Awards spotlight for North Tyneside’s practice nurses

Mon 24th February 2020

Nurses from North Tyneside’s GP practices are in the spotlight after winning top awards at the region’s ‘Angels of the North’ ceremony.

The annual ceremony is run by NHS England to celebrate the work of practice nurses across the region – and three of this year’s eight award categories were won by nurses employed by Northumbria Primary Care Practices in North Tyneside.

Healthcare assistant Neal Bradford won the outstanding healthcare support worker award, while Simon Warne, a Trainee Advanced Clinical Practitioner, scooped the Education Award. Maria Towart, a Matron and Nurse Practitioner, won the Outstanding Leadership Award for her role in supporting 35 nursing staff across seven practices in Northumberland and North Tyneside.

Dr Lesley Young-Murphy,  Executive Director of Nursing and Chief Operating Officer at NHS North Tyneside Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “Practice nurses play a vital and highly skilled role within our GP surgeries, getting involved in almost every aspect of patient care and treatment, as well as supporting patients to manage their conditions and improve their health and wellbeing.

“We are so proud of colleagues like Neal, Simon and Maria, who make a real difference to people’s health and wellbeing and show what a rewarding career practice nursing can be.”

Initially employed as a manager, Neal found that he thrived in a patient-facing role and is now working to gain his care certificate and apply for a nursing associate course. Coming into his role, Neal quickly identified areas for improvement in the group’s practices, which helped to improve their rating in Care Quality Commission inspections.

Neal said: “I am so proud, but at the same time I was shocked. Having only been in this role for eight months, I can’t believe I have been able to make an impression on my team already.”

Education award winner Simon Warne has helped to develop a new nurse-led telephone triage system to improving the service for patients, as well as providing simulation training, so that staff can learn new skills from real-life scenarios.

Simon said: “I was surprised about winning the award – I didn’t realise that my personality would be able to contribute to my teaching, so I am completely honoured that my colleagues feel this way.”

Maria Towart, a Matron and Nurse Practitioner, won the Outstanding Leadership Award after helping her team improve care for patients with long-term conditions through better support planning, as well as introducing a new supervision and quality review process for all nurses.

Maria said: “I am honoured to receive this award. I have a fantastic team of nurses and healthcare assistants who inspire me, and I could not do my job without their support.”

Julie Danskin, Managing Director at Northumbria Primary Care, said:  “I am very proud of the fantastic achievements of all our nursing staff locally.

“Maria has developed a culture of care and support and has improved both patient care and the profession of primary care nursing.

“Team members remark that Neal is the glue that holds their team together, a fantastic achievement given his short time in practice, while colleagues also comment on Simon’s calm, confident skill as a teacher.”