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Evelina London neonatal nurse honoured for exceptional kindness and compassion

Posted on Tuesday 22nd November 2016
Left to right Mark Durenkamp, Imogen Durenkamp, Raquel Martins Pina and Baroness Floella Benjamin OBE

Left to right: Mark Durenkamp, Imogen Durenkamp, Raquel Martins Pina, senior staff nurse, and Baroness Floella Benjamin OBE.

A nurse who works on the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit in Evelina London Children's Hospital has received the coveted Guy's and St Thomas' People's Award - nominated by patients and members of the public.

Senior staff nurse Raquel Martins Pina was presented with her award by special guest Baroness Floella Benjamin OBE at the Guy’s and St Thomas’ Trust Awards ceremony on Friday 18 November.

Raquel was nominated by Imogen Durenkamp in recognition of the exceptional care provided to her daughter, Catherine, when she was born prematurely at just 25 weeks. Sadly baby Catherine passed away 48 days later on the unit.

Imogen, from St Albans in Hertfordshire, said: "The Neonatal Unit did absolutely everything they could to try to save Catherine but sadly there was no happy ending. We could not have gone through such a difficult and devastating time without the help and support of the expert staff on the unit.

"Raquel looked after Catherine, my husband and me in our last three days together as a family. She could not do enough for us, even changing her shifts around so she could continue to care for Catherine right up to the end.

"When Catherine died, Raquel sat patiently with us and helped us to bathe and dress her. She was kind, compassionate, calm and understanding, helping us through something no parent should ever have to go through.

"All the staff on the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, including the receptionists and ward counsellor, have a very special place in our hearts."

Raquel, who has worked at Evelina London since 2014, said: “I feel so honoured to have received the People’s Award. It was very emotional seeing Mark and Imogen Durenkamp again at the awards evening as I haven’t seen them since Catherine passed away.

“It’s wonderful to get this kind of recognition and to know that I have touched someone’s life in such a deep way. I am so happy to able to make a difference to the lives of our parents, even in a small way.”

Baroness Floella Benjamin said: “It was a joy and a pleasure to announce that Raquel had won the People's Award. She demonstrates all that's wonderful about the NHS."

The Trust Awards, which are sponsored by Guy’s and St Thomas’ Charity, also provided an opportunity to celebrate the outstanding achievements of many other staff who were nominated by their colleagues.

The award categories were based on the Trust’s five values and demonstrated how staff across the organisation live those values.

Amanda Pritchard, Chief Executive of Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust, said: "Congratulations to all our worthy winners, and the individual staff and teams shortlisted for an award.

“It has been touching to read so many nominations highlighting the compassion, hard work and dedication of our staff. Our winners are perfect examples of the Trust values we hold dear.”

You can find the full list of winners on the Guy’s and St Thomas Foundation Trust website.