A NURSE with almost 50 years of public service was among NHS winners in this year’s Bridgewater Community Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust staff awards.

Cathy Walmsley received the Chairman’s Award, following her retirement in June, after 49 years NHS service - 35 of which have been in Warrington.

A loved and valued member of the Enhanced Care Home Support Service, Cathy has been popular with staff and patients in nursing and residential homes where she consistently delivered the highest quality of care.

Cathy has also worked in the Macmillan nursing team as an educator for end of life care and provided invaluable support for people with learning disabilities in the borough.

Also celebrating after receiving a Chairman’s Award was Helen Anderson, quality support officer in the Warrington Family Nurse Partnership team.

Colleagues nominated Helen for regularly going 'above and beyond' to create really special events for families, often working in her own time to do so.

She has made a significant contribution to the NHS following a long and varied career in administrative support roles and Helen continues to provide emotional and practical support to enhance the Family Nurse Partnership programme.

Occupational therapists Marie Martland and Bernadette Mason received the Contribution to Research and Innovation Award for their commitment to improving healthcare through research. Last year they set up a research site in Warrington for the RETAKE: Return Work After Stroke study in conjunction with the University of Nottingham.

Marie and Bernadette who are based at Orford Jubilee Park hope the four year study will determine whether specific vocational rehabilitation, in addition to standard NHS treatment, is more effective at helping stroke survivors return to work and keeping them there.

Their achievements are all the more significant as they are the only occupational therapists in the north west to be participating in the study outside a hospital setting in the north west.

Steve Lacey who was recently appointed as Bridgewater’s head of healthcare at HMP Risley received the Staff Engagement Award for his outstanding support, direction and sense of fun. His refreshing approach has had a positive impact on colleagues who provide healthcare services in a challenging prison work environment.

Bridgewater’s chief executive Colin Scales said: “The Bridgewater Staff Awards provide a fantastic opportunity to shine a spotlight on our hard-working colleagues and their achievements over the past 12 months.

“We received some truly amazing nominations which showcased the efforts of our staff to provide the best possible care for patients and to ensure the safe delivery of services.I am really proud of all our award winners and finalists and am truly inspired by their tremendous hard work and dedication.

“This year we have introduced new award categories which recognise our commitment to staff engagement and making Bridgewater a better place to work.”