Why RCN Nurse of the Year Melanie Davies is our worthy winner

Remember the name: Melanie Davies, RCN Nurse of the Year 2017 and a truly extraordinary woman. She has transformed care for people with learning disabilities on her ward, driven through changes across her hospital and health board in south Wales, and inspired others to follow suit across the country.

Her story started with tragedy. The death of Paul Ridd, a patient on her ward, prompted a high-profile inquiry by the public services ombudsman, who issued a damning report that criticised the way he had been treated, and concluded that the care he received was ‘dire’.

Vowed to take action

Ms Davies, a general nurse by background who has a relative with a learning disability, was horrified and vowed to herself that no one else would suffer a similar fate on her ward at Morriston Hospital in Swansea.

After enlisting the support of the Ridd family, she got to work on changing the culture among staff and developing the resources they needed to deliver better care. The results have been astounding.

Tailored care

All staff now receive training in caring for people with learning disabilities, liaison nurses have been appointed and the model replicated across the Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board. Other boards in Wales are following suit.

Ms Davies displayed determination and dedication to change people’s mindsets and behaviour, with astonishing results. She is a worthy Nurse of the Year.

Read more about Melanie Davies here