NGH nurse Rebecca wins award after caring for colleague who collapsed on duty

Pictured from left to right: winner Rebecca Richardson and Jan Sillette.
Pictured from left to right: winner Rebecca Richardson and Jan Sillette.

A staff nurse on the Collingtree Ward at Northampton General Hospital has won an award for going above and beyond for her patients.

Rebecca qualified as a nurse in 2011 and has worked most of her career so far on a Gastroenterology ward where she treats people with digestive system disorders.

She left nursing to have her children but has always found herself back on the ward looking after patients recovering from illnesses like alcoholism.

“I have to deal with somewhat challenging behaviour at times on the ward,” said Rebecca. “Patients are often confused and delirious when they’re de-toxing from substance abuse.”

Rebecca was nominated by her colleagues for a Cavell Star Award for going the extra mile for those she cares for. One of whom was actually Rebecca’s team mate and nurse, Jan Sillett.

Jan said: “Rebecca is not afraid of challenging situations. Recently, I was very unwell and collapsed on the ward. Rebecca promptly took charge and cared for me under very difficult circumstances, cannulating me and getting fluids in quickly and getting the team down to care for me. She always copes outstandingly well, no matter how dire the circumstances.”

Nursing charity Cavell Nurses’ Trust launched the Cavell Star Awards in 2018 in partnership with LloydsPharmacy Clinical Homecare.

Nominations are being sought from nursing teams throughout the UK for that special team mate who has shown exceptional care for either their colleagues or their patients and patients’ families.

Each Cavell Star Award winner receives a medal, presentation case and pin badge as well as invites to attend special 'Care & Cake' parties, celebrating of the nation’s nursing professionals.

Rebecca said: “It was amazing. I’m not one for wanting recognition, I just get on with my job giving the best care I can. I have been nominated for awards before but never actually won. It feels amazing to be recognised for a job I’m so passionate about.

“My nursing team are my family. I’ve known some of my colleagues all my nursing career and I’ve grown up with them. They have tucked me under their wing and grown me into the nurse I am today.

“When I received the award, I had just come off a horrible night shift and it was a welcome boost. I went from thinking: 'do I really want to do this job?' to thinking: ‘actually I am good at my job, I am recognised for what I do and tomorrow is another day.’ It most certainly gave me the boost I needed.”

Cavell Nurses Trust UK is a charity which supports nurses, midwives and healthcare assistants, both working and retired, when they’re suffering personal or financial hardship often due to illness, disability, older age and domestic abuse.

John Orchard, chief executive at Cavell Nurses’ Trust said: "We know there are nursing professionals up and down the country who show exceptional care every day, often in very difficult circumstances and sometimes when their own life is falling apart.

"You can say a big ‘thank you’ to your colleagues by giving them a Cavell Star Award.

“Cavell Nurses’ Trust is here for nurses when they’re in a crisis, so we are really excited that the Cavell Star Awards are proving so successful at boosting morale for nursing teams working extremely hard in very challenging situations.”

Healthcare professionals wishing to nominate a nurse, midwife or HCA for a Cavell Star Award can do so here.