A LONG-STANDING nurse leader at Southend Hospital has reached the final seven for a prestigious health award.

Winifred Chinery, governance facilitator for theatres at Southend Hospital, has been shortlisted in the Nurse Leader of the Year category at the Nursing Times’ Awards.

The awards recognise those demonstrating ‘best practice’ in their roles.

Winifred, or Win as she is known, has been at the hospital for 32 years, and in her current role for 18.

But this is the first year she has been nominated for the national gong – which is judged by chief nursing officers.

Win, orinigally of Airdrie, Scotland, but now living in Southend, said: “My husband, Tony, came home from a business trip to Holland to surprise me that he had put me forward for this nomination.

“I was shocked to hear I’d been shortlisted for the award. I think it has taken a while to really sink in.

“I am just an ordinary nurse who is part of a great team dedicated to the care of patients.”

Chief nurse, Sue Hardy, said: “It’s fantastic when the hard work and dedication of our staff at Southend Hospital gets recognised on a national platform for the real difference they make to people’s lives.

“Like Win, there are many unsung heroes here and she certainly embodies all the qualities that make a good team great.

“Win or lose, she is already very much a winner in our eyes.”

Win was entered into the competition by not only her husband, but by a good friend.

Tony was keen for Win to get the recognition he thinks she deserves. He said: “Years ago, I worked for the NHS. I know there are thousands of dedicated staff committed to looking after patients.

“Many of these go unrecognised and unseen by the public.

Operating theatres are among those laces.

“The team within theatres ensure patients are given the best care possible while at their most vulnerable, Winnie is one of those who makes this happen.”

The awards ceremony will be at the Grosvenor House Hotel, London, at the end of October.