A PHYSIOTHERAPIST from Basingstoke hospital has been shortlisted for a national award after successfully taking up a role normally reserved for nurses.

Grace Smith, who works as a sister on a specialist respiratory ward at the hospital, has been named as a finalist for the CDL Rising Star award at the national Advancing Healthcare Awards, which will take place in London on Friday next week.

Grace qualified as a physiotherapist four years ago and moved into a specialist role before being promoted to ward sister, a role normally fulfilled by a nurse.

She has excelled, learning a host of new skills and sharing her knowledge and experience with the nursing team to help ensure that patients receive outstanding care on the ward.

She said: “It’s a constant challenge, clinically and emotionally, but I love the role. I’m still able to use my skills as a therapist, but in a different way, and I have learned a huge amount, both from the nurses and therapists that I work alongside, and the patients I have treated.

“By appointing me to this role, Hampshire Hospitals [NHS Foundation Trust] has really thought outside the box. It’s important that the NHS is clever about job roles and thinks not just about professions, but what that individual brings to the role as well.”

She added: “I was humbled to be nominated and to have been shortlisted is amazing. It’s lovely to get this recognition for the outstanding work going on in the trust and on the ward I work on.

“I’m looking forward to the ceremony. It should be a really good afternoon and give me the opportunity to meet new people and pick up some new ideas.”

The Advancing Healthcare Awards recognise and reward projects and professionals that lead innovative healthcare practice and make a real difference to patients’ lives.

They are open to allied health professionals, healthcare scientists and those who work alongside them in support roles.