Nursing Times Awards 2016: Meet the finalists

This year NHS Professionals is sponsoring the Rising Star Award, which is taking place at Grosvenor House Hotel, London on 26 October.

The Rising Star Award aims to recognise a nurse who has been qualified for less than five years, and demonstrates exceptional qualities that embody the best of nursing and the leadership skills to inspire others to follow their example. Candidates must be able to demonstrate that they have put one or more of the 6Cs into practice through an initiative to improve patient care.

The judges have narrowed the Rising Star category down to nine entries; take a look at their profiles below to find out why they were nominated:


Caroline Golder – cardiac rehabilitation nurse, Wirral Community NHS Trust

Caroline is a compassionate and committed cardiac rehabilitation nurse. She was the first newly qualified nurse to be employed as a cardiac rehab nurse, historically a role taken by former cardiology and cardiac surgical nurses. Since qualifying, Caroline has continued to strive to produce the highest levels of care. She has taken masters modules and is currently completing her level 7 mentorship qualification.

Caroline is incredibly patient focussed. She works with the patient to support their recovery and improve their quality of life. She leads educational sessions to inform and reassure patients as well as exercise sessions for Cardiac Rehab (CR) and specialised Heart Failure (HF) Rehab to empower people with heart disease. She even played an instrumental role in last year’s Quality Improvement Project, which changed the CR programme from 6-8 weeks in compliance with national standards. Caroline works hard to make sure patients feel safe and informed. She is honest and down to earth, which is particularly important in making younger complex cardiac patients feel reassured.


Daniel Oliveira – specialist clinical manager, Four Seasons Health Care

 Daniel is a charismatic and passionate specialist clinical manager at Bangor Care Home in Northern Ireland. Since qualifying four years ago he has held positions as a nurse, charge nurse, clinical lead, deputy care home manager and acting care home manager. He specialises within frail elderly, dementia and mental health units and is keen to promote the importance of care homes, publishing a blog in the British Medical Journal in late 2015. His attention to detail, clinical competence and leadership skills have directly aided some of our care homes that have had embargos placed on them.

One of Daniel’s key qualities is an ability to understand how his own behaviour impacts on those around him. He is able to see patients as people, and to take into account patients’ families and friends. He is very able at connecting with patients, understanding the integral role this plays in their development. This has allowed patients to take back some elements of their everyday lives. Daniel also understands the important impact that his behaviour and leadership has on his team. He is supportive, confident and open, makes time for supervision and reflection, making him an excellent, inspirational leader.


Camille Penales – staff nurse, St Georges University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

As a staff nurse Camille undertakes a number of medical roles from intermediate life support to phlebotomy, while also mentoring student nurses and new staff. Camille is incredibly driven, providing her team with strong leadership, stimulating recreation activities and a creative and safe environment.

She also provides an incredibly supportive figure for her patients, going above and beyond her role as nurse to play patient advocate, expert clinician, comforter, educator and caregiver. Camille has a strong work ethic, never neglecting her manners or bringing a negative attitude to the work place. She takes pride in her job and carries herself as a role model to others all the time.


Danielle Bull – staff nurse, Queens Medical Centre Children’s Emergency Department

 Danielle is a staff nurse at Queens Medical Centre Children’s Emergency Department (CED). Her roles include triage, assessment, management, treatment and transfer of patients with a variety of illnesses and injuries. She is also involved in areas of emergency care, from resuscitation to assisting in the manipulation of fractures. Danielle works extremely well within a team and shows huge initiative.

She is one of the few staff who joined CED straight after qualifying and is now a key figure in its running. She acts as a link role for protocols and for Paediatric Early Warning Scores (PEWS). These are two roles that have never had a formal link to nurses prior to Danielle taking them on. Danielle has shown huge leadership potential in patient care and in ensuring that staff are following up to date protocols. As a PEWS link she is responsible for auditing all staff observation charts, no matter the seniority, and ensuring that they are up to the expected standard, providing further teaching to staff as needed. Danielle remains professional and caring in the face of a challenge and never compromises on producing high quality nursing care.


Charlotte Nunn – paediatric sister, Hinchingbrooke Health Care NHS Trust

 Charlotte is a paediatric sister in the A&E department of Hinchingbrooke Health Care NHS Trust, taking part in both clinical and administrative roles. Charlotte makes sure the department undergoes continuous improvement through the completion of audits to highlight paediatric quality issues. She has also played a huge role in the development, and subsequent improvement, of the department. Charlotte worked on developing paediatric pathways to ensure there is equitable care delivery across all conditions relating to paediatrics. She is also responsible for developing the paediatric nursing team within the A&E department. She has set up paediatric development days to insure that all A&E nurses are fully competent to deliver care to children. She has also successfully implemented a paediatric rotation project, which has received positive feedback across the department. Through this, Charlotte has demonstrated herself as an inspirational leader, of a professional and caring nature.


