ECCH Staff Nurse is made a Queen’s Nurse
A nurse at East Coast Community Healthcare (ECCH) has been awarded the title of Queen’s Nurse by the community nursing charity The Queen’s Nursing Institute (QNI).
Naomi Hills is a community staff nurse in Great Yarmouth. She works for one of ECCH’s four Primary Care Home teams which are multi-disciplinary teams of nurses, therapists and social workers who care for people in their own homes to help them avoid a stay in hospital.
Naomi has been a community nurse since qualifying in 2005. She began her career as a Nursing Auxiliary at the James Paget University Hospital and says she was inspired by the nurses she worked with to complete her training. Then, as a student nurse, she had a mentor who delivered nursing care in patients’ own homes and decided that was where her future lay.
She said: “I feel it is such a privilege to be a community nurse as I feel we are the heart of nursing. The care is more personal - the nurse knows her patient and we are guests in their homes. Receiving the Queen's Nurse title makes me feel proud of who I am as a nurse as I pride myself on delivering high standards of nursing care.
“My biggest love about community nursing is visiting patients in their own homes. Often, we are the only person that the patient may see in the week, especially during the pandemic when patients did not see their loved ones. You build up more of a picture of that patient’s life and can support them with staying at home and not being admitted to hospital.
She met with staff from ECCH’s Primary Care Home (PCH) teams at Shrublands Health Centre in Gorleston. These multidisciplinary teams including nurses, therapists and social care staff work closely with local GP practices, and are central to ECCH’s innovative approach to delivering community healthcare. The group discussed addressing health inequalities in the local area, including the need for closer working with mental health practitioners.
Patricia also listened to staff’s perspectives on the current challenges facing the healthcare system in light of COVID-19, praising staff for their invaluable hard work throughout the pandemic.
“Being a nurse is a way of life, not just my job. Several of my patients have been on my caseload since I began nursing. I have mentored students that have then followed my journey and have become Community Nurses themselves with ECCH. This gives me a great sense of pride.”
Naomi is one of five nurses at ECCH to receive the prestigious award and one of only 27 Queen’s Nurses in Norfolk and Suffolk. The title denotes commitment to high standards of patient care, learning and leadership. It is open to registered nurses with more than five years’ experience working in the community, and the application process requires feedback from patients and managers.
Dr Crystal Oldman CBE, Chief Executive of the QNI said: “‘On behalf of the QNI I would like to congratulate Naomi and welcome her as a Queen’s Nurse. Queen’s Nurses serve as leaders and role models in community nursing, delivering high quality health care across the country. The application and assessment process to become a Queen’s Nurse is rigorous and requires clear commitment to improving care for patients, their families and carers. We look forward to working with Naomi and all other new Queen’s Nurses who have received the title this year.’
Naomi’s application was supported by her patients and with the encouragement of colleague Kate Drake, a Tissue Viability Sister and fellow Queen's Nurse.
ECCH Chief Executive Ian Hutchison said: “This is a fantastic accolade for Naomi and very well deserved. She is a great advocate for her profession and is dedicated to ensuring her patients receive the best possible care. We’re really thrilled for her – and to now have five of Norfolk and Suffolk’s 27 Queen’s Nurses working for our organisation.”
The Queen’s Nursing Institute is a registered charity founded in 1887. There are nearly 1,700 Queen’s Nurses in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. The QNI works with nurses and decision makers to ensure that good quality nursing is available to everyone, when they need it.