Norfolk and Suffolk learning disabilities nurse is the best in England
- Credit: NSFT
A specialist nurse who works in Norfolk and Suffolk has been named as the best learning disability nurse in England.
Sue Bridges from the Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT) picked up the award at a ceremony at the ICC in Birmingham last week
She was one of nine nurses who had been shortlisted in The Learning Disability Nurse Award category of The National Learning Disabilities and Autism Awards 2018, and emerged as the overall winner.
In addition, NSFT was one of just six organisations shortlisted in The Employer Award (Not For Profit) category for the high quality care it provides to people with learning disabilities and / or autism.
Ms Bridges, NSFT's professional lead for learning disabilities / autism, said: 'I am incredibly proud to have won this prestigious award.
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'As a learning disability nurse, I've spent my career striving to make a difference and to ensure equality for people with a learning disability.
'My career has been a rewarding one and I would recommend being a learning disabilities nurse to anyone.
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'I am humbled by all the amazing LD nurses that champion care for people with learning disabilities every day so this award goes to all the LD nurses who have supported me throughout my 30-year career.'
Mr Bridges is based in Endeavour House, Ipswich, but her role takes her across both counties where her responsibilities include offering clinical advice, delivering training to staff and liaising with partner organisations.
She was put forward for the award by Gemma Grace, a former NSFT patient who has autism, and Heidi McKay, NSFT modern matron and head of clinical practice.
Miss Grace, from Ipswich, said she felt strongly that the work Ms Bridges had done to improve services for people with autism was worthy of such an accolade.
'Sue understands me for the person I am, and treats me as a person, not a medical label. She makes me feel valued,' she added.
'She is a very motivated person who goes above and beyond her job title and is always available, either by email or phone.'
Ms Bridges will now go up against winners from Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland in the UK finals in the autumn.