NURSES who went beyond the call of duty over the last year were rewarded for their commitment to patient care at a special ceremony at the Great Western Hospital yesterday.

As part of the annual International Nurses’ Day celebrations, the hospital’s five directorates were invited to nominate outstanding teams, nurses, matrons or ward managers.

The winners were announced after a staff conference yesterday afternoon and called to the stage to receive their awards.

Among them was Caroline Wedbed, a nurse auxiliary who was presented with the Rising Star accolade, alongside colleague Teri Dixon.

“I had no idea I had even been nominated,” said the 52-year-old of North Swindon, who has worked as a nurse auxiliary for 12 years.

“I work with the learning disability team and dementia patients.

“And I feel very passionate about what I do especially during pre-assessments which ensure patients get the help they need when they come to hospital.”

This Is Wiltshire:

Sarah Finney, left and Wendy Johnson

Ward manager Sarah Finney and matron Wendy Johnson came top in the Unscheduled Care category, while the Wiltshire Community Learning Disability team was voted outstanding.

Also among the winners were surgical pathways nurse Rachel Palfreeman and community nurse specialist Krista Grimley.

The Beech Ward nursing team, which cares for gynaecology patients and women in the early stages of their pregnancies was also singled out as unparalleled.

Val Mortimer, the senior sister for Beech Ward, said: “We are really chuffed.

“We have got an excellent team and for the girls on the ward to get recognition is brilliant.”

Val, of Old Town, said “Patient care is at the core of everything the girls on the ward do.

“We are all there to support the patients and it's very rewarding. I just love my job.”

GWH chief nurse Hilary Walker praised all the winners for their determination to go the extra mile.

“For me all our nurses work hard day in day out to deliver great care for patients,” she said.

“However, there are individuals who stand out either because they go the extra mile or they are good leaders or role models for their peers, or because patients love them for their kindness and compassion.

“A nurse needs to be knowledgeable and skilled and kind and caring. I think these are the top qualities a nurse needs. And we have these in bucketloads today.”