Nurse Leader of the Year


Richard Jones: NHS Practitioner Health

Richard is among one of the first registered mental health nurses to have held a national role as a clinical director, and the only one in the country who works in a service that treats healthcare professionals (HCPs) with mental health and addiction issues.

Richard, who joined this service in 2010, is an important clinical leader in the sphere of mental health for HCPs. He leads a multidisciplinary team of nurses, psychiatrists, GPs, and social workers responsible for providing clinical leadership and subject matter expertise to the team and chairs many of the MDT meetings at NHS Practitioner Health. This is in the context of the significant growth of the service from being London based originally, to now providing care to HCPs across England and Scotland.


Jacqui Burnett: Practice Plus Group

Jacqui is an incredible and inspiring leader, who, through her continued dedication and hard work, has improved the healthcare service at HMP Bullingdon. One of Jacqui’s greatest achievements has been the creation of a patient experience liaison team, which has resulted in service improvements and an enhanced healthcare experience.

Emily Cocker: The Alexandra Hospital and University of Manchester

Pain research, management and education are Emily’s life dedications, and she uses every opportunity to share her knowledge with her peers. She is one of the youngest pain lead nurses in the country and, inside three years, created a formal and functioning pain service for the private sector.

Alison Cooke: University Hospitals of North Midlands NHS Trust

Alison is a strong advocate for research undertaken by nursing, midwifery and allied health professions (NMAHPs). She created CeNREE: the Centre for NMAHP Research and Education Excellence. As the CeNREE lead, she encourages staf to further their knowledge and skills.

Analene Galvo: Royal Surrey NHS Foundation Trust

The ward’s culture and spirit are built on Analene’s leadership, which has been described as warm-hearted, authentic and innovative. Analene and her team have succeeded in organising outstanding initiatives for people with dementia.

Michael Grimes: Kingston Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

Michael, who leads the endoscopy service, ensures that the nursing voice is at the forefront of patient care. He has led the development of the ambulatory transnasal endoscopy service, which provides a safe, unsedated service for patients.
More than 40% of gastroscopy referrals are now carried out through the service.

Fiona Hibberts: University Hospitals of North Midlands NHS Trust

Fiona has worked in nursing for 28 years. She has sought to develop services to reflect the changing needs of healthcare and provided mentorship and support to colleagues. Some of her achievements include co-leading a national nurse endoscopist programme.

Melanie Jones: Herefordshire and Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust

Melanie’s passion for the learning disability community, and her commitment to lead, support and motivate her staf is second to none. Melanie works creatively to upskill and develop each team member within and beyond their skillset, bringing great benefit to her team. This in turn ensures excellent quality of nursing for patients.

Rebekah Nwaka: Lancashire and South Cumbria NHS Foundation Trust

Motivated by a sense of social justice, Rebekah, who is a mental health nurse, is leading the way in tackling hate crime. Over the past 12 months she has led on reforming and developing a trustwide policy on hate crime and its response to violence and aggression.

Komal Patel: St Luke’s Hospice

Personal development of staf is a key feature of Komal’s leadership and she has been described as supportive, motivating and dynamic. Komal promotes efective communication by providing a safe environment in which to share learning and new ideas, enabling staf to feel valued.

Donna Phillips: Spectrum Community Health CIC

With a passionate interest in safeguarding, in 2021 Donna gained funding from NHS England to deliver a pilot project to improve the clinical management of food refusal in prisons. Her best practice ‘toolkit’ has now been rolled out to 18 secure sites.

Caroline Ralph: The Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Caroline has rebuilt her team and ward after a period of low morale and burnout, following the efects of the Covid-19 pandemic. By staying strong, determined, caring and resilient, she has transformed the enviornment into an inclusive, compassionate, friendly ward, with a strong emphasis on care and improvement.