Updated: Wednesday, 22nd November 2017 @ 5:30pm

Best in the country: ‘Phenomenal’ Chorlton burns expert voted Nurse of the Year

Best in the country: ‘Phenomenal’ Chorlton burns expert voted Nurse of the Year

By Dominic Claeys-Jackson

A Chorlton burns expert is being championed as ‘Nurse of the Year’ by Leading medical journal Nursing Times.

Jacky Edwards, 47, from the University Hospital of South Manchester, received the coveted accolade on Wednesday at a plush awards ceremony in London’s Hilton Park Lane.

Judges cited her extensive burns knowledge and passion for patient welfare as key reasons for the victory, and Ms Edwards told MM she was delighted.

She said: “I’m still getting my head round it!

“Obviously I am absolutely thrilled; I am very honoured, I didn’t expect to win at all.

“There are just so many brilliant nurses, and I feel like I’m just doing my job, so to get recognised is unbelievable.

“It is just a job but I’ve dedicated most of my life to it, so it’s nice to get somebody who does recognise what you do and that you are making a difference.”

Working in the field since 1986, Ms Edwards became the UK’s first Burns Nurse Consultant in 2010 and currently lectures at the University of Manchester.

She has also published more than 30 research papers on wound care and presented findings at more than 70 international meetings.

Nominated by consultant colleagues before being shortlisted, Ms Edwards then had to present her work with burns patients to a panel of judges.

She developed burns competencies for the North of England after being seconded to be the Lead Nurse for the Northern Burn Care Network.

And Ms Edwards also set up The Burns Link Nurse Framework and The Burns Outreach Service, which offers a holistic approach to burn care in patients’ homes.

Nursing Times Editor Jenni Middleton told of how well-respected Ms Edwards was amongst her peers and praised her work.

“Jacky is a fantastic winner, with a great project,” she said.

 “What makes her stand out is that she very much wanted to do something which was above and beyond her day job.

“She wanted to do something that was going to make patient experience so much better than it could have been.

“There are a lot of excellent nurses and that is a really competitive category, so she has done brilliantly.”

Ms Middleton added that judges made the decision not just because of her huge amount of experience, knowledge and wisdom, but also because of her patient care.

 “It’s very difficult when you work in healthcare sometimes to manage all the different relationships and manage a patient that might be in severe distress,” she said.

“But Jacky deals with such difficult situations and manages them hugely well.

“She is a very sympathetic nurse but also very pragmatic and sensible.

“The fact she is a leading light in burns services has been the reason she has got this award, and she has a phenomenal amount of knowledge with a passion for getting it right.”

Ms Edwards was one of 18 awards winners at the ceremony, which celebrated ‘outstanding and inspiring members of the nursing profession’.

More than 1,000 nurses attended the event, including the chief nursing officers of England, Scotland and Wales and Unison head of nursing Gail Adams.

Department of Health Director of Nursing Viv Bennett and Royal College of Nursing Chief Executive Peter Carter were also present.

Daniel Poulter MP, Health Services Minister, was guest speaker at the ceremony.

Nursing Times is the leading weekly magazine for nurses in the United Kingdom, and was first published in 1906.

It publishes original nursing research and a host of clinical articles for nurses at all stages in their career, as well as professional and clinical news, features and opinion.

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