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Community nurse receives prestigious Queen's honour

Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust community nurse Ann Collins has joined a unique group of professionals to be named a Queen’s Nurse.

Ann, GMMH Senior Manager of Older Adults Community Mental Health Services in Bolton, has become one of a handful of mental health nurses to be recognised by charity The Queen’s Nursing Institute (QNI) for her commitment to high standards of patient care, learning and leadership.

Nurses who hold the title benefit from developmental workshops, bursaries, networking opportunities, and a shared professional identity.

Ann received the award at a ceremony at the Royal Garden Hotel in London on 30 October from Professor Jean White CBE, QNI Fellow and Chief Nursing Officer in Wales.

Ann said: “I am honoured and very privileged to have received this award and could not have achieved what I have without the support of the Trust and the dedicated teams I work with; this award recognises the hard work they all do every day. I vow to proudly fly the flag for mental health nurses, especially those working in older adult services, and raise the profile of this under-represented speciality. 

“The ceremony was a fabulous evening and I met some really inspiring nurses. I took my husband David along and he enjoyed it too.”

The title of Queen's Nurse is open to community nurses with more than five years' experience. Managers and patients provide feedback about applicants, which is assessed along with their application.

The QNI charity was originally founded to organise the training of district nurses in the 19th century, but today it promotes excellent nursing care through its network of Queen’s Nurses.

This promotion includes the publishing of research, lobbying of government and other decision makers, educational grants and supporting retired nurses in times of crisis.

Ann qualified as a mental health nurse in 1988 after training at the Salford School of Nursing, based at Prestwich Hospital.

She has dedicated her career to working within older adults services and has spent the last 20 years in the community. She spent several years managing one of the Older Adults Community Mental Health Teams before going on to qualify as an Advanced Nurse Practitioner in 2009, achieving a PGD in Advanced Practice at Salford University.

Ann added: “I was integral in the development of the Dementia In-Reach Team in Bolton, a team that worked with nursing and care homes to support people with dementia.  

“In 2014, I became the Senior Manager of Older Adults Community Mental Health Services in Bolton having overall managerial responsibility for the Memory Assessment Service, Community Mental Health Team and Intensive Support Team.

“My passion has always been my clinical role and in 2016 I gained an Older Persons Nurse Fellowship with Kings College London, undertaking a quality improvement project that focused on non-pharmacological approaches in dementia care and I was honoured to be asked to present my project at a conference at Kings College earlier this year.”

Dr Crystal Oldman, Chief Executive of the QNI, said: “Congratulations are due to Ann for her success. Community nurses are expert professionals who make a vital contribution to patient health and wellbeing every day. As a national charity the QNI can share innovation and best practice, supporting nurses to deliver excellent healthcare to patients in local communities.'

More information about the QNI is available at http://www.qni.org.uk

Ann is pictured with Jean White CBE, QNI Fellow and Chief Nursing Officer in Wales

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