Nurse Carol Bennett was recognised for going the extra mile when she was announced as a runner-up in the Boots UK Health Hero Award.

Mrs Bennett, of Marston, near Devizes, works at Cotswold House, an eating disorders unit at Savernake Hospital, and was nominated by a former patient.

When the patient was first discharged more than three years ago, Mrs Bennett, 55, drove her all the way back to her home in Wales.

She said: “I believe that being a nurse means that it is my job to really care and give patients the very best support I can.

“It is important to me to make sure that my patients are well looked after and this care does not stop when they leave the hospital.

“I became a nurse because of the compassion a student nurse once showed me, so it feels wonderful to know that I have now been nominated for a Health Hero Award because of the difference I’ve made to my patients’ lives.”

When Mrs Bennett – who has been a nurse for 38 years – went to London for the awards ceremony, she joined four more nominees at 10 Downing Street to meet David Cameron, whom she invited to pay a visit to the community hospital.

She said: “I thought he was very charming and he did his best to understand what it is we do.”

The awards, in partnership with the Daily Mail and ITV’s This Morning, were held at the Marriott Hotel, London, where Dr John Cormack, from Essex, was announced as the overall winner.

TV’s Dr Ranj Singh, who works on shows including This Morning and BBC Watchdog, presented Mrs Bennett with her award and paid tribute to the amazing care she shows her patients.

The award recognised Mrs Bennett’s dedication, from going in early to give a patient a beauty treatment to finishing a night shift and going straight out to support another patient in their home.

She said: “The nicest thing about it was getting to know the other nominees. We got to know each other really well in a short period of time.

“We all recognised that, with things like this, one person gets singled out, but we all work as part of a team and my team works really hard too.”