Forward-thinking consultant nurse wins ‘Nurse Leader of the Year’ category in Nursing Times Awards 2021

Date: 29 October 2021

Cliff Evans Award news

A consultant nurse and educationalist who works at Medway Hospital has been crowned the winner of the ‘Nurse Leader of the Year’ category at this year’s Nursing Times Awards.

Cliff Evans, who works in the Emergency Department (ED), was recognised for developing and leading the delivery of specialist emergency nursing and practitioner courses which provide staff with a recognised Master of Science (MSC) or Bachelor of Science (BSc) specialist qualification.

The success of these programmes has been shared with all Emergency Departments in Kent and further afield, as part of an emergency care collaborative that Cliff Chairs. This project has resulted in Medway Hospital becoming the South East’s centre of excellence for emergency nurse training, and 68 of the Trust’s current emergency nurses holding a specialist qualification.

Thanks to Cliff’s forward-thinking, the department now has 186 nursing staff with a turnover of eight per cent compared to 78 nursing staff with a turnover rate of 24 per cent in 2015.

Investing in the nursing workforce enabled the Trust to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic in an innovative and patient-focused manner. This included introducing a new emergency care access model during the COVID-19 pandemic as part of the Get it Right First Time (GIRFT) initiative. The front-door no-wait model, supported by Advanced Clinical, Emergency practitioners and senior doctors, enables the clinical needs of the patient to be addressed first time, by the right person, with the right skills from an experienced and multidisciplinary team.

The initiative also included an Advanced Clinical Practitioner led triage unit to manage patients with respiratory conditions such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and asthma, who might otherwise have been treated as a suspected coronavirus patient and placed on a COVID-19 ward during the pandemic. This undoubtedly reduced significant harm to many patients.

The Nurse Leader of the Year trophy was presented to Cliff by Royal College of Nursing President Dr Denise Chaffer during an awards ceremony held in London on Wednesday 27 October. The awards were hosted by BBC Breakfast’s Naga Munchetty and His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales.

Cliff said: “To be nominated and to win the ‘Nurse Leader of the Year’ award by your team is an incredible honour.

“It is also a tribute to the team, who deserve equal recognition, for the hard work and determination we all demonstrate each day to try and get it right first time for our patients.

“I am also extremely proud of the changes and improvements myself and my colleagues have been able to make when it comes to supporting professional development and career advancement.

“The NHS is currently under enormous pressure due to the pandemic, but leadership and teamwork enables us to provide the best of care for our patients, not just now but also over the coming years.”

On 10 and 17 November, Cliff will be representing Medway and presenting alongside Ruth May, Chief Nursing Officer for England, at the Nursing Times Workforce Summit.

Medway NHS Foundation Trust Chief Executive Dr George Findlay said: “To win a national award of this calibre is well-deserved, and publicly recognises all the improvements that Cliff and the rest of the ED team has made to patient care and recruiting and retaining colleagues, all of which has led to improved outcomes for our patients. Congratulations to everyone involved.”

  • Summary:

    A consultant nurse and educationalist who works at Medway Hospital has been crowned the winner of the ‘Nurse Leader of the Year’ category at this year’s Nursing Times Awards.