Mersey Care nurses win Chief Nursing Officer Awards

Two of Mersey Care’s most experienced nurses and their contribution to the NHS over their careers have been celebrated by being presented with Chief Nursing Officer Awards.

Trish Bennett, Mersey Care’s Executive Director of Nursing & Operations and Deputy Chief Executive of Clinical Services, was presented with the ‘Gold Award’ by Raj Jain, Chairman of NHS Cheshire and Merseyside, Christine Douglas MBE, Director of Nursing and Care at NHS Cheshire and Merseyside and Hilary Garrett, Deputy Chief Nursing Officer for England.

The award was presented in recognition of Trish’s ‘extensive experience of delivering on a broad range of community services from children to adults,’ having begun her nursing career in 1985.

Clinical Team Leader at Mersey Care, Solomon Gwatidzo, was also presented with a ‘Silver Award.’ He has worked for the NHS for 19 years and was nominated for the prestigious award for being a team leader who “is very inclusive and adaptive and this enables others in the team to learn, develop and achieve when working alongside him.”

Prof Joe Rafferty CBE, Mersey Care’s Chief Executive, said, “I’m delighted Trish and Solomon have been recognised by their peers for such important awards and I’d like to congratulate them both on behalf of the Executive Board.

“People all have their own reasons for their chosen career, but there is no doubt that Trish and Solomon joined the NHS because they care about their patients and want to influence how we develop our care to provide empathy and support to all of our communities.”

Trish remains visible at every level of the Trust and is known as a “nurse’s nurse” and is available to colleagues and partners on a 24/7 basis. That was underlined when Trish was the driving force behind restoring the reputation of Liverpool’s Community healthcare following adverse publicity in the final years of the former Liverpool Community Healthcare NHS Trust. Since being acquired by Mersey Care in 2017, Trish has championed our community services, which are now widely respected both within the organisation and the wider healthcare system.

Soloman, as a multi-ethnic staff member, supports others in his team and the wider secure care teams to understand the importance of inclusivity and being able to flex and adapt our approach to supporting multi-ethnic service users and being more culturally competent.

He has recently worked closely with a multi-ethnic service user in planning her discharge from secure inpatient services and is actively involved in her community follow up. The integrated approach to discharge ensured the view of our service user and her family was heard and incorporated in the plans.

The Chief Nursing Officer (CNO) and Chief Midwifery Officer (CMidO) Awards were developed by NHS England to reward the significant and outstanding contribution made by nurses and midwives in England and their exceptional contribution to nursing and midwifery practice. 

Images: Left panel: (L-R) Trish Bennett (Mersey Care’s Executive Director of Nursing & Operations and Deputy Chief Executive of Clinical Services) and Hilary Garrett (Deputy Chief Nursing Officer for England) Right panel: (L-R): Hilary Garrett (Deputy Chief Nursing Officer for England), Solomon Gwatidzo (Clinical Team Leader at Mersey Care) and Raj Jain, Chairman of NHS Cheshire and Merseyside)

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