27 March 2024

Sheffield nurses honoured at national nursing awards

 Two Nurse Consultants at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals have recently been commended at the prestigious national 2024 British Journal of Nursing Awards.

Dr Iain Armstrong, Consultant Vascular Nurse at the Royal Hallamshire Hospital’s Pulmonary Vascular Disease Unit, was named winner in the ‘Cardiovascular Nurse of the Year’ as well as runner-up for ‘Nurse of the Year’, while Weston Park Hospital’s Dr Jo Bird, Nurse Consultant (Melanoma & Immunotherapy Late Effects), was a finalist in the ‘Oncology Nurse of the Year’ category.

The awards recognise the hard work and commitment of UK nursing colleagues and teams and their significant impact on patients.

Dr Armstrong has worked for Sheffield Teaching Hospitals for over 34 years and supports patients with pulmonary hypertension (PH) – a rare and life-limiting condition that causes high pressure in the blood vessels connecting the heart and lungs.

In 2005 he became the first consultant nurse to work in pulmonary vascular disease and is also co-founder and chair of Sheffield-based charity Pulmonary Hypertension Association UK (PHA UK). Previously he was named ‘Respiratory Nurse of the Year’ at the 2020 BJN awards, and in 2019 received a Fellowship from the Royal College of Nursing (RCN).

He said;

“I’m really humbled to receive this recognition from the BJN. Nursing is a rewarding career, and in over three decades of nursing in Sheffield, I’ve been privileged to work with - and care for - some truly inspiring people.

 “Working for Sheffield Teaching Hospitals has enabled me to develop my career in a really meaningful way, and my colleagues in the Sheffield Pulmonary Vascular Disease Unit have been key to these achievements. It really is a unit and a team to be proud of.”

Dr Bird was recognised for her work in establishing the Immunotherapy Late Effects clinic at Weston Park Hospital – one of the first UK clinics dedicated to supporting patients who have undergone immunotherapy treatments and are living with and beyond cancer.

Immunotherapy helps the body’s own immune system to identify and kill cancer cells. Dr Bird started at the hospital as a Clinical Research Nurse in 2004 in the early days of these treatments and has seen their development from early clinical trials and treatment for melanoma (skin cancer), to their successful use in treating other cancer types.

In 2013 she was awarded a prestigious NIHR Doctoral Fellowship to conduct her PhD research into the support needs of patients with melanoma and their families, which won an award at the European Oncology Nursing Society Conference in 2018. She is now involved in the national E-IMMUNE study which aims to improve patient care by using a new digital pathway to manage immunotherapy side effects. Jo also champions research within oncology as a board member for the UK Oncology Nursing Society.

She said:

“There are so many possibilities within a nursing career and the opportunity to make a difference every day. The Immunotherapy Late Effects Clinic was co-developed with patients, so their experiences are the cornerstone to the development of the service and related research. The nomination could only be possible thanks to our amazing patients.





Professor Chris Morley, Chief Nurse at STH, added:

“This is a fantastic accolade for Iain and Jo and reflects their amazing passion and dedication towards nursing practice and delivering outstanding care, support, and treatments for our patients in Sheffield and beyond. It’s a privilege to have their expertise and leadership within our nursing teams and I know they’re a huge inspiration to so many colleagues. Well done to them both.”



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