‘Wonderful nurse’ honoured with prestigious award
PUBLISHED: 10:58 02 October 2020 | UPDATED: 10:58 02 October 2020
An inspirational community nurse has been hailed as a superb ambassador after being honoured with a national nursing award.
Kate Spence, who has led her team at East Coast Community Healthcare (ECCH) to provide care for residents in their own homes in Lowestoft and worked to improve care for the elderly in local care homes, received one of the highest honours of her profession.
The locality primary care home lead with ECCH has been awarded ‘Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother Award’ for outstanding service by The Queen’s Nursing Institute.
The Queen’s Nurse award is given to community nurses in recognition of an exceptional contribution to the care of patients in the community.
With 34 years’ nursing experience, Kate started her career as a district nurse in Newcastle before joining ECCH in 2015, where she has been instrumental in developing services to improve the quality of patient care in the local area.
She currently leads a team of 73 nurses and therapists who make up Lowestoft Primary Care Home team, one of four ‘hubs’ set up by ECCH in April 2019 to support GP practices in the Great Yarmouth and Waveney area.
As well as being dedicated to supporting community nurses, under her leadership ECCH has developed a skin tear pathway for care homes that has received national recognition, being introduced into 90 care homes across Great Yarmouth and Waveney.
Dr Noreen Cushen-Brewster, former executive director of quality at ECCH, nominated Kate for the prestigious award and praised her for continuing to “champion the cause of community nursing”.
With the annual awards ceremony in London cancelled amid the continuing coronavirus crisis, the Queen’s Nursing Institute presented Kate with her award via a virtual ceremony on September 30.
She said: “It is a great honour to have my work acknowledged in this way by the QNI.
“The vital role of community nurses is often hidden from view. I absolutely love my job and strive to do my best in all that I undertake.
“I could not do this without the support of ECCH and my clinical teams. I am fortunate to work in such a supportive organisation.
“I am immensely proud of my team and how they continue to deliver exceptional care during this very difficult time.”
ECCH chief executive, Jonathan Williams, said: “We are extremely proud of Kate for achieving this well-deserved award.
“She is a wonderful nurse, role model and an inspirational leader.
“In what has been a challenging year for the healthcare sector, it is fantastic to celebrate the efforts of staff, like Kate, who continue to go above and beyond to help improve the quality of healthcare in our communities.”
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