Neonatal nurse wins award for work at hospital she was born at

A nurse leader described as an “outstanding superstar” says it’s a great honour to receive a prestigious award for her work at the hospital she was born at.

Shelley Rose receiving her award from Cath Wilson, Deputy Director of Nursing.
Shelley Rose receiving her award from Cath Wilson, Deputy Director of Nursing.

Shelley Rose, advanced neonatal nurse practitioner (ANNP) at The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust, has received the Nell Phoenix Charitable Arts Fund Award for her outstanding leadership and commitment to the Neonatal Unit at New Cross Hospital - where she was born 39 years ago.

Nell Phoenix was a patient who received excellent care at the old Royal Hospital in Wolverhampton several decades ago and generously left a sum of money in her will to set up a fund for the nurses of Wolverhampton to enjoy the arts.

Introduced in 2016 by then Chief Nurse Cheryl Etches, staff can be nominated for the award each month but it is awarded on a quarterly basis, at the discretion of Professor Ann-Marie Cannaby, Chief Nurse. The winner then receives a £25 voucher.

Since its inception, the fund’s criteria has since been extended to include non-registered nurses and midwives.

An ANNP for the last six years, Shelley has helped drive the unit forward through her development of staff.

“For the award to be named Phoenix is very apt because I’ve been recognised for leading and driving change and leadership in nursing, so it’s a great honour,” said Shelley, who has worked at New Cross Hospital for 18 years.

Mum-of-three Shelley, who lives in Highley, near Bridgnorth, with her husband Tom and their children, Alfie, Grace, and Sam, was nominated for the award by Nikki Farrington, the trust's lead nurse for neonatal bereavement and family support services.

She said: “Shelley has driven forward the importance of education since starting her advanced role, going above and beyond to ensure staff feel supported, safe, and confident in their roles and their skills.

“She has driven forward simulation training, hosting SIM days, including presenting varying different scenarios, ensuring when staff are faced with high-pressure situations, they feel confident to do so.

“Shelley had made this learning fun and non-judgmental. Pivotal in facilitating skills stations, she allows people time and space to practise intubation techniques, inserting invasive lines, respiratory management and much more.”

Without hesitation and without being asked, Shelley left her role frequently during the pandemic to ensure the unit was staffed safely.

This increased morale and helped ensure the care babies received was high-quality and safe.

Nikki added: “Shelley has played a huge part in bridging the gap between the medical team and the nursing team. Any task she undertakes with courage, compassion, integrity and gives it her all.

“Shelley’s contribution to our service more than goes above and beyond every day. I’m proud to work alongside her.”

More recently Shelley was part of the team which integrated LifeStart (a baby resuscitation machine) into the unit’s daily practice when moving babies from the delivery suite.

This has led to improved incidents of delayed cord clamping to babies, ensuring optimal care for the baby in close proximity to their mother and birth partner.

Shelley said: “The fact someone thought about me and has taken the time to nominate me was lovely. I prefer to stay in the background and watch other people grow, but it’s an honour to receive this recognition and I’m delighted.

“In my job I try to get people to become ANNPs – a lot of people think they can’t do it because it’s doing a Master’s degree, managing airways and putting in central lines and chest drains, but if I can do it, anyone can.”

Shelley is keen that the award is reflected among her colleagues. “The changes on neonatal over the last five years have been amazing – I’ve got a fantastic team, fantastic colleagues and fantastic management,” she added.

Mum-of-three Shelley lives in Highley, near Bridgnorth, with her husband Tom and their children, Alfie, Grace, and Sam.

Her lifelong connection to New Cross Hospital extends to her parents John and Angela Clarke, who were porter and x-ray clerical assistant respectively at the hospital before retiring.

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