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“Outstanding” UHNM senior nurse presented with prestigious national award

A senior nurse from University Hospitals of North Midlands NHS Trust (UHNM) has been awarded with a coveted national award in recognition of her lifetime’s contribution to the NHS.

Fiona Hibberts, Chief Nursing Information Officer/ Associate Deputy Chief Nurse, has been honoured with the prestigious NHS England Chief Nursing Officer (CNO) Award.

Fiona was presented with her CNO Gold Award at an online ceremony by Dame Ruth May, Chief Nursing Officer for England.

The Chief Nursing Officer Gold Award recognises the exceptional achievements of nurses in their clinical practice, education, research and leadership.

A nurse of 27 years, Fiona said: “I feel amazed, very humble, and grateful. I had no idea about the award. Dame Ruth May surprised me in an online ‘Safe in Our Hands’ meeting, something I used to organise a lot, so being invited into one wasn’t that unusual.

“There’s been so many teams and key people I’ve worked with over the years that have helped make this possible. You go into nursing to care for people when they’re at their most vulnerable, and I can say throughout my career, having done lots of different things and grown in my practice, I always carried the ethos of the ‘mum test’- is this standard of care that I’d expect for my family.

“There’s been lots of projects over the years where I came across a problem and thought, we can do something about that, we can change the way we do it, or we can learn new skills that make a difference or make the team work.

“Nursing is my passion, but using knowledge and skills to sort issues and make things better for patients and staff that ultimately is my goal. The two go hand-in-hand, and that’s what my research and doctorate are about.

A consultant nurse in gastro-intestinal (GI) medicine, Fiona became one of the first nurse endoscopoists and has supported the careers of many others, establishing a national endoscopist course in 2013 which was adopted by Health Education England.

She also has over 20 published articles in peer-reviewed journals and has spoken at national and international conferences.

Fiona is passionate about innovation, improvement and research, and works collaboratively with academic partners and both NHS England and the National Institute of Health and Care Research (NIHR) on several initiatives. Fiona is also completing her professional doctorate.

Ann-Marie Riley, UHNM Chief Nurse, added: "I was thrilled to hear that Fiona had received the CNO Gold Award. We are very lucky to have Fiona in our team here at UHNM and we are already benefiting from the impact she is making. Fiona has a wealth of experience and is incredibly passionate about delivering the highest standards of care for patients and receiving this award was well deserved recognition of this."

Fiona was nominated by former colleagues whilst in her previous Trust, Guys and St Thomas NHS Foundation Trust.