Success for Northern Trust staff at Healthcare and Keyworker Awards

Joanne Currie holds her Nurse of the Year award.

Three members of staff from the Northern Health and Social Care Trust were among the winners at the recent Healthcare and Keyworker Awards 2023 organised by Families First NI.

Lead Nurse for Palliative Care Joanne Currie was named Nurse of the Year, Personality Disorder Practitioner Simon Murphy won the Services in the Community award, and midwife Kirsty Deal received the Specialist Nurse award for her work on the Continuity of Midwifery Care model.

Joanne’s nomination followed her work on developing and improving palliative care services for patients and their families.

Reflecting on her role, Joanne said: “I have worked in the Trust for 23 years and have always felt supported and encouraged throughout my nursing career. I feel very privileged to work in specialist palliative care and after 23 years I still love my job. While my current role is less clinical now, I am excited to be able to assist with developing and improving palliative care services, with the overarching focus of improving quality of life of patients and that of their loved ones who are facing challenges associated with a life limiting condition.”

Simon Murphy received the Services in the Community award in recognition of his work as part of the Mentalisation Based Therapy (MBT) treatment team, providing group and one-to-one therapy for people diagnosed with a personality disorder.

The team provides assessments, consultations, treatments and reflective practice to assist families, carers and other professionals to manage their condition while Simon has also been involved in using creative arts as a recovery tool for service users, recording and performing music with them and other professionals as well.

Simon said: “The Trust has been very supportive of me in the past in several ways; primarily in helping me access a Masters course in Psychotherapeutic Approaches in Mental Health. I undertook at 20,000 word thesis focusing on the experience of staff who make referrals to specialist services in England to manage patients with severe disturbance and complex needs.

Our team always strives to keep up to date on the latest developments in psychotherapy while fostering a culture of learning that is psychoanalytically informed.

“This award comes as I mark two years since I suffered a series of strokes that required medical procedures and an extended time convalescing. I was able to gain an insight of that it was like to be a vulnerable patient at a time of uncertainty with the COVID-19 pandemic and I always try to retain a thoughtful, caring stance when helping service users who present to our service.”

Midwife Kirsty Deal, winner of the Specialist Nurse award, has worked in the Trust for over 20 years.

Reflecting on her award, she said: “I had the opportunity to be part of the team behind the first Continuity of Midwifery Care scheme in Northern Ireland.

“This has become my dream job. My role involves advocating for women and their families, educating them so they can advocate for themselves, and making choices that are right for them.

“All this is possible because the senior management in midwifery within the Trust knew this was the best way forward for maternity services and the families we meet.

“Being nominated for an award was incredibly humbling. I am so moved, but to actually win on the night was unbelievable.”

Congratulations also go to Grainne O’Boyle who was Highly Commended in the Nurse of the Year category and Deirdre Tolton, Highly Commended in the Specialist Nurse category. 



6th December 2023

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