Inspirational-Leader-of-the-Year-Zahra-Alexander-Head-of-Occupational-Health-and-Senior-Nurse.

Nursing and midwifery staff at Epsom and St Helier hospitals have been honoured at a special event which saw five exceptional members of staff and one outstanding team recognised with prestigious awards.

The awards were presented as part of the hospitals’ International Nurses’ Day celebrations, organised in partnership with the Royal College of Nursing (RCN), which also gave staff the chance to enjoy pamper sessions, dancing, a performance from the Trust choir and a delicious afternoon tea.

Chief Nurse Charlotte Hall said: “International Nurses’ Day is our opportunity to celebrate and say thank you to all our wonderful nurses, midwives and care assistants – whether it’s in a life-saving situation or a quiet moment spent trying to make a patient more comfortable, their work and dedication is absolutely invaluable to us and the people we serve.

“I am incredibly proud of our nursing and midwifery teams, and know I am not alone in feeling this way – we received a record number of nominations for the awards this year, all of which were so heartfelt and genuinely moving, which just goes to show what a difference our staff make to our patients and to one another.”

Congratulations go to:

  • Lynette Drakes, Staff Nurse – Friends and Family Test Award winner
  • Jomar Alex, Associate Practitioner – Unregistered Nurse or Midwife of the Year:
  • Rachel Staff, Paediatric Nurse – Registered Nurse or Midwife of the Year
  • The Day Case Unit Team at Epsom Hospital – Nursing or Midwifery Team of the Year
  • Workplace Mentor of the Year: Joanna Williams, Practice Educator
  • Inspirational Leader of the Year: Zahra Alexander, Head of Occupational Health and Senior Nurse.

Zahra Alexander was named Inspirational Leader of the Year, having been described by her colleagues as extremely caring, innovative and a ‘role model’. On receiving her award she said: “I am quite overwhelmed – what a wonderful honour to be recognised by my peers. I feel very privileged to be part of this profession, and am proud to work at Epsom and St Helier alongside such truly amazing people. Thank you!”

In addition to the presentation of the staff awards, the Trust crowned the winner of its first ‘ESTH Bake Off’, with the mantle of Star Baker going to Back Care Advisor Sandra O’Connor. As well as receiving rave reviews from the judges, Sandra’s cake and all of the other competition entries, provided a delicious afternoon tea for all to enjoy.

Chief Executive Daniel Elkeles, who was joined by the Trust’s Chairman Laurence Newman and Professor Oliver Shanley OBE, Regional Chief Nurse (London) for NHS England and NHS Improvement, in presenting the winners with their awards, said: “This has been a fantastic celebration of our staff who do such a brilliant job every single day. Well done and congratulations to all of our very deserving award winners.

“It’s been wonderful to hear so many people say how proud they are of their colleagues and of being be part of such an outstanding team. I think proud is the perfect way to describe how I feel about our nursing and midwifery teams, too – not just today, but every day. Thank you all.”