Two of Livewell’s community nurses have been recognised for their high standards of patient care, learning, leadership and practice after each being named as a Queen’s Nurse.
Kate Hill and Helen Mills join Livewell’s growing ranks of Queen’s Nurses awarded the prestigious title by the Queen’s Nurse Institute which gives special recognition of a nurse’s commitment to the profession.
The award is given to nurses who have worked in the community for more than five years and who recognise the commitment to high standards of patient care, learning, leadership and practice.
Newly awarded Queen’s Nurses are usually invited to a ceremony hosted by the Queen’s Nurse Institute however due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Kate and Helen were sent their badges and were recognised at a virtual ceremony on Wednesday, 30 September.
Kate is a Community Clinical Nurse Specialist in Parkinson’s and along with her colleague Emma Edwards, supports more than 400 who have been diagnosed with Parkinson’s to stay as independent and well as possible.
Kate, who has been a nurse for 32 years and started out as a veterinary nurse before joining as a Nursing Officer in the Royal Air Force, said: “It’s been a really frightening time for all of us living through COVID and I think sometimes as healthcare professionals we forget we are personally living through this, as well as the people we’re supporting. When I found out I had been awarded my Queen’s Nurse title it was such a massive boost and really reminded me that I can get through the tough times.
“A big part of our work is to educate people to stay as well and independent for as long as possible. We support our patients up until they die and so you get to know them and their families really well and I love the relationships that are built up over the years. I promised myself as a student nurse that I would always treat my patients as if they were my own family.
“Emma is so innovative and has brought so many fresh ideas which have allowed us to transform the way we deliver care to people, bringing down waiting lists and keeping patients at home with their loved ones. It is a real privilege to be in this role and I am so proud to now call myself a Queen’s Nurse.”
Helen Mills is the Community Team Manager for the District Nurse Treatment Clinic and Wellbeing Lower Limb Service, leading a team of 28 community nurses who deliver care to approximately 1,300 people in eight community clinics across Livewell’s footprint.
Helen says she fell into nursing by accident but realised straight away that this was the career meant for her.
She said: “I started off as a care assistant in a nursing home and I was so inspired and encouraged by the nurses there to do my nurse training that I did and I just absolutely love the profession.
“I’ve worked in stroke rehab, as a surgical nurse on the wards and in Anaesthetics and Recovery but I really fell in love with the role when I became a Community Nurse in 2009.
“Being a Community Nurse really allows you to work one-to-one with patients, developing therapeutic relationships with them and their families and having them as your sole focus when you’re with them.
“In this role you see a lot of health inequalities first-hand and I am really passionate about how, both as individual nurses and with the services we provide, we can strive to narrow those inequalities.
“Our Wellbeing Lower Limb Service is a really innovative and unique piece of work, working collaboratively with other professionals and organisations, including the University of St Mark and St John, who’s Sports Therapists deliver our Wellbeing programme within the clinics.
“We aim never to discharge patients unless they wish and our work is focused on preventative measures, giving them the maintenance care and advice to help them stay well long-term.
“I’m really excited about the opportunities I will now have to network with other Queen’s Nurses to help to continually improve standards of care, share great practise and develop services further to really benefit the people we care for.”