Nursing Times Awards 2009

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Last Tuesday was the 2009 Nursing Times Awards and it was (as ever) a spectacular affair.

The evening started off well when I realised that I could still fit into my dinner jacket and black tie and thanks must go to my Wii Fit for helping with that. Before the dinner was a drinks reception at the Park Lane Hilton, sponsored by the Royal Air Force where the great and the good in nursing (and a few of us ordinary bods) circulated, drank some lovely wine and were occasionally grabbed by Nursing Times video journalists (namely Gabe and Victoria). I particularly enjoyed this as there were a number of old friends who I had not seen in years at the dinner and this was a great opportunity to catch up with them on several years' worth of career moves, relationship changes and gossip. It was at this point where I was asked to look after tweeting for the Nursing Times for the evening which I did for the rest of the night (trying to tone down my humour and language to something more appropriate for one of the UK's leading nursing journals). I have no idea how the tweets went down or how many of the Nursing Times' followers noticed the difference but I definitely stopped before I got tipsy.

We were then shepherded through to the main ballroom for a fantastic three-course dinner. I am amazed at how people can produce good quality food for hundreds of people that is piping hot, when a dinner party for more than 10 causes my kitchen skills to collapse. I was sat with a few old friends for dinner as well as some other charming guests and the conversation ranged from nursing leadership to the state of the NHS, from social enterprises to women's health and from nursing overseas to the best places to drink at RCN Congress.

After the dinner came the awards ceremony proper, started off by a good speech from Alastair McLellan (the Editor of Nursing Times) which set the tone for the evening and then came the awards. There were 15 categories and the winners came from all parts of the UK and demonstrated some really brilliant examples of nursing practice, teamwork and clinical leadership. There were testimonials and examples which showed nursing and nurses at their best and it is this kind of night that reminds us how amazing nursing can be and often is in many parts of the country.

After the awards, everyone decanted upstairs for a disco and casino (not real money honestly!) and plenty of celebrations, commiserations and networking. This was again a great opportunity to catch up with old friends, plenty of RCN colleagues and make new friends. The party continued into the wee small hours although those of us that had work in the morning started to slip away at around 1.

All in all it was a wonderful evening to celebrate nurses and nursing, particularly for the award winners who were genuinely touched and honoured to be recognised in this way by colleagues and their managers. If you have never been to an event like this I would strongly urge you to go and if there are nurses around you who really represent the best of what the profession has to offer, then the nominations will be open soon for the 2010 awards.


John 28 November 2009 at 09:19  

Sounds like a great event Dave!

Glad to see you blogging again - it's been a while now. Keep checking in as really appreciate all the great content you've put up here before.

Anonymous 20 December 2009 at 23:53  

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