Published on: 8 December 2022

Two nurses at Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust have been awarded the prestigious Chief Nursing Officer (CNO) Silver Award for their work with newly qualified health professionals.

Emily Shaw and Andy Johnson, part of the Trust’s Preceptorship support team that helps newly qualified nurses, nursing associates and allied health professionals when they start employment in the NHS, were presented with the award on a video call by the Chief Nursing Officer for England, Dame Ruth May, for demonstrating outstanding quality in the way they have fostered confidence amongst these new clinical staff.

Emily, Andy and their colleague Alex Kerry, a professional leader in occupational therapy, have overseen a transformation of the support provided when newly qualified health professionals join the Trust, resulting in an almost 100% retention rate during the first, often challenging, year in post.

The CNO awards have been developed to reward the significant and outstanding contribution made by nurses and midwives in England and their exceptional contribution to nursing and midwifery practice. The silver award recognises performance that goes above and beyond the expectations of the everyday role that the nurse or midwife is expected to perform in their current role.

Carolyn Green, Interim Chief Executive, who nominated the Preceptorship Support team, praised them for all their hard work.

Carolyn said: “What a fantastic achievement this is! The awards recognise the enormous range of skills and talent that modern nursing and midwifery represent.

“Emily, Andy and occupational therapy specialist Alex Kerry have been instrumental in several initiatives to boost the confidence and wellbeing of our new nurses and allied health professionals, including delivering regular lectures and training, and ensuring that they receive regular reviews with their team managers and mentors.

“Emily, Andy and Alex are always advocating for our newly qualified staff as well as inspiring them and nurturing them to feel safe, secure and happy at work.

“They are shaping Derbyshire Healthcare’s future and helping new nurses, occupational therapists, physiotherapists, dietitians and speech and language therapists to flourish in their careers. This can only be a good thing for local people who use our services.”

Today (Thursday 8 December) Dame Ruth May, Chief Nursing Officer for England, presented Emily and Andy with their awards with a surprise virtual call. 

“I wanted to say a huge thank you to Andy and Emily, for supporting newly registered staff. These are the people that are going to be looking after us in the future. These are the people that are going to fill our shoes and one day they'll be doing our jobs!

"They will always remember that support, and they'll always appreciate it. Andy, Emily and their team do such an important job and achieving retention rates of over 90% over the last three years is just extraordinary."

Tumi Banda, Director of Nursing and Patient Experience for the Trust, accepted the award on Emily’s behalf as she was unable to attend today and he passed his congratulations on to the team.

Andy accepted his award virtually and was extremely taken back, saying “I have seen other people receive these awards, but never thought I would be chosen to receive one myself, so it was an honour to be acknowledged. I have the best job at the Trust.”

Alex received the Chief Executive Officer Silver Award, an award presented to Alex by Carolyn to acknowledge her work in the team.

Alex said: “When I was fairly new to the role, I was asked where I saw myself in five years’ time.

“I didn't have an answer but I knew that I had no plans to leave this role. It’s a pleasure to see people grow and know that you're a part of it.”