Work on health education for men wins Community Nursing Award

An outpatient department staff nurse who transformed health education for men of all ages in her rural community has won the Community Nursing Award at the 2017 RCNi Nurse Awards.

Anne Thomas
Award winner Anne Thomas. Picture: Neil O'Connor

Anne Thomas, with a team of two healthcare assistants, has developed a range of proactive and preventative projects and harnessed support from the voluntary sector, to address health inequalities for men living around Dolgellau Hospital in Wales.

Anne’s drive, commitment and achievements won her the Superdrug-sponsored award, which was announced at a gala ceremony at the Park Plaza Westminster Bridge Hotel in London.


Anne identified barriers in the rural community to accessing health education. In response, the team developed a concerted approach that was accessible and acceptable to men.

She said: ‘We are passionate about health education and work hard to ensure that promoting health is central to all care. However, we needed to reach out to men and this required our staff to go into the community and provide support and information where the men work, study and socialise.

‘Health education that is acceptable and appropriate to men, where men are is one strategy for closing the health inequality gap. For example, advising men on the symptoms of skin cancer in a cattle market during summer is more effective.’

'We need to clone her'

Public Health England's deputy director of nursing Joanne Bosanquet said: ‘We need to clone Anne Thomas. She is a public health nurse to her very core.’

‘I was struck by Anne’s passion and drive to address very real and specific inequalities in her area of north Wales. She is an inspiration, with a can do, will do attitude. She doesn’t wait for permission, she gets on with it because it needs doing. And it is all based around prevention, which is brilliant.’

Further information

For the full story, including a photo gallery, click here.

For a round up of all the winners, finalists and coverage of the night’s events, go to our Nurse Awards home page.

The RCNi Nurse Awards

The RCNi Nurse Awards are the profession’s top accolade for nursing excellence. They recognise and reward nurses who have come up with new ways to improve health outcomes, enhance patient experiences and transform nursing practice. The awards provide a fantastic opportunity to share nursing initiatives, raise the profile of nursing, gain national recognition and influence nursing policy and practice.

Look out for details of how to enter the 2018 awards!