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Local nurse awarded Betsi Cadwaladr Foundation Award

Susan Rees Community Infection Prevention Advanced Nurse Practitioner

Susan Rees, Community Infection Prevention Advanced Nurse Practitioner at Hywel Dda University Health Board, has been awarded the prestigious Betsi Cadwaladr Foundation Scholarship Awards for 2021.

This annual award, named after Betsi Cadwaladr, a Crimean War nurse, is presented in recognition to an individual who has achieved excellence in their field of nursing.

“I am extremely delighted to have received the award,” said Susan. “This has been an extremely challenging year for all infection prevention specialist colleagues, and without the exceptional hard work and dedication by the community infection prevention team, these achievements would have been difficult.”

This year’s award focussed on applications from practitioners who developed and implemented innovative changes in their practice during the pandemic.

Susan’s community infection prevention role and experience meant she was ideally placed to lead the community Covid operational response. Alongside her very small and innovative community infection prevention team Susan worked collaboratively with other community mangers and teams.

Her expertise helped to develop and implement COVID-19 infection prevention policies, population screening protocols, commission screening units, train supporting British army personnel, support COVID-19 outbreaks in care homes and community hospitals, primary care settings and schools.

A significant amount of the infection prevention Covid response was spent in care homes in order to mitigate Covid19 transmission and outbreaks. Further challenges included a visit to an Asylum camp in Pembrokeshire to conduct a Covid environmental audit and then develop Covid Infection prevention procedures with PHW including isolation pathways.

Susan plans to allocate the scholarship monies to support educational resources to reduce preventable healthcare acquired infections in the community.

Susan was also nominated for the British Journal of Nursing Infection Prevention Nurse of the year 2021 and was very pleased to be awarded runner up.

Mandy Rayani, Director of Nursing, Quality and Patient Experience at Hywel Dda UHB, said: “My deepest congratulations go out to Susan, her efforts and contributions towards the battle against COVID-19 are commendable; she is truly deserving of this award. I would also like to thank the Royal College of Nursing for administering an award that recognises the excellent work of all dedicated nurses, particularly during the challenging times that COVID-19 has brought us.”