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Double celebration for Grace

A Physiotherapist from Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust had two reasons to celebrate after winning a national award and being promoted to a role normally reserved for nurses.

Grace Smith was named as one of eight winners of the CDL Rising Star award at the national Advancing Healthcare Awards, less than a week after being appointed to the role of clinical matron on a specialist respiratory ward.

Speaking about her award success, she said: “I was humbled to be nominated and delighted just to be shortlisted, so to be named as one of the winners was incredible.

“The event was really good and it was really nice to find out what other people across the NHS are doing. When you hear some of the things that other people have done and hear about all of the great work going on, you don’t expect to win yourself, so I was really happy.

“It’s lovely to get this recognition for the outstanding work going on in the Trust and on the ward I work on.”

Grace qualified as a physiotherapist four years ago and has made amazing progress, moving into a specialist role before being promoted to ward sister, a role normally fulfilled by a nurse.

As a sister, she learned a host of new skills and sharing her knowledge and experience with the nursing team to help ensure that patients receive outstanding care on the ward.

She has now been promoted to the role of clinical matron, meaning she is responsible for the running of the entire ward.

“It was an incredible week for me!” Grace added. “I’m really looking forward to being a clinical matron, a role that will still allow me to use my skills as a therapist, while also having the autonomy to manage the ward.

“I have already learned a huge amount during my time as a sister, both from the nurses and therapists that I work alongside, and the patients I have treated. I’m sure that this will continue and I’m excited about taking this next step.

“By allowing me to move into roles often restricted to nurses, Hampshire Hospitals has really thought outside the box. It’s important that the NHS is clever about job roles and thinks not just about professions, but what that individual brings to the role as well.”

The Advancing Healthcare Awards recognise and reward projects and professionals that lead innovative healthcare practice and make a real difference to patients’ lives. They are open to allied health professionals, healthcare scientists and those who work alongside them in support roles.

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