Emma Botten – charge nurse, National and Specialist Acorn Lodge Children’s Inpatient Unit, South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust

 Emma is a charge nurse on Acorn Lodge, a national inpatient unit for children up to the age of 12. Within the unit, Emma plays an important role for both staff and patients. She is in charge of coordinating shifts, supervising staff, mentoring students, acting as care coordinator for children, managing and supporting staff in relation to challenging circumstances, and for working with families, parents and carers.

Emma is also the physical health lead and has designed several audits and service evaluations resulting in improving the care children receive. She has also taken on a supervisory role for more junior staff and has expanded educational resources on the unit, while also noting other areas for potential development. Emma’s abilities are reflected in the fact that she was seconded as a charge nurse only five months after qualifying and promoted to this position after her three month secondment ended. Since then she has completed several courses, including CAMHS, Leadership, Mentorship, and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. Emma has managed some exceptionally challenging situations. She has shown courage and support, and initiative to improve further quality of care. Most importantly, Emma receives very positive feedback from all children and parents she works with.


Dionne Levy – specialist mental health midwife, Queen Charlotte’s and Chelsea Hospital

 Dionne has held the role of specialist mental health midwife at Imperial since May 2015, working across two maternity units. Dionne’s role includes case loading women with mental illness, supporting other midwifes to look after women with mental health problems and acting as a point of contact for them should they have concerns, training other staff in the maternity hospital to know when and where to make referrals, and generally raising awareness of mental health issues. Dionne provides an essential link between the perinatal mental health teams and maternity teams, ensuring that care plans are shared and staff members are updated. She works diligently to engage with all the services involved in patients’ care; attending social care meetings, the mother and baby unit, and the perinatal mental health team meetings.

Dionne also works tirelessly to reduce the stigma around mental health, emphasising the importance of equally considering physical and mental health care, and challenging negative attitudes. She also puts great effort into improving the experience of those women who feel stigmatised or who have poor experience of care. She consistently receives excellent feedback from the women she sees.


Nana Owusu – clinical nurse specialist, Hounslow Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service, West London Mental Health NHS Trust

Nana works as a clinical nurse specialist at Hounslow Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service. Since qualifying as a registered mental nurse in 2012 Nana has undertaken postgraduate training in a variety of roles including CBT therapist and a DBT therapist. Within the unit she holds her own case load and as a clinician with specialist skills she provides comprehensive and standardised assessments as well as evidence based individual, family and group interventions for children and young people.

Nana also volunteers her time to the Hounslow Local Safeguarding Children’s Board as a qualified trainer in suicide and self-harm awareness. Here she helps with the training of professionals working with children and young people in dealing with suicide and self-harm. Nana is the CAMHS link for the Hounslow Adolescent Mental Health Forum, an organisation offering peer support to local agencies working in the field of adolescent mental health.

Nana made a significant contribution to the development of user involvement within the service. She has played a key role in several user involvement projects, including the development and launch of the CAMHS website, the creation of a managing exam stress resource pack, and the making of a short film to create awareness about depression, anxiety and CAMHS. Nana is currently working with Kick it Out (Football’s equality and inclusion organisation) to develop a collaborative national mental health anti stigma campaign.


Abby Harper Payne – clinical research nurse and Emergency Care Nurse, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust

Abby is a clinical research nurse and emergency care nurse at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust. After qualifying, Abby took her masters in clinical research and has recently submitted her PhD application. Abby works with the multidisciplinary teams and has played a vital role in building the relationship between the various departments.

Currently Abby is a clinical research nurse for three trials. The first, Halt-It, is a trial assessing whether early administration of tranexamic acid in those with acute gastrointestinal bleeding can benefit patient outcomes. CRASH-3 trial assesses the effect of tranexamic acid on risk of death or disability in patients with Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). Finally, Abby is involved in cardiac research on newly diagnosed atrial fibrillation. In A&E she undertook all significant training to improve herself to provide better care for our patients.

Abby is a great asset to the nursing family. She treats everyone around her with dignity, kindness, respect and compassion. Abby has inspired her team to become better healthcare professionals.



We’re looking forward to finding out the Rising Star winner on 26 October at Grosvenor House Hotel. Good luck to all of the finalists, we’re proud to recognise the rising stars of the future.

About the author

NHS Professionals administrator

NHS Professionals manages the temporary staffing needs of around 66 NHS Trusts across England. An integral part of the NHS, it aims to reduce Trusts’ spending on flexible workers without compromising quality, by providing greater transparency of demand and supplying bank staff at the best possible rate. Its bank of more than 40,000 flexible workers comprises general and specialist nurses, doctors, midwives, admin/clerical , allied health professionals, healthcare scientists, support services among other healthcare professionals.

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