Liverpool Women's Macmillan Nurse Chris Webster has been voted top Lead Cancer Nurse in the country in the prestigious Nursing Times Awards.
She received her award on 31st October, 2012, in front of an audience of 1000 nursing professionals at a glittering ceremony at London's Hilton Hotel in recognition of her outstanding contribution and leadership in the care of the Trust's cancer patients.
Video of Chris winning her award (filmed by Silverstream TV)
Chris, whose award was sponsored by the Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust, was one of 848 overall nominees for this year's Nursing Times Awards which was narrowed down to a shortlist of 132 finalists from 96 organisations. Liverpool Women's NHS Foundation Trust Urogynaecology Nurse Led team were also at the awards as they were finalists in the Continence Promotion and Care category.
Jenni Middleton, Editor of Nursing Times, said on the night: "During the judging, I met some outstanding nurses and heard about their superb projects that have transformed the lives of patients and service users. These are nurses who have gone above and beyond the remit of their day jobs to improve the care of patients, to reach hard to access groups, to enhance services and ensure safety."
Liverpool Women's patients and their families have frequently paid tribute to Chris Webster's very special qualities. Being cared for by her was described by the mother of one end of life patient as being like "a warm blanket being wrapped around you."
Her Macmillan team describe her as "an inspiration", caring and empathetic, leading and guiding them to keep patients at the heart of everything they do. They say she has a serene calmness and efficiency coupled with a determination to achieve all that she thinks their patients deserve.
Gail Naylor, Liverpool Women's Director of Nursing, Midwifery and Patient Experience, said: "I am incredibly proud to be the Director of Nursing and Midwifery at Liverpool Women's and feel very privileged to work with amazing individuals like Chris. She is an absolute credit to our profession and this award so thoroughly deserved. Chris is a very special person, combining great warmth, which immediately puts her patients at ease, with being incredibly professional and a brilliant role model.
"She is an extremely valued member of our nursing team. Her commitment to giving excellent patient care is obvious in everything she does and she has made a real difference to hundreds of patients. Her caring and empathetic manner has a huge impact on patients and staff alike.
"In addition to her role as Lead Cancer Nurse, Chris has a full clinical caseload of gynaeoncology and palliative care patients. Leading by example, she has created an ethos of caring for patients as you would like to be cared for yourself. She cascades that to nurses in gynaecology and outpatients. She is a Chairman of the Merseyside and Cheshire Cancer Nurses Forum."
Jonathan Herod, Consultant Gynaecological Oncologist and Medical Director, who has worked with Chris for 13 years, says: "This award is richly deserved. Chris has worked tirelessly through that time and has led a team who provide exceptional care to their patients. Her work locally, regionally and nationally has been acknowledged by her peers and by the women she has dedicated herself to."
Three award-winning achievements helped convince the judges of Chris's "patient first" ethos.
The Patient Focus Group she formed seven years ago - Chris sees the group as the oncology team's "rock and foundation". By listening to them, she learns what needs to be changed and the essence of what the best service development will mean to them. She then makes it happen with her team.
EVOC, a support group and charity for women living with vulval, ovarian and cervical cancer, which she and her team set up, encourages patients to befriend each other and make the most of every day with activities such as forming a choir to boost their self confidence as well as helping them physically. The charity has raised thousands to be put back into patient care.
She was pivotal in securing funding for the development of the Trust’s Mulberry Suite, a state-of-the-art facility providing the highest standard of specialist palliative care to women and their families.