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The Queen’s Nursing Institute celebrates their 130-year anniversary at this year’s awards

The Queen’s Nursing Institute’s (QNI) annual award ceremony had added significance this year

The Queen’s Nursing Institute marked 130 years since its foundation by Queen Victoria 130 years ago with its annual awards show.

This year’s awards, hosted by Dr Crystal Oldman CBE, QNI Chief Executive, and Kate Billingham CBE, Chair of Council, featured a host of nurses who have shown exceptional dedication and commitment to the profession over many years.

During the event at the Royal Garden Hotel in Kensington, over 120 people were recognised for their amazing service, receiving individual awards for their work, gaining fellowship of the QNI or becoming a Queen’s Nurse – who are expected to become leaders of the profession in the future.

Some notable award winners include Gail Miles, a Respiratory Nurse Consultant, who was awarded The Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother Award for Outstanding Service. Her work on ‘BreathingSpace’ in Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust has meant that formation of a community-based care service for people and carers who have suffered from respiratory disease, many of whom were previous industrial workers. ‘BreathingSpace’ is entirely run by nurses and death rates from progressive lung disease (COPD) in Rotherham are now 30% below the national average. A recent CQC inspection said: ‘BreathingSpace remains the only entirely nurse-led model of care for respiratory inpatients and outpatients in Europe. We found that the culture, care and philosophy of the unit was outstanding.’

Another inspirational figure in the nursing world, who Dr. Oldman described as ‘an icon’, is Professor Dame Elizabeth Anionwu. Last night she became a fellow of the QNI after decades of hard work and innovation within the profession. Dame Anionwu was the first person to create a UK Sickle Cell and Thalassemia counselling centre. The opening of this centre in Brent in 1979 pioneered the opening of over 30 more across the UK. Besides from her heavy involvement in the delivery of educational programmes for NHS staff members at world class universities, she has recently been awarded a Dameship because of her continuing services to nursing and the Mary Seacole statue appeal.

Crystal Oldman siad: ‘The Awards Ceremony is a wonderful opportunity to recognise great achievements in community nursing, and to celebrate the talents, passion and dedication of community nurses and their colleagues.

‘I would like to extend a very warm welcome from the QNI family to these role models for nursing, learning and leadership and it is a great privilege to be here to recognise your tremendous contribution. I feel honoured to be leading this organisation which has at its heart the quality of patient care in the community in this, our 130th year.’