The Queen’s Nursing Institute (QNI) held its annual Awards Ceremonies on 28th November at Friends House in London.

The programmes of the two ceremonies included presentation of the following:

  • Fellowship of the Institute
  • The Outstanding Service Award
  • The Executive Leadership Programme
  • The Aspiring Leaders programme
  • The International Community Nurse of the Year Award
  • The Queen’s Nurse title
  • Leaders of community nursing innovation programmes
  • Memorial prizes for post-registration community nursing students

The presentations in the morning ceremony were made by Dame Professor Elizabeth Anionwu, QNI Vice President, Professor John Unsworth QN, and Gill Boast QN. The presentations in the afternoon ceremony were made by Professor Deborah Sturdy OBE and Professor John Unsworth OBE.

Awards Ceremony afternoon photo summary

Awards Ceremony evening photo summary

New Queen’s Nurses 2022

Download the Awards Ceremony photos:

Click here to see and download photographs from the afternoon ceremony.*

Click here to see and download photographs from the evening ceremony.*


Fellowship of the Institute was presented to:

Howard Catton
Rachel Hollis
Elizabeth Iro
Professor Brian Webster-Henderson
Citations of the new Fellows are given in the Notes to this release.

The Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother Award for Outstanding Service

The Award for Outstanding Service was presented to:

Ben Bowers
Karen Coles
Katy Welsh
Komal Patel
Patricia O’Meara
Citations of the award winners are given in the Notes to this release.

The Executive Leadership Programme   

The Executive Nurse Leadership programme is designed to help prepare nurses in a strategic leadership position for positions of national leadership in the health and care systems. The QNI is extremely grateful to the National Garden Scheme for the funding of this programme. The full list of participants is given in the official programme (link below).

The Aspiring Leaders Programme

The Aspiring Leaders Programme is designed to support the professional development of nurses working in the community to become future leaders in healthcare, to the benefit of the people, families and communities they serve. A full list of participants is given in the official programme (link below).

The International Community Nurse of the Year Award

The International Community Nurse of the Year Award was presented to Ananthu Ashok, Practice Development Nurse, Sussex Community NHS FT, whose citation is in the Notes. The award, created with the support of NHS England, was presented by Dame Professor Elizabeth Anionwu.

Queen’s Nurses   

Queen’s Nurses have at least five years’ experience of working in community settings and undergo a rigorous selection process to receive the title. The Queen’s Nurse programme is generously funded through the support of the National Garden Scheme and there are now almost 2000 Queen’s Nurses working in England, Wales, Northern Ireland, Channel Islands and Isle of Man. The full list of new Queen’s Nurses is given on the QNI Awards Ceremony programme 2022.

As nurses in the community today, you work in a very different world to that of the original Queen’s Nurses. You have more opportunities for practice development than the original Queen’s Nurses could ever have imagined – you have the knowledge and skills to assess, diagnose, treat and prescribe for your patients; and you have more influential roles in your communities, in public health and in health protection. But with these opportunities come new challenges, which we expect you, as Queen’s Nurses, to rise to.

Dr Crystal Oldman CBE, QNI Chief Executive

Community Nursing Innovation Awards 

Certificates were presented to the leaders of ten projects in Complex Care in the Community. The full list of projects is given in the event programme, and the QNI has recently published final reports of all the projects. The projects were generously funded by The Burdett Trust for Nursing.

Academic Prizes   

The QNI currently offers three academic prizes to graduates of specialist practitioner qualifications in three specialisms, at every university where the courses are offered. The prizes were awarded today to one recipient of each award.

The Ellen Mary Memorial Prize for General Practice Nursing SPQ students
Presented by Gill Boast QN to Beverley Tanner

The Dora Roylance Memorial Prize for Health Visitor SCPHN students 
Presented by Professor John Unsworth to Grace Adegunwa-Peace

The Philip Goodeve-Docker Memorial Prize for District Nursing SPQ students
Presented by Professor John Unsworth to Lorna Morgan

In his address to the evening ceremony, George Plumptre, Chief Executive of the National Garden Scheme, announced that £400,000 would be donated to the Queen’s Nursing Institute from the charity’s fundraising this year, the largest total ever donated to the QNI in the shared history of the two charities. The National Garden Scheme announced a total of £3.1m in donations to nursing and caring charities today.


