University of Derby Lecturer wins Nurse of the Year Award

9 March 2021

A senior lecturer at the University of Derby has been named Nurse of the Year at the British Journal of Nursing Awards 2021.

Gerri Mortimore, a Lecturer in Advanced Practice at Derby, won the prestigious award, which is sponsored by The Nursing and Midwifery Council and recognises an individual who has made an outstanding achievement in nursing this year.

The awards were announced at a virtual ceremony hosted by NHS Doctor and BAFTA Award-Winning TV Presenter Dr Ranj Singh on Monday 8 March.

Gerri shares the accolade with her colleague Yvonne Francis from the Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust. In the award entry, Gerri and Yvonne highlighted their work with Haemochromatosis UK and their research into Venesection, a common clinical procedure involving the removal of a volume of blood which is undertaken to treat thousands of patients across the country with genetic haemochromatosis, Polycythaemia Vera, idiopathic and secondary erythrocytosis. 

The project, which involved input from over 200 nurses across the UK and Ireland, culminated in the Venesection Best Practice Guidelines, the only resource specific to this subject.

Speaking about her award win, Gerri said: “I am honoured to have won the Nurse of the Year Award. It is a culmination of three years’ work to support the care of adult patients undergoing therapeutic venesection.

“I would like to thank Haemochromatosis UK and everyone who has been involved in developing this valuable resource, which has been recognised for its significance by the Royal College of Nursing who have endorsed the guidance.

Commenting on the award, Dr Paula Holt MBE, Pro Vice-Chancellor Dean of the College of Health, Psychology and Social Care at the University of Derby, added: “The title of Nurse of the Year is an outstanding achievement and richly deserved.

“To be recognised by the British Journal of Nursing reflects the impact that Gerri’s hard work and research has had on improving patient safety, through the development of best practice guidance for venesection.”

Speaking at the virtual event, Andrea Sutcliffe CBE, Chief Executive and Registrar of the Nursing and Midwifery Council, said: “Our judges were looking for something special something that's made a real difference, and of course every nurse has been special and has made a real difference over this past year as we've tackled the coronavirus pandemic.

“I’m absolutely delighted to announce Gerri Mortimer from the University of Derby and Yvonne Francis from Guys and Saint Thomas's as the winner for this year. So many congratulations to you both.”

For more information on the British Journal of Nursing Awards, please visit the website.

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