Five outstanding Community Nurses from Walsall and Wolverhampton have been awarded a prestigious title for their unwavering commitment to patient care.
Tammy Franks, Leigh Dillon, Ami Whiston, Marion Astbury and Kay Crowther have all been made Queen’s Nurses – the highest recognition in their field.
The title dates back to 1889 and is open to Registered Nurses with more than five years’ experience working in the community.
Kay Crowther, Deputy Divisional Director of Nursing – Community at Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust, said being awarded a Queen’s Nurse title was the highlight of an incredible year.
The 49-year-old said: “The last 12 months have been the proudest of my whole nursing career because I became substantive in my current role and I was successful in gaining a place on the Queen’s Nursing Institute aspiring leaders programme. To now be given the title of Queen’s Nurse it is such a honour.
“I absolutely love my job and I can’t believe that I have been given this recognition. I am looking forward to connecting with a diverse network of Queens Nurses and then sharing with others.
“I have worked in Walsall Community Nursing for 20 years and in my current position for 12 months. I have been fortunate to have role models who have inspired me and I now hope that I will inspire others to take up a role in Community Nursing. I am also a very proud mum because my daughter started her nurse training last month.”
Kelly Geffen, Divisional Director of Nursing – Community at Walsall Healthcare, said: “Congratulations to Kay for becoming a Queen’s Nurse. I am very proud she has received the title in recognition of her dedication to her patients and the nursing profession.”
Tammy Franks, Neonatal Community Outreach Manager at RWT, was given a Queen’s Nurse award for the care she provides so premature babies can be looked after in their homes.
The 51-year-old, who has been a nurse for 33 years, said: “I am so pleased to receive this award. It reflects the amazing work we are doing in the community getting our youngest patients home safely.“
Leigh Dillon, Senior Matron for Adult Community Services and Primary Care, is responsible for 215 Community Nurses at The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust (RWT).
The 37-year-old mother of three, who became a qualified Staff Nurse in 2007, said: “I feel privileged to be selected. It is a real honour. I am proud to represent and showcase our community teams at RWT – community care is such a vital part of the NHS.
“I am so passionate about recruitment and retention within Community Nursing and anything I can do to help raise the profile of their fantastic work is brilliant.”
Leigh’s colleague Ami Whiston, Matron for Care Co-ordination at RWT, has also been announced as a Queen’s Nurse. Ami, 34, has worked in the community since 2012 and completed a masters in primary healthcare in 2020.
She said: “Being awarded a Queen’s Nurse title is very humbling. Throughout my career in District Nursing I have worked alongside Queen’s Nurses and it is something I have always aspired to achieve.
“I am now really proud and pleased to be part of a community with like-minded Nurses who have such passion for community services and providing the best care and service for our patients.”
Marion Astbury, Health Visiting Service Manager at RWT, trained at St Bartholomew’s Hospital, London in the late 1980s. She said: “Tradition and quality was very important at Barts so becoming a Queen’s Nurse feels particularly special.
“I qualified as a Health Visitor 10 years ago and I am passionate about the work we do as health visitors, supporting and empowering families during the ups and downs of the early childhood period. I love my job and feel very privileged to manage the Health Visiting service in Wolverhampton.”
The Queen’s Nurses will all travel to London on 8 December to be awarded their certificates and badges.