all part of an amazing profession, providing expert care from cradle to grave. We touch everyone’s lives and I continue to be amazed that even in times of pressure and high demand, nursing, midwifery and care staff constantly rise to the challenge, delivering exceptional care.'

Among the winners was University of Cumbria third year adult nursing student Zoe Butler, who won the Andrew Parker Student Nurse Award for a project addressing mental health problems and reducing stigma. She said: 'I can't describe how amazing it feels to have an award that recognises a project about giving young people a voice and allowing them access to health services in a way that's makes them feel confident in themselves.'

Drew McDonald from NHS Grampian took home the Child Health award. He developed a sepsis recognition tool for nursing staff to use during triage, which he successfully implemented at Royal Aberdeen Children's Hospital. He said: 'Myself and my team have worked very hard to make a difference to children. We said if we saved one child's life that would be good enough but we have had success locally and it has ended up going national. To receive this recognition is  amazing.'

The winners are as follows:

Andrew Parker Student Nurse Award in association with RCN Fellows

Supported by Nursing Standard and sponsored by Guidelines for Nurses and RCN

Winner: Zoe Butler – University of Cumbria


  • Louise Cahill – University of Hertfordshire
  • Tanya Marlow – University of Central Lancashire
  • Lorraine Ramnath – The Open University
  • Kirsty Killiard – University of Dundee





Bank Nurse Award

Supported by Nursing Standard and sponsored by NHS Professionals

Winner: Aileen Coomber – Sussex Partnership NHS Trust


  • Margaret Toye – Northern Health and Social Care Trust
  • Kim Arnell – Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust
  • Resident Experience Team – Four Seasons Health Care
  • Mahen Lockmun – CSH Surrey




Cancer Nursing Practice Award

Supported by Cancer Nursing Practice and sponsored by Macmillan Cancer Support

Winner: Sharon Foy – The Christie NHS Foundation Trust


  • Jane Billing – Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust
  • Michele Pengelly – Velindre NHS Trust
  • Donna Cummings – Central Manchester Foundation Trust
  • Anne Hope – Royal Surrey County Hospital




Child Health Award

Supported by Nursing Children and Young People

Winner: Drew Mcdonald – NHS Grampian


  • Helen Thornton – St Helens and Knowsley NHS Teaching Trust
  • Karen Higgins and Lucy Andrews – Sunflowers Care Limited
  • Catherine Brindle – Liverpool Community Health
  • Carrie James – Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust
Commitment to Carers Award

Supported by Nursing Standard and sponsored by NHS England

Winner: Jodie Deards – East and North Hertfordshire Trust


  • Michael Tatterton – Martin House Children's Hospice
  • Donna Pywell – University Hospitals of Leicester
  • Wilma Thomas – Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust
  • Lynne Carmichael – Ayrshire Hospice




Community Nursing Award

Supported by Primary Health Care and sponsored by Superdrug

Winner: Anne Thomas – Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board


  • Gilly Barringer – St Luke’s Hospice, Plymouth
  • Mike Wooldridge – Sussex Health Care Clinical
  • Sarah Minns – Burton Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  • Clare Mechen – The Adam Practice




Excellence in Cancer Research Award

Supported by Cancer Nursing Practice and sponsored by Cancer Research UK

Winner: Julie Hoole – Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust


  • Shirley Pringle – University Hospital Aintree
  • Stephanie Cornthwaite – Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust
  • Jennifer Foreman – South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust
  • Rachel Taylor – University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust




Innovations in your Specialty Award

Supported by Nursing Standard

Winner: Diane Palmer – North Essex Partnership NHS Trust


  • Ruth Roddison – The Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust
  • Johanne Vass – Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board
  • Jane Wigg – LymphVision
  • Melissa Rochon – Royal Brompton and Harefield NHS Foundation Trust
Leadership Award

Supported by Nursing Management

Winners: Amy Sims and Susie Scales – Derbyshire Community Health Services NHS Foundation Trust


  • Rosie Everett and Kerry Mutch – The Walton Centre NHS Foundation Trust and Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  • Julie Kinley – St Christopher's Hospice
  • Katie De Freitas – Great Ormond Street Hospital
  • Joanne Strain – Four Seasons Health Care
Learning Disability Practice Award

Supported by Learning Disability Practice and sponsored by NHS England

Winner and RCN Nurse of the Year 2017: Melanie Davies – Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board


  • Helen Laverty – University of Nottingham
  • Nicky Lyall – St Anne's Community Services
  • Jim Blair – Great Ormond Street Hospital
  • Lindsey Boyd – Countess of Chester Hospital NHS Foundation Trust




Mental Health Practice Award

Supported by Mental Health Practice and sponsored by Cygnet

Alan Wilmott – CAMHS parent workshop team, Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust


  • Heather Meacham – NHS Forth Valley
  • Sarah Biggs – Hertfordshire Partnership Foundation Trust 
  • Jessica Wilson – Elysium Health Care
  • Matty Caine – Tees, Esk and Wear NHS Foundation Trust




Nursing Older People Award

Supported by Nursing Older People and sponsored by Bupa

Winner: Susan Wills and Dena Ross, community matrons care homes team – Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust


  • Maria Loughran – Northern Health and Social Care Trust
  • Nicola Wood – NHS Forth Valley
  • Emily Watts – East and North Herts NHS Trust
  • Carol Bartholomew – Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust




RCN Healthcare Assistant Award

Supported by Nursing Standard and sponsored by the RCN

Winner: Cemlyn Roberts – Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board


  • Jayne Burkinshaw – Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust
  • Elaine Cooney – Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  • Rommel Mabunga – Whittington Health
  • Judy Lever – Marie Curie




Patient’s Choice Award

Supported by Smooth Radio and sponsored by Yakult

Winner: Joanna O'Toole – Royal Manchester Children's Hospital


  • Karen Coutts – Scarisbrick Inpatient Unit
  • Nadine MacArthur – Pluscarden Clinic
  • Sarah Moody – Taunton Community Services 
  • Sian Bodman – Aneurin Bevan University Health Board




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