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Top award for July 7 nurse

One of the nurses who cared for Gill Hicks - who lost both her legs in the London bombs last year - has won the Nurse of the Year Award at Guy's and St Thomas'.

Louise Danks

Louise Danks, 27, deputy ward sister on Luke Ward at St Thomas' Hospital, was presented with the Nurse of the Year 2006 award as part of the Trust's Nurses'/Midwives' Day on 12 May .

As she was presented with her award Louise said: "It is a fantastic honour and I am very proud to have won. Luke Ward is a wonderful place to work and I want to thank Emma Allcott, the ward sister, for nominating me."

Luke Ward is a busy vascular ward and it is here that Gill Hicks spent many months recovering from her terrible injuries. She says: "Louise was so much more than just my nurse. She was a broad and understanding shoulder to cry on, she was someone to share a joke with, she was the person that I put my absolute faith and trust in – and she became a friend."

Louise's kindness, calm manner and ability to empathise with the patients in her care meant that she was enormously popular with everyone on the ward. Her enthusiasm and professionalism has also gained her the respect of all her nursing and medical colleagues.

Originally from Sheffield, Louise has worked as deputy ward sister on Luke Ward for the past 17 months. Earlier this year, Louise was instrumental in setting up the vascular acute care bay on the ward – a four bed bay for post surgery patients who need constant monitoring which allows most patients to return straight to the ward following surgery.

The awards were presented by Alex Attewell, director of the Florence Nightingale Museum which sponsored the awards, and Eileen Sills, chief nurse and director of clinical leadership.

Eileen said: "It is a pleasure to acknowledge the exceptional dedication, skill and hard work of the winners in this year's two categories. Louise has many strengths that contribute to make her an outstanding nurse who is highly valued by colleagues and patients alike.

"Effective patient care today often requires individual health care professionals to work together as a team. The Colposcopy Nursing and multi-disciplinary team has demonstrated that a strong team has resulted in a department that provides a high standard of patient care."

The trust says that it aims to build on these awards for next year and encourages staff, patients and visitors to nominate nursing staff who they feel have excelled in the care that they have provided.

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