QEQM nurse leader scoops national leadership award

Chris Hamson has been recognised for his work

By Liz Crudgington

An inspirational QEQM nurse leader has become the first in east Kent to receive a prestigious national award.

Chris Hamson, deputy head of nursing for general and specialist medicine at the QEQM Hospital in Margate, was awarded the Chief Nursing Officer’s Silver Award in recognition of his leadership, particularly during the coronavirus pandemic.

He was nominated by senior managers at East Kent Hospitals, who praised his ability to create ‘engagement, enthusiasm and infectious support’.

“Where Chris goes, our multi-disciplinary team follow to the benefit of our patients,” they added.

Chris introduced a daily huddle at the start of the pandemic to allow staff to discuss concerns and share information.

The result was better decision-making, a reduction in staff stress and anxiety, coaching of junior staff and assurance of safety to patients and colleagues.

In his nomination, colleagues wrote: “Chris, through his inclusive, compassionate and infectious style, has created the ‘must go-to huddle’ where voices are heard and recognised, opinions count, and our people and staff matter.

“It was a daily example of transformational leadership and ownership of work and practice.”

The nomination was supported by Trust chief executive Susan Acott, who said Chris’s ‘superb skill set of both academic rigour and the ability to bring people along with him’ was ‘leadership on the frontline’.

She added: “We are all both proud and privileged to have him working in our team.”

Chris’s award was presented by the Trust’s chief nurse Siobhan Jordan at an event attended virtually by Ruth May, the Chief Nursing Officer at NHS England and NHS Improvement.

Siobhan said: “The award is national recognition of an outstanding nurse and Chris is an east Kent legend.

“He has worked here for more than 25 years and remains a committed, compassionate and caring man whose focus is on caring and developing staff to enhance patient care.

“Chris is passionate in building places of work that are rewarding, positive and filled with opportunity. He enjoys supporting and breaking down the barriers that prevent people from recognising their potential.”

Chris, who is currently involved in a project to train ward managers at the William Harvey Hospital, said: “Obviously I’m absolutely thrilled to receive this and am truly thankful to those who nominated me for this.

“I’ve absolutely loved these past 25 years in east Kent and I have been surrounded by some truly amazing colleagues who all do their very best for our patients.”