Nurse Belinda is patients’ choice

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A Pinderfields Hospital nurse who cares for premature babies and ill infants has just found out how precious she is to patients.

Sister Belinda Knowles has been given the Patients’ Choice Award 2015 at The Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust’s Celebrating Excellence Awards.

She sometimes sees people at the lowest ebb in their lives but the rewards can be immeasurable.

Belinda said: “My role is a mix of social work, safeguarding, nursing and counselling. I see these babies at their most fragile and their families at their most vulnerable. Of course there are up days and down days but when you see a child return and run around the ward it is a privilege. I wouldn’t swap my job with anybody.”

The award judges were moved by letters from patients celebrating Belinda’s work. She has dedicated the last 20 years to looking after not just premature and very poorly infants, but also traumatised families.

Belinda has wanted to be a nurse since being four-years-old. She qualified as a state registered nurse before moving into midwifery. She left to bring up a family but a newspaper advert persuaded her to work on the special baby care unit at Dewsbury Hospital.

The outreach nurse specialist is now based at Pinderfields. She is part of a small team – with a combined 90 years of nursing experience.

She picked up her award at a special ceremony at Unity Works on Westgate last month.

The Celebrating Excellence Awards were divided into nine categories and are designed to honour individuals and teams at Pinderfields, Pontefract and Dewsbury hospitals. The judges sifted through more than 100 quality nominations to reach their decisions.

Jules Preston, chairman of The Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust said: “The standard of award winners and those commended was high and represents the incredibly innovative, professional and compassionate work so many of our staff do. Whether they are front-line medics or from that army of behind the scenes workers that keep our healthcare system working these people are the essence of the NHS – and what makes it great.”

A galaxy of medical stars were honoured at the celebrating Excellence Awards at Unity Hall on January 28

Among those hailed was Children’s Regional Burns Unit ward clerk Kevin Rattray. He was praised for “providing reassurance to families in stressful circumstances”. He received the Behind the Scenes Award. Director of pharmacy at Pinderfields Phil Deady won the Leader of the Year prize after being cited by his team for “inspiring a shared purpose, encouraging a vision that puts the patient at the heart of everything we do”. Services offering support to patients across the Mid Yorkshire area were also saluted, including the Kidney Stone Service at Pinderfields.