Matron receives chief nursing officer for England gold award

Winny Thomas, our matron for quality and Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) nurses and midwives network chair, has been awarded the chief nursing officer for England’s gold award for nursing excellence in recognition of her lifetime of achievement in nursing.

Winny began nursing in 1984 joining Hammersmith Hospital Trust in 1999 before it merged to become Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust in 2007. She has held a number of different nursing and matron roles at the Trust. In 2018, Winny co-founded the Trust’s BAME nurses and midwives network taking over as chair in 2019. She has driven change within this group and the wider organisation, ensuring there are opportunities for BAME colleagues to develop and generate platforms for them to share their work.

Winny said: “I am humbled to receive this award on behalf the nurses I stand shoulder to shoulder with and the staff networks I work alongside at Imperial College Healthcare. They are committed to supporting colleagues and shaping the agenda that makes us so proud to work in the NHS. I am thankful to God for you all.

Thank you to my family, friends and colleagues who have supported me through tough times and to Janice Sigsworth, our director of nursing. I dedicate this to my mother who sadly passed away in November 2020.”

Professor Janice Sigsworth, director of nursing, said: “This award is a fitting tribute to Winny’s lifetime of achievement in nursing. During the Covid-19 pandemic she has listened and advocated for others, particularly regarding BAME staff safety. She has continued her work to chair and champion the BAME agenda on top of her day job as our matron for quality and she has done this at all times with enthusiasm, passion and commitment. With her leadership a more reflective and dynamic culture of equality, diversity and inclusion has evolved at the Trust.”

The Chief Nursing Officer for England award was launched by Ruth May in 2019 as part of a wider commitment to recognising the value of nurses and midwives. The gold award recognises lifetime achievements for nurses and midwives. Individuals are nominated by senior teams.