We are incredibly proud of Helen Watkinson, Operational Manager, who has been awarded the Chief Nursing Officer Gold Award at the Learning Disability (LD) Symposium 2022.
The gold award is for outstanding achievements, and performance demonstrated by a nurse, in their sphere of practice. This may be clinical practice, education, research, leadership. The award recognises the exceptional contribution by an individual with a distinguished career in nursing.
Hillary Garrett, Deputy Chief Nursing Officer for England, recently presented Helen with her award.
Helen was awarded this award after being put forward for how she has made a huge difference to her patients’ lives in learning disability services, where she has worked since qualifying in 1989.
Tabetha Darmon, Executive Director of Nursing, AHPs and Quality said:
“We are extremely proud of Helen for this fantastic achievement. She has had a long and successful career in nursing, always putting patient care at the forefront of her practice, ensuring they receive the best possible care. She is a fantastic learning disabilities nurse and thoroughly deserves this award.”
Helen first worked in the community and inpatient settings, supporting people to live independently before going on to work at Rampton Hospital.
Adele Fox, Deputy Director, Forensic Services who nominated Helen said:
“She arrived at Rampton Hospital as a breath of fresh air as she was able to offer her skills supporting independent living in a range of different ways. Helen’s passion to support people to live their best lives was infectious as she started to move secure services in a different direction, enabling patients to take ownership of their own care, involve them in aspects of their lives they previously were unable to do.
“I believe she has shown how things can be done, engaged and taught staff that the impossible is possible and dedicated her life to working with people with LD”
In the National Learning Disability Service at Rampton she has led several changes that have seen a great impact on patients. Most recently leading on work focusing on ensuring even patients with a lot of challenges, can work to overcome them and move back into the community, with the correct dedicated care and treatment.
“I have been fortunate enough to have had a long career in nursing and I am sure that I have got far more out of this than I have put in. I have worked with, and continue to work with amazing people who are absolutely committed to supporting our patients to move on, progress and have richer lives.
“I am both surprised and humbled by the nomination, and always grateful to have skilled and knowledgeable nurses and multi-disciplinary professionals around me who, despite the challenges, change lives.”
More on the awards here NHS England » Chief Nursing Officer and Chief Midwifery Officer Awards