INSPIRATIONAL nursing staff who have made a difference to people’s lives were this week honoured at an emotional awards ceremony.

The Director of Nursing Awards, now in its ninth year, recognises the individuals and teams of Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (HHFT) nursing staff who have shown extraordinary care and compassion to patients.

Hundreds of nurses, midwives and healthcare assistants filled a marquee at the Elvetham Hotel, in Hartley Wintney, to see staff at Basingstoke, Winchester and Andover hospitals formally recognised and thanked.

There were a record 259 nominations from patients this year, with the winners picked by a panel of judges including governors of HHFT.

The winners of the Rotary Club awards each received an award and an invitation to dinner with the relevant Rotary Club, while the recipients of the individual awards were handed a £100 Virgin experience voucher and the winning teams each received £1,000.

Donna Green, chief nurse at HHFT, said that her own recent stay in hospital had made her realise how vital good nursing care is to patients.

She told the audience: “When I was in hospital, I was not worried about how many nurses there were or how nice they were – it was whether they could do their job. Nice but dim just doesn’t cut it.

“I had a huge amount of respect for a nurse who said very honestly that she didn’t know what to do and went to ask advice from a colleague.

“What you all do is incredibly important. You make a big difference to people’s lives.”

Among the winners was Alison Jupp, a junior sister on ward C4 at Basingstoke hospital, who was named as the winner of the individual surgical services division category.

Her nominator, whose daughter has been cared for by Alison several times, said: “This lady deserves a medal. I have no idea how she does it. No matter how tired she may be, she always has time for everyone.”

The team award winners were the C3 ward and isolation ward at Basingstoke hospital and the Anthony Letchworth ward at the Royal Hampshire County Hospital (RHCH), in Winchester.

Abbi Lascelles, physiotherapist at RHCH, won the allied health professional award. She was nominated by Peter Roberts, who was treated by Abbi when he was almost unable to walk because of pains in his joints and back.

He said: “I really don’t think I would still be here if Abbi had not been there. She has given me the confidence to walk, to work and to carry on.”

The Victoria ward, at RHCH, which specialises in caring for patients with gastrointestinal and endocrine disorders, picked up two awards – The Rotary Club of Winchester award and the Maggy Wallace award.

Patients described staff there as “very caring and attentive” and “committed”.

The Rotary Club of Basingstoke Deane also chose to recognise C3 ward while The Rotary Club of Andover chose staff nurse Julie Day, whose nomination described her as “very approachable, friendly and helpful.”

The Chief Medical Officer award, chosen by Andrew Bishop, went to Susan Bellows, a play therapy assistant at RHCH, who said she was “shocked” to have won.

Before the ceremony, guests were treated to champagne and canapés, and a talk from Caroline Redman-Lusher, the founder and director of Rock Choir.

Donna Green thanked the guests before they left, and said that next year – which will be the 10th anniversary of the DONA awards – will be a “very special event”.

Roll of honour

Individual nurse/midwife/ healthcare assistant award

Surgical services – Alison Jupp, Basingstoke hospital

Medical Services – Kelly Hobbs, Basingstoke hospital

Family and Clinical Support Services – Pauline Bawden, Basingstoke hospital

Nursing or midwife team award 

Surgical services – C3 Ward, Basingstoke hospital

Medical Services – Isolation Ward, Basingstoke hospital

Family and Clinical Support Services – Anthony Letchworth Ward, Royal Hampshire County Hospital, Winchester

Individual and team allied health professional award – Abbi Lascelles, Royal Hampshire County Hospital, Winchester

Maggy Wallace award – Victoria Ward, Royal Hampshire County Hospital, Winchester

The Rotary Club of Andover award – Julie Day, Andover War Memorial Hospital, Andover

The Rotary Club of Basingstoke Deane award – C3 Ward, Basingstoke hospital

The Rotary Club of Winchester award – Victoria Ward, Royal Hampshire County Hospital, Winchester

Chief Medical Officer award – Susan Bellows, Royal Hampshire County Hospital, Winchester