THE compassion of an Andover nurse has been recognised at an awards evening.

Nearly 80 members of staff from across Hampshire's network of hospitals were celebrated for going above and beyond in their jobs during the event, held this week

Judges chose from 1,505 nominations which were submitted between August and December last year, showcasing the compassion, dedication and skill of staff from across the entire trust, which runs Andover War Memorial Hospital, Basingstoke and North Hampshire Hospital and Royal Hampshire County Hospital in Winchester.

Ruth Willoughby, who works as an emergency nurse practitioner in the minor injuries unit at Andover War Memorial Hospital, picked up an after making changes to the way patients presenting to the unit with mental health issues are cared for, ensuring they receive prompt assessment, appropriate referrals and transfers for further assessment and treatment.

The nomination, which was submitted by her colleagues, applauded the hard work and passion Ruth put in to creating the pathway and a leaflet, which will soon be available for patients and their families across the trust.

Ruth said: “I just feel like I am doing my job to care and protect our patients, so to win an award is really lovely.

“I’m very passionate about helping the patients we see in the minor injuries unit who suffer from mental illnesses. I wanted to ensure their time in our hospitals is as simple and quick as possible without any added stress.

“Knowing the leaflet I designed will be helping patients is incredible. Patient safety and care is vital, and to have my work recognised is simply amazing.”

Alex Whitfield, chief executive of Hampshire Hospitals, and Steve Erskine, chairman of the trust, were at the event to present staff with their certificates.

Along with individual and team awards, milestone awards were also celebrated. The cardiology team received a special certificate for receiving 50 nominations, while the coronary care unit and the emergency departments at both Basingstoke and Winchester hospitals each received an astonishing 100 nominations in just four months.