A mother of three from Tunbridge Wells has been crowned Nurse of the Year by the Royal College of Nursing.
Venetia Wynter-Blyth is a gastrointestinal clinical nurse specialist at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust in London. The 38-year-old began her nursing career in 1999.
She was awarded the RCN’s highest honour for her holistic approach to getting patients both physically and psychologically fit for surgery.
Mrs Wynter-Blyth and her team founded the PREPARE programme, which is designed to ‘train’ patients for their operations.
PREPARE stands for: Physical activity; removal of bad habits; eat well; psychological wellbeing; ask about medications; respiratory exercises; enhanced recovery.
The method has been used with 80 patients in two years and has reduced the numbers who experience surgical complications and their length of stay in hospital.
Mrs Wynter-Blyth said: “I was completely overwhelmed and thrilled about winning. It’s recognition for all the hard work the team has put in to creating this programme.
“They were all completely focused on setting up a process that was right for our patients, and I’m delighted that it has been successful and recognised in this way.”
Mrs Wynter-Blyth was presented with her award at the RCN ceremony at the Westminster Park Plaza Hotel in London.
Janice Sigsworth, director of nursing at the Imperial College Trust, said: “I am exceptionally proud that one of our Trust nurses has been recognised in this way.
“Venetia’s work, alongside her team on the PREPARE programme, has been outstanding and has directly improved the outcomes for our patients.”