Staff across Edmonton’s North Middlesex University Hospital welcomed NHS England’s Dr Ruth May, Chief Nursing Officer (CNO), for an official visit yesterday morning (Tuesday 6 July) as she explored the Trust’s busy A&E department, midwife-led Birth Centre and sexual health clinic at Silverpoint Medical Centre on Fore Street.
Accompanied by North Mid’s Chief Executive Maria Kane, Chair Dr Peter Carter OBE, and Director of Nursing and Midwifery Deborah Wheeler, England’s CNO began her tour by meeting some of the doctors and senior nursing staff who advise and treat patients at the Silverpoint Medical Centre.
Dr May listened to the clinicians’ insight about the challenges the clinic’s services face and the complex health needs presented to them by the local community. In addition, they shared examples of some of the improvements their team has made and the successes achieved since the clinic opened in 2018.
She also paid a visit to the hospital’s recently redeveloped A&E department, its new mental health unit, Horizon, and the maternity unit’s Birth Centre to witness teams in action.
Dr May concluded her visit by surprising four North Mid’s nurses with CNO award badges. The badges reward individuals or teams who have ‘gone above and beyond’ in their role and excelled in their performance.
The four nurses to receive the silver and gold badges are:
· Debbie Twist, named nurse for child protection, was nominated by colleagues for her “true and unending devotion to keeping children safe and ensuring their voice is heard”. Regularly tasked to oversee and lead on patient cases involving sexual exploitation and youth violence, Debbie’s tireless commitment to her challenging role has been recognised by the award.
· Valerie Johnson – who was invited to Buckingham Palace earlier this year to attend an afternoon tea event with Her Majesty – is preparing to celebrate her 50 years’ service at North Mid next year. Known affectionately as ‘Sister Val’ amongst staff at the north London Trust, her award is in acknowledgement of her advocacy for patient safety and employee wellbeing, in addition to her role teaching trainees over the years, many of who now hold senior and Consultant posts.
· Described by colleagues as an ‘outstanding’, senior midwife Mee Yee Yeang’s promotion of safe, normal births for her patients is greatly respected and has contributed to over a third of North Mid’s babies being delivered in the maternity unit’s low risk Birth Centre. Her award also recognises her mentorship of hundreds of student midwives.
· Reflecting on her award, Mee Yee said: “I wasn’t really expecting it - it’s always been a privilege to do this job. I look at it as a way of life, rather than a job, and it’s very very important to me. I’m just very thrilled to have won the award. I’m very proud.”
· Deborah Wheeler, North Mid’s Director of Nursing and Midwifery, was shocked to also receive a CNO award badge from Dr May. In recognition of her 39 years’ service to the NHS and tireless commitment for excellence in nursing, Deborah was presented with a gold badge.
Dr Carter said: “It was very touching to see members of staff who have given so much service over the years to receive the CNO awards. Each of the recipients was genuinely touched and moved. We’re grateful to Ruth for taking the time to ensure that nurses and midwives who have given so much, are recognised in this way.”
Commenting on the visit, Trust CEO Maria Kane said: “It was great to have Dr May with us today as we were able to showcase some of the many improvements we’ve made over the last 18 months.
She added: “It is also wonderful for our nurses and midwives to be recognised and honoured in this way for the fantastic work they – and all of our nurses and midwives - do.”