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National spotlight on local nurses' awards success

A photo collage of the eight finalists for the RCN awards 2023

18 July 2023

It was a night of success for Hywel Dda University Health Board’s nursing team with two winners and six runner ups at this year’s Royal College of Nurses (RCN) Wales Nurse of the Year Awards 2023.

The prestigious annual awards took place in City Hall Cardiff last night to celebrate the outstanding achievements of all the finalists, including their positive influence on best nursing practice and improving the care given to individuals and communities in Wales.

Many congratulations go to Jill Paterson, Director of Primary, Community and Long-Term Care, winner of the Lifetime Achievement Award and Kerri Rowe, Paediatric Oncology Outreach Nurse Specialist (POONS), winner of the Suzanne Goodall Paediatric Nursing Award.

Runners-up on the night were:

  • Sian Lewis, Clinical Lead Nurse in Aberaeron Integrated Care Centre, and Bianca Oakley, Advanced Nurse Practitioner in Cardigan Integrated Care Centre, who were jointly nominated for the Community Nursing Award
  • Melanie Rix-Taylor, Commissioning Case Manager in the Mental Health and Learning Disability Team, who was nominated for the Learning Disabilities and Mental Health Award
  • Nia Sheehan, Student Nurse in Gorwelion Mental Health Resource Centre who was nominated for the Nursing Student Award
  • Dr Augusta Stafford-Umughele, Workforce Culture, Diversity and Inclusion Manager who was nominated for the Chief Nursing Officer for Wales Award
  • Tricia Roberts, Clinical Nurse Specialist in Wellfield Resource Centre who was nominated for the Advanced and Specialist Nursing Award

Mandy Rayani, Director of Nursing, Quality and Patient Experience at the health board said: “Being recognised for the contribution you make as a nurse or midwife through the annual RCN Awards Wales is a tremendous achievement. The awards provide a real opportunity for nurses, students, support workers and midwives to showcase the difference they make to the lives of people we care for and I am delighted that once again Hywel Dda nurses have been recognised.”

Jill Paterson, Director of Primary, Community and Long-Term care won the Lifetime Achievement Award for her work, developing a wealth of wisdom and experience particularly in primary and community nursing, general medical services (GMS) contract requirements, long-term condition management and continuing healthcare funding, often providing advice and support at a national level.  Her achievements are multiple and long lasting, they include such things as developing the first nurse practitioner programme in collaboration with Swansea University,; establishing the first national general practice nursing framework, establishing community-based nurse-led management of individuals with a chronic condition, and much more. 

She commented “It’s a great honour to have received this Award. I am proud of the developments in Primary care and Community Nursing over the years across the HDUHB area, and the leadership role I have played both locally and nationally in the development of the Profession.

As we look forward, I hope I can inspire and encourage other nurses who are making a difference every day  through the compassionate care they deliver to our patients,  to take every opportunity to influence and lead change that will improve outcomes for our patients and transform the way in which we deliver services.”

Kerri Rowe won the Suzanne Goodall Paediatric Palliative Care Nursing Award for her work investigating the role of the POONS in providing bereavement care to families. During her quality improvement module as part of her MSc, she identified a concern locally around the safe administration of chemotherapy in the community and the need for pumps to improve patient safety and quality. She commented: “I feel extremely honoured and privileged to have been nominated for this award firstly and never imagined I would become a finalist and win! It is an honour to do the job I do. It is all I have ever wanted to do and worked throughout my career to gain relevant experiences, qualifications, and skills to do the job to my very best ability. Firstly I cannot do my job without the team of NHS professionals who I work alongside,  support me and contribute to the overall care I can give, but most importantly I want to thank the families and the beautiful patients who welcome me into their homes, trust me and allow me to work alongside them to care for their child at home at such a devastating time in their lives- I will be forever grateful and hope to continue to develop the role and practices to ensure we deliver safe and effective care to the highest standard possible.”

Congratulations to all the winners and finalists, we are so proud to have you as part of our Hywel Dda family.

For more information visit: Nurse of the Year Award Winners 2023 | Wales | Royal College of Nursing (


Notes to Editors:

Runner up information: Sian Lewis, Clinical Lead Nurse, and Bianca Oakley, Advance Nurse Practitioner, were joint runners-ups for the Community Nursing Award. They were nominated for establishing the minor injury/same day emergency care (SDEC) service in Cardigan Integrated Care Centre, a Welsh Government-funded new-build. This has given patients access to care, care closer to home, and reduced the pressure at general hospital sites.

Melanie Rix-Taylor, Nurse Advisor - Learning Disabilities, Mental Health & Learning Disability Commissioning Healthcare Team, was nominated for recognising the needs of people who have a diagnosis of profound and multiple learning disabilities (PMLD) and additional physical health needs requiring nursing care. She contacted providers and found an opportunity in a new development for a small, dedicated unit to care for those with PMLD and additional physical health needs.

Nia Sheehan, Student Nurse (Mental Health branch), was runner up for the Nursing Student Award. As a fluent Welsh speaker, Nia recognised the mental health and care needs of a rural population and has successfully introduced a health clinic which provides access to support for mental health, physical health, and social needs. During her training Nia took the lead role in organising a One-Stop Health Clinic for patients suffering severe and enduring mental health problems.

Dr Augusta Stafford-Umughele, Workforce Culture, Diversity, and Inclusion Manager, was runner up for the Chief Nursing Officer for Wales Award. Augusta helped the health board to understand and learn more about issues being faced by staff from the global majority. She held listening exercises with nursing staff and influenced changes to the support of nurse development pathways. Her networking and influencing skills have led to a significant number of nursing staff joining the Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic Staff Network.

Tricia Roberts, Clinical Nurse Specialist in Wellfield Resource Centre, runner up for the Advanced and Specialist Nursing Award. She has pioneered work in the field of adult ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) services in west Wales. Having established services from scratch, she has fostered hope and positivity.