Nurse Of The Year awards salute the care and dedication of hospital staff

NURSE OF THE YEAR -- Vallet Brown (centre) receives her award from trust chairman Sean Lyons and executive director of nursing and quality, Susan Bowler.
NURSE OF THE YEAR -- Vallet Brown (centre) receives her award from trust chairman Sean Lyons and executive director of nursing and quality, Susan Bowler.

The angels of Ashfield and Mansfield were honoured for their care and dedication in the annual Nurse Of The Year awards for the hospitals of the district.

In conjunction with the Chad, the awards competition was run by Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, which oversees King’s Mill Hospital at Sutton, Mansfield Community Hospital and Ashfield Health Village, as well as Newark Hospital.

A record number of 131 nominations were received from local residents and hospital staff, which is more than double the previous highest. And the winners were announced at a special celebration lunch.

“We were overwhelmed by the fantastic response to this year’s awards, and it has been an absolute pleasure to be involved with the judging” said Susan Bowler, executive director of nursing and quality at the trust.

“It was extremely difficult to choose our winners from so many heart-warming stories about the huge impact our nursing staff have had on patients’ lives.

“Our awards recognise some truly inspiring examples of exceptional care. Most importantly, they provide an opportunity for us to celebrate the outstanding commitment of all our dedicated nursing and midwifery staff across the trust.”

Mrs Bowler presented the awards, alongside trust chairman Sean Lyons. Here are all the main winners:


The nurse of the year award was won by Vallet Brown, deputy sister on ward 14 at King’s Mill, who pipped runner-up Marie Sissons, sister on ward 11 at King’s Mill, and Carly-Jo Pickering, who was highly commended for her work as a staff nurse on ward 31 at King’s Mill.

Vallet was described by one nominee as “a wonderful, caring and respectable lady”. Others said: “Her dedication to her work is outstanding. She gives 100% to her patients and staff. She takes her role above and beyond the norm, and this is noticeable throughout the ward. She is definitely somebody for others to look up to and follow in her footsteps.”


Staff on the Oakham ward at Mansfield Community Hospital were named nursing team of the year after receiving seven nominations. The runners-up were the hysteroscopy nursing team at King’s Mill, with the falls leads team at King’s Mill being highly recommended.

Comments about the Oakham staff from nominees included: “They are always smiling and are professional, polite, kind, helpful and caring. They treat patients like royalty. Nothing is too much to ask. They go above and beyond the call of duty to make the ward a happy place.”


Sue Blunt, of the king’s treatment centre at King’s Mill Hospital, was crowned the first winner of a new award for healthcare assistant of the year. In second place was Deb Barlow, of ward 14 at King’s Mill, and highly commended was Jane Imms, of the Oakham ward at Mansfield Community Hospital.

Nominees described Sue as “a credit to the hospital” and “so helpful to others”. “She always has a smile on her face and makes you feel happy and cheerful,” said a supporter. Another added: “She is hard-working, brilliant at her job and loved by both colleagues and patients.”


A nurse described as “an excellent ambassador for children’s services, the hospital and the trust” was announced as children’s nurse of the year. She is Susannah Morelle, of Newark Hospital.

The runner-up was Sue Selby, ward sister of the neonatal unit at King’s Mill, while highly commended was Kerry Morris, paediatric nurse of ward 25 at King’s Mill.


Globetrotting carer Sally Goodwin, of King’s Mill Hospital, was named midwife of the year, just ahead of staff colleagues Yvette Sheppard (runner-up) and Caroline Renshaw (highly commended).

One nominee said of Sally: “She works tirelessly to enhance the birth experience for local women. She is passionate about promoting mormality in birth and champions the ethos of providing quality midwifery care to her families.”

Another added: “She recently spent her annual leave in Kenya, working in a birth centre, run by a charity trying to improve the birth experience of women living in poverty. She is truly a ‘with woman’ midwife!”


Two other new accolades were also handed out. The winner of the Director Of Nursing Award was Sarah Addlesee, who is patient safety lead at King’s Mill, and the winner of the Lifetime Achievement Award was Karen Beastall, former leader of ward 43 at King’s Mill.