Notes to Editors

*PHOTOGRAPHS – if you need high resolution photos for press or other purposes please contact matthew.bradby@qni.org.uk . Please credit our photographer, Kate Stanworth if you use any photos.

QNI Fellows

Howard Catton

Howard Catton was appointed the Chief Executive Officer of the International Council of Nurses (ICN) in February 2019. Throughout his career, Howard has worked and written extensively on issues relating to the nursing and healthcare workforce and he co-chaired the first ever State of the World’s Nursing Report. He has led ICN’s work to respond to and support nurses globally during the pandemic and has been at the forefront of advocating for the protection of and investment in the nursing profession. Howard joined ICN in April 2016 as the Director, Nursing, Policy and Programmes. His team led the development of ICN policy and position statements, working closely with WHO and other International Organisations to provide nursing advice on global health challenges and input into formal WHO and UN decision making meetings and processes. In December 2019 the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland appointed Howard as Fellow of the Faculty of Nursing and Midwifery.

Mr Catton commented: “It is a huge honour to receive this QNI Fellowship, especially in the company of such exceptional nurses. As CEO of the International Council of Nurses and a UK Nurse, I know how influential the Queen’s Nursing Institute has and continues to be to the advancement of community nursing. Nurses right around the world who are working deep in our communities, whether it be rural and remote or inner-city settings and across a wide range of sectors beyond just health have never been more important to preventing and addressing global health needs and truly delivering health for all. I am delighted to be able to collaborate with QNI to achieve our mutual goals.”

Rachel Hollis

Rachel Hollis is Honorary Nurse Adviser for Children’s Cancer at the Leeds Children’s Hospital. Before retirement in 2018 Rachel spent almost thirty years working in paediatric oncology and haematology in Leeds, most recently as Lead Nurse for Children’s Cancer. She has been involved in developing services for children and young people with cancer at the local and national level. She is still a practising nurse and is active in the field of children’s cancer care in a number of voluntary, advisory and professional roles. Rachel is Vice Chair of the Board of Young Lives vs Cancer, the UK’s largest charity supporting the families of children with cancer. Rachel has a particular interest in international health care; she is the Vice Chair of the Board of ‘World Child Cancer’, a charity which works to support capacity building in paediatric oncology in low- and middle-income countries. She leads a twinning partnership between the Leeds Children’s Hospital and a children’s cancer service in Cameroon. Rachel is a Fellow of the Royal College of Nursing and currently chairs the Professional Nursing Committee of the RCN.

Rachel Hollis commented: “I am absolutely delighted to be awarded Fellowship of the Queen’s Nursing Institute; it is a great honour. As a children’s cancer nurse, I know how vital care closer to home is for children, young people and their families. As the current Chair of the Professional Nursing Committee of the Royal College of Nursing I recognise the importance of collaboration with the QNI in advocating for nurses working in community settings right across the UK and beyond.”  

Elizabeth Iro

Elizabeth Iro started in her role as Chief Nursing Officer of WHO in January 2018. Elizabeth is from the Cook Islands and has served as the country’s Secretary of Health since 2012. She was the first nurse/midwife and woman to be appointed in this position. In this role, she has implemented legislative reforms to strengthen the country’s health system and developed the National Health Strategic plans (2012-2016, 2017-2021) and a National Health Road Map 2017-2036, among other National policy and strategic documents. Prior to this role, she served as the country’s Chief Nursing Officer from 2011 to 2012. In addition, for the first 25 years of her career, she was a practicing nurse and midwife, serving in several roles in the Cook Islands and New Zealand.

Elizabeth Iro commented: “I am delighted to receive a Fellowship Award from the QNI. It is a great honour. The QNI shines a light on the importance of nursing in our communities and the critical role that we as nurses play in delivering health care services in primary health care settings. It has promoted high quality good nursing care around the world and provided the evidence we need to show how nurses can make a difference to the health and wellbeing of our people. In challenging times, the QNI has supported nurses in every way possible and ensuring a focus on the people we care for. I am reminded of a common saying or proverb in New Zealand Maori:

He aha te mea nui o te ao – What is the most important thing in the world?
He tangata, he tangata, he tangata – It is the people, it is the people, it is the people.”

