SIX hero healthcare support workers from north Cumbria have been recognised at national level for their enduring compassion and vital contribution to healthcare.

The six staff, all from North Cumbria Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust (NCIC), have been presented with a national chief nursing or midwifery officer of England or chief midwifery officer award by the Trust’s chief nurse, Jill Foster.

The award aims to reward the work of healthcare support workers (HCSWs) and maternity support workers (MSWs) in England and their exceptional support of nursing and midwifery practice.

Ms Foster said: “I am proud as punch that six of our support workers have been given this award by, not me, or even the regional chief nurse but the chief nurse of England.

"Well done to you all, very well deserved.”

Staff were selected from nominations that had been submitted by their colleagues and managers.

The chief midwifery officer award went to Kanya Moore, maternity support worker at West Cumberland Hospital. Proficient in many advanced skills, such as venepuncture, cannulation and newborn observations, her nomination said: "She is a very approachable member of the team, which is so important when teaching is an essential part of her job role.”

News and Star: Kanya Moore with her Chief Midwifery Officer AwardKanya Moore with her Chief Midwifery Officer Award (Image: North Cumbria Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust (NCIC))

Meanwhile the chief nursing officer award went to five staff members.

The nomination of Kelly Aitchison, apprentice nurse on Elm C ward at the Cumberland Infirmary, said: “Kelly is able to treat each patient with respect, dignity and empathy; she attempts to understand how the patient feels and support them to feel less anxious.”

News and Star: Kelly Aitchison, chief nursing officer awardKelly Aitchison, chief nursing officer award (Image: North Cumbria Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust (NCIC))

Louise McCreadie, an assistant practitioner in the Intensive Care Unit at West Cumberland hospital, was described as being "pivotal to the development of the service which considers a patient’s physical and psychological rehabilitation during multiple stages."

Rosemarie Franklin, healthcare assistant in the intensive care unit at West Cumberland Hospital, is "trusted and respected by new and existing members of our team," according to her nomination. "Rose is a truly dedicated and compassionate healthcare professional. An asset to our team, NCIC and the NHS. She champions working together for patients.”

News and Star: Louise McCreadie, Rosemarie Franklin and Courtney Fox - chief nursing officer awardsLouise McCreadie, Rosemarie Franklin and Courtney Fox - chief nursing officer awards (Image: North Cumbria Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust (NCIC))

Courtney Fox was a healthcare assistant on ward 4 at West Cumberland Hospital and has now been supported to become an apprentice nurse. Her nomination said: “Courtney has made a significant impact on the team. She introduced a small but very valuable learning resource/tool onto the ward that assists with identification of pressure ulcers. Courtney is an asset to ward and is definitely the face of nursing in the future with her ‘can do’ attitude.”

Emma Willis is a health care assistant who works in the Same Day Emergency Care department at the Cumberland Infirmary. Her nomination said: “Emma has the ability to see beyond the initial presenting complaint that patients attend the department for. She is always looking for opportunities to increase her knowledge which will benefit the patients in her care.”

News and Star: Emma Willis, chief nursing officer awardEmma Willis, chief nursing officer award (Image: NCIC)

The winners were all congratulated by Margaret Kitching, NHS England’s regional chief nurse, who was also virtually present to congratulate the winners.

Ms Kitching said: “Healthcare support workers make a significant difference to lives every day. These individuals today provide excellent care and show dedication. Thank you from me and well done.”