Michelle Bateman, the chief nurse of Derbyshire Community Health Services NHS Foundation Trust, has been announced as the first winner of the William Rathbone X Award for Excellence in the Executive Nurse Leadership of Community Nursing Services by the Queen’s Nursing Institute (QNI).

The award was presented to Michelle at a ceremony at the Wellcome Collection in London on 9th June. Steph Lawrence MBE, chief nurse of Leeds Community Healthcare and GP Federation, was highly commended. The presentations were made by Dr Crystal Oldman CBE, the QNI’s Chief Executive, and by Nick Addyman, QNI Council Member, representing the Rathbone family.

Michelle was one of 11 nurses nominated for the award.

The nominees were:

  • Michelle Bateman, Derbyshire Community Health Services NHS Foundation Trust
  • Jenny Bostock, The Grange Practice
  • Sarah Browne, Hertfordshire Community NHS Trust
  • Veronica Cleland, South Eastern Health & Social Care Trust
  • Carol Irish, London Borough of Newham
  • Steph Lawrence MBE, Leeds Community HealthCare and Leeds GP Confederation
  • Anne-Maria Newham MBE, Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust
  • Nicki Patterson, South Eastern Health & Social Care Trust
  • Mandy Rayani, Hywel Dda University Health Board
  • Charlie Sheldon, Central London Community Healthcare NHS Trust
  • Keeley Sheldon, Nottinghamshire Healthcare Trust

View the programme here.

I am both honoured and humbled to be the first recipient of this award. Community nursing is and will always be my passion. Thank you to my incredible colleagues who inspire me everyday and thank you to my mother who is a nurse and will always be my role model.

Michelle Bateman QN

I am delighted to be able, through this new award, that the QNI is able to recognise the exceptional contribution of a remarkable executive nurse who is an outstanding role model, a credit to the nursing profession – and as a Queen’s Nurse, a credit to the QNI too.

Dr Crystal Oldman CBE


The presentation was held following the inaugural William Rathbone X Lecture, given by Professor Alison Leary MBE, who spoke on the highly topical subject, ‘Thinking differently about nursing workforce challenges.’ Professor Leary is a QNI Fellow and Director of the QNI’s International Community Nursing Observatory, and Chair of Healthcare and Workforce Modelling at London South Bank University.

Guests at the William Rathbone X Annual Award and Lecture



Notes to Editors

The William Rathbone X Award is named for a member of the QNI’s Council who gave exceptional service to the charity over many years. The award created in his name will raise the profile and importance of the role of the executive nurse leader within healthcare provider organisations in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. It provides the recognition of the impact of excellent strategic nursing leadership, support for staff and the consequent positive outcomes for patient experiences in the delivery of community nursing services.

Nurses working for not-for-profit providers of NHS-funded community health services including local government, integrated community and Mental Health trusts, and integrated hospital and community trusts are eligible for nomination. The nomination criteria include:

  1. Evidence of the nominee’s contribution to the national agenda for community nursing or the wider care at home sector.
  2. Achievements of the nominee in the delivery of excellent nursing services in the organisation.
  3. Evidence of these achievements, such as CQC (or equivalent) ratings and annual staff survey outcomes.

William Rathbone X

William Rathbone X – the X denoting that he was the tenth member of his family to bear the name – was born in Liverpool in May 1936. As a great-great-grandson of the founder of District Nursing and of the QNI, William Rathbone VI, he continued a long family tradition of philanthropy and public service. He personified the direct link between the QNI founded by his ancestor and Florence Nightingale, and the modern nursing of the 21st century.

Mr Rathbone was a member of the Council of the Queen’s Nursing Institute from 1974 until his death on 31st December 2022 and was Vice-Chair of Council for 24 years of that time. In 2009 he was awarded the Gold Badge of the Queen’s Nursing Institute, its highest award, and in 2012 he was made an OBE for his charitable services. During his career he was also chief executive of the charity RUKBA, and closely involved as a trustee or advisor of nine charities.

We are grateful to Lucy and Nick Addyman, Mr Rathbone’s daughter and son-in-law, for their generosity in endowing the award.

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