Professor Brian Webster-Henderson

Professor Brian Webster Henderson is a Professor of Nursing and Deputy Vice Chancellor (Health, Environment and Innovation) at the University of Cumbria and a recognised and established national leader in relation to nursing and health care. He is Chair of the Council of Deans of Health UK, which represents the university sector across the whole of the UK. This comprises 100 universities that provide nursing, midwifery and/or allied health profession education and research and works at the highest level of strategic discussions on issues such as workforce, curriculum design, research and policy. He provides strategic leadership for the Institute of Health, and the Institute of Science, Natural Resources and Outdoor Studies, as well as Marketing and Recruitment, Research and Knowledge Exchange and Student Services teams across the University’s campuses. Brian also leads on our equality, diversity, inclusion and well-being agendas and has a strong interest in cultural change within organisations. Brian is the Vice Chancellor Executive lead for the Lancaster and Ambleside campuses and is also an adjunct Professor at the John Hopkins University School of Nursing in Baltimore USA.

Professor Webster-Henderson said: “Being awarded a Fellowship of the Queen’s Nursing Institute is an absolute honour. I am proud to join such an auspicious group of colleagues and join the long tradition of the QNI fellowship, which elevates the importance of community nursing in positively impacting people’s health and wellbeing. At a time when our nurses continue to deliver outstanding care, in the face of significant challenges, I look forward to working with the institute towards shaping the future of community nursing.”

Outstanding Service Award

Ben Bowers QN

Research Associate, University of Cambridge
Community Palliative Care Nurse (Bank), North West Anglia NHS Foundation Trust
Community Nursing Research Consultant, Queen’s Nursing Institute
Postdoctoral Associate, Jesus College, Cambridge

Ben was awarded the Queen’s Nurse title in 2009. Ben is held in high esteem as a senior community palliative care nurse in Cambridgeshire, advocating on patients’ behalf and facilitating high quality care at home. Ben has demonstrated his nursing leadership as a clinical academic over the last five years. He started as a part-time National Institute for Health Research (NIHR)-funded Clinical Fellow. Ben subsequently secured a highly competitive NIHR School for Primary Care Research PhD Studentship with the University of Cambridge to investigate current practice. Ben’s outstanding and growing contribution to advancing best nursing care is evidenced by his recent postdoctoral fellowship award from the Wellcome Trust and position at Jesus College Cambridge as a Postdoctoral Associate. Ben co-chairs the University of Cambridge Qualitative Research Forum for early career researchers. He is an editorial board member for the British Journal of Community Nursing and International Journal of Nursing Studies Advances, supporting nurses to publish. Ben has shown notable leadership and innovation in conceptualising and cofounding the UK-wide Community Nursing Research Forum.

Ben commented: ‘I’m thrilled to be awarded the QNI Award for Outstanding Service. Facilitating person-centred care and evidence-based practice in the community is both a great honour and hugely fulfilling’. 

Karen Coles

Day Hospice Care Services Manager, KEMP Hospice

Karen qualified as a registered nurse in 1979. She has over 30 years’ experience working within Specialist Palliative and Community services which includes working at KEMP Hospice in the late 80’s as one of the first hospice community nurses and from 1991-2007 as a Community Specialist Palliative Care Nurse, and Regional Clinical Community Manager 2009-2013. Karen commenced her post at KEMP Hospice in 2013 as a Day Hospice Team Leader / Care Services Manager. During the pandemic, she organised Hospice meal delivery to the most vulnerable patients in their homes and setting up a Virtual Day Hospice programme. Karen has developed the service and her team to move from the traditional day hospice model to an individualised bespoke holistic model of care and support. Her leadership, engagement, and the respect she has from her team have enabled changes that have benefited patients and their loved ones. With Karen’s management and guidance, referrals to the hospice services have increased from younger patients and families who have previously not accessed hospice services. Karen is continuing to develop services to ensure equality, diversity, and inclusion to underrepresented groups. Under Karen’s leadership her team are finalists for the Worcestershire health & social care awards 2022.

