Teesside nurse recognised with special Queen’s Nursing Institute long service award

Mel Cambage with her award
Mel Cambage with her award -Credit:North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust

A Teesside nurse has been recognised with a special Queen’s Nursing Institute long service award.

Mel Cambage, who has been a nurse for more than 25 years, has been presented with the award, which recognises long-serving community nurses. It follows Mel winning the Queen’s Nurse Award four years ago, which recognised her work caring for patients as a district nurse.

Mel, who works at North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust, has shared that it was the care shown by a nurse mentor during her training that inspired her to continue a career in nursing.

She said: “If it wasn’t for a district nursing sister named Maureen, who I was allocated to in my second student placement, I would not have continued in nursing. She was an inspiration and demonstrated to me how to holistically care for a patient and their families and carers in their own home.

“Maureen and her philosophy of ‘home is best for those who can’ has always stayed with me and has ensured that my community nursing foundations remain true to this concept.” Mel, who is the Trust’s associate director of nursing experience and improvement, has developed the role of practice development leads in the district nursing service.

She added: “This role ensures all staff new to community nursing have the opportunity to have both group and one to one support to develop the skills to fulfil the role. Not only has this helped build competence and confidence within the service but also supported retention of staff particularly those in preceptorship periods.

“As a qualified professional nurse advocate I am also able to offer wider support to nursing colleagues across community nursing services to provide support with restorative supervision, discussions around quality improvement ideas and supporting career conversations.”

Mel has also supported the district nursing sisters to develop an in-reach service into the hospital and allowing them to be discharged home safely as soon as they are medically fit to do so.