We are incredibly proud of Emma Lambert, one of our dedicated and passionate healthcare support workers in the Primary Care Mental Health Support Service (PCMHSS), based at the Maritime Resource Centre in Pontypridd.

In November, Emma was runner up at the prestigious RCN (Wales) Nurse of the Year Awards (2019) in the category of Health Care Support worker.

Emma was recognised for her dedication to working together with patients to improve their access to mental health services in primary care and their quality of patient care.

Emma has developed a focus group involving staff, stakeholders, service users and citizens in services – resulting in coproduction now embedded into everyday practice of Primary Care Mental Health at the Centre.

The focus group, now looking to be expanded from its impact, is:

  • Empowering patients over their choices;
  • Providing greater transparency and communication of the support services available to patients; and
  • Ensuring the patient voice is at the centre of service planning and delivery.

Reacting to her outstanding achievement, Emma said:

“To be recognised by my team leader for a project that is so important to me was an honour, and to have that recognised by the RCN was overwhelming. It’s been a great accomplishment. I have been a support worker for over 25 years and we can often feel less than within the organisational hierarchy, getting this kind of recognition for work that I have developed made me feel incredibly proud. It has given me a sense of empowerment, knowing that others can see that there is potential everywhere, if it is encouraged and nurtured.”

Here’s great feedback by some of the Focus Group Team members:

“This has given me and other individuals a voice, where we are treated as a single structure using our experiences and where we are all looked at with respect. It is important to have the courage to take hold of our own personal issues and to take control of our own mental health demons.  We are passionate about making our own contributions to the Service. Emma has been both advisor and mentor to all of the above. Emma treats service users as one equal. She shows involvement to all, using her guidance which has enabled us as individuals – as a result we feel respected and involved.”

“We always leave the meetings enthused as we seem to thrive off each other as we are all highly motivated to make the Service better, and to make a positive difference to the lives of those who need access to it.”

“I felt from the very beginning that I was able to make a good connection with Emma and I know we can be honest and open with each other.”

“I feel we have developed a good understanding as we have talked and listened as equal partners looking at relevant issues and opportunities.”

“What we don’t know we can learn and any ideas we have we can share. We all feel the enormous potential of what we could do by working in collaboration and being able to break things down into manageable chunks.”

This award was open to any Health Care Support worker who has delegated work by a Registered Nurse in any setting, and who has “demonstrated commitment to providing high standards of nursing care”.

Congratulations to Emma Lambert – runner up at RCN Nurse of the Year Awards 2019!