Katy Welsh

Professional Lead Nurse, Devon Partnership Trust, Wonford House Hospital

As a Queen’s Nurse, Katy exemplifies the high standards of practice and patient centred care associated with this title. Katy is the current Chair for the RCN UK Learning Representatives Committee and South West Representative and she is passionate about increasing the number of learning disability nursing students within her organisation. Katy is a wonderful advocate not only for nursing but also for people with a learning disability. She attends the Learning Disability Partnership Board in Devon, contributing to the development and improvement in provision in Devon from a health and social care perspective. She is committed to promoting excellence within the learning disability nursing service, supporting people to apply for advanced training and supporting the practice education department in securing placements for nurse apprentices and student nurses. Katy has worked with colleagues to create articles and has recently had an article published in Cancer Nursing practice. She has also encouraged teams to celebrate Learning Disability Week across the wider health and social care system, raising the profile of learning disabilities. Katy has also championed how the learning disability liaison service and the community support people with a learning disability to access healthcare services and ensure they understand their healthcare and treatment.

Katy commented: “I am incredibly proud to have been nominated for this award. I hope that by raising the profile of learning disability nursing, we can attract more people to join this wonderful and rewarding branch of nursing”.

Komal Patel

Home Care Manager, St Luke’s Hospice

Komal has made a substantial effort over a ten-year period to develop both staff and service. Recognising the potential of employees, Komal has encouraged learning that has resulted in attainment of NVQ level 3 care qualifications, and all nurses have attained a post graduate qualification in the principles of palliative care. Komal has demonstrated consistent leadership qualities by seeking ways to optimise the capabilities of the service. Relationships are frequently renewed, providing a safety net for patients in the community, avoiding unnecessary hospital admissions and increasing patient confidence in the ability of the community to deliver quality comprehensive care. This leadership style promotes a healthy collaborative approach and contributes to safeguarding our most vulnerable adults. Komal’s commitment to nursing care was further exemplified when several patients in the community experienced difficulties around medicine management, especially post discharge from hospital. Komal collaborated with care agencies and the educational team in the hospice to devise competency training that would enable seamless medication management for a patient group who can experience rapidly changing needs. Anxiety and confusion are minimised when patients and families are reassured by the enhanced levels of care.

Patricia O’Meara

Paediatric Palliative Care Specialist Nurse, Aneurin Bevan University Health Board

Pat commenced as a Paediatric Palliative Care Nurse Specialist in 2004 and quickly attained a Post Graduate Diploma in Paediatric Palliative Care. The post was the first of its kind in Wales and Pat has led the way in developing the role. Pat has worked tirelessly to build a progressive and sustainable service through a network across South Wales and was fundamental to the standardisation of an All-Wales Paediatric Advanced Care Plan to support children and young people with life limiting conditions. The service is often used as an exemplar of how services can be arranged for Children and Young People with Palliative Care Needs. Pat sits on both ABUHB and All-Wales End of Life Boards, and she jointly chairs the Paediatric Palliative Care Network and represents the All-Wales Paediatric Palliative Care Nurses at the Wales Paediatric Palliative Care Implementation Group. Pat has recently completed a course to be able to verify the death of a child, again a first in Wales. Pat would always say that her primary driver is to make a difference to the children and families that she works with. This is evidenced in her unwavering commitment to operationalise All-Wales Paediatric Palliative Care Standards which often includes multiple agencies, to ensure patient and family’s choice in place of death is respected.

International Community Nurse of the Year

Ananthu Ashok

International Recruitment Practice Development Nurse, Sussex Community NHS FT

Ananthu joined Sussex Community Foundation Trust in 2021 as an overseas recruited nurse. He attended a Trust preparation course to support his dream to become a UK-registered Staff Nurse. Once he obtained his NMC registration, he continued to support other candidates by assisting with mock exams by playing a mock patient and assessing with clinical skills exams. He has displayed very positive behaviours to support our new candidates in his capacity of a role model. Ananthu undertook an internal recruitment process and subsequently gained promotion to the Practice Development Team. Ananthu is a very experienced Internationally Educated Nurse, dedicated to his role as a Registered Nurse, collaborating closely with his peers and colleagues delivering safe and effective care of the highest standards. He always puts the patient and their needs at the forefront of everything he does as, in his words, ‘the patient comes first’. He is passionate about everything he does, and you can observe it in his behaviour. He is courteous, kind, friendly and very accommodating, putting the needs of others first. He shows compassion to those around him and is always willing to do more than is expected of him.

Ananthu commented: “I believe that being a nurse is not where you come from or when you start but how you take on this noble profession with compassion and commitment.”


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