TWO EMPLOYEES from East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust have been recognised for their extraordinary achievements from across the UK in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours List.

Chief Nurse/Executive Director of Nursing, Christine Pearson, has been awarded a Member of the Order of the British Empire - MBE - for her service to nursing.

Christine said: “I’m delighted and humbled to have been awarded an MBE and feel it is a privilege to work for the NHS. I am very proud of the work I have carried out in the NHS, and in particular at ELHT. The Trust has made some enormous strides over the past years, and I’m very glad to have been part of it. The people I have worked with throughout my career are exceptional. This year, more than any other they have proved just how exceptional they are.”

Having worked for the NHS for 40 years, Christine started her career in training at North Manchester General Hospital before qualifying as a registered general nurse in 1984.

With a keen interest in patient safety, she completed the Institute of Health Improvement Patient Safety Officer Course in 2009 in Boston USA and took the lead on a number of patient safety initiatives.

Her career has seen her work in both community and acute settings, going on to obtain senior leadership positions in nursing and operational management, before joining the Board of Directors at East Lancashire Hospitals in 2014. Christine has carried her passion for ensuring safe, personal and effective care is delivered harm-free and of the highest quality, throughout her career.

Susan Henry, Baby Friendly Initiative Lead for Maternity Services, has been awarded a British Empire Medal for her services to midwifery and family care.

Sue said: "To receive the British Empire Medal means so very much to me and I am truly grateful. I feel honoured, valued and overjoyed.

"I must acknowledge everyone in our East Lancashire Hospitals Maternity and Neonatal services and the many teams I have worked with, in both hospital and community.

"Together we have achieved and progressed massively to deliver baby-friendly care, supporting informed choices and increasing breastfeeding rates. Supporting mothers to breastfeed in this pandemic year, has proved to be especially important.

"I absolutely love my role and love that I can help staff to help families, whilst influencing public health outcomes and supporting equality."

Sue has worked at ELHT since April 1986 and during this time has had an exemplary record. In 2017, Sue lead ELHT to become the first acute NHS Trust in the country to receive the prestigious Baby Friendly Initiative ‘Gold’ standard from the United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef) UK.

It followed 20 years of ‘baby-friendly’ standards being pioneered throughout East Lancashire. In 2018, Sue received an Outstanding Achievement Award for significantly improving breastfeeding rates across East Lancashire, a triumph further rewarded when Sue became the first infant feeding lead in the country to gain the Chief Midwifery Officer Gold Award this year.

Kevin McGee, Chief Executive for ELHT said: “I am delighted to see Chris and Sue’s immense contribution to nursing and midwifery recognised nationally. We are very grateful for the significant impact they have both made to the health outcomes of the population of East Lancashire.

"Their commitment to the NHS, their patients and their families, indeed the community as a whole, is admirable. What better year to receive such an accolade than this, one that has been extraordinary in so many ways.”