'A force for good in this world': Tributes to 'passionate' Walsall healthcare worker

A much-loved healthcare worker who died following a terminal illness has been described as a "force for good" in helping the most vulnerable.

Judith Nembhard. Photo: Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust
Judith Nembhard. Photo: Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust

Judith Nembhard, who worked as professional lead for health visiting and care group manager at the Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust, died on May 19.

Now tributes have poured in – with her colleagues describing her as a "voice for those who have no voice".

Her role saw her work with families to give pre-school age children the best possible start in life by promoting healthy lifestyles.

A statement from the Institute of Health Visiting (iHV), where she worked as a leadership mentor, said: "Judith was one of those people who lit up a room – she was a passionate health visitor who held firm to her belief that the world could, and should, be a better place.

"She never settled for second best and was an outspoken advocate for health visiting and the importance of giving every child the best start in life."

Judith continued to work and shared concerns about challenges families and health visitors were facing during coronavirus – only a few weeks before her death.

"In passing she mentioned that she was on sick leave, but she played this down, and instead she was full of ideas and solutions to make a positive difference," the statement said.

Valued

"Rather poignantly, her closing words in her last message to us were, 'would love to make a change for our workforce'.

"These words epitomise Judith and how we will remember her – alongside her fabulous smile and ability to bring people together.

"Judith, we will miss you – you were a force for good in this world. May you rest in peace and know that your health visiting family will pick up your baton to challenge inequality and ensure every child has the best start in life.

"You leave big shoes to fill."

Colleagues from Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust said she was a "well respected" and valued member of the team.

A spokesman said: "Judith was an extremely valued member of the organisation and had worked in the trust for nearly seven years as a professional lead for health visiting.

"She had a high national profile in her field as a Fellow of the Institute of Health Visiting and was well respected within the group. She also worked closely with all of her divisional colleagues and with Public Health who commissioned the service.

"Our thoughts are with her family and colleagues at this sad time."

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