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Posted on May 24 2023 by Fiona Bailey

A top award has been presented to a Nurse Manager from the St Andrew's Healthcare's Low Secure Learning Disabilities and Autism (ASD) service.

Daryl Birch, who oversees Fern ward in Fitzroy House, was recently presented with the prestigious Cavell Star Award for his commitment to his patients and colleagues.

The awards, hosted by the Cavell Nurses’ Trust, are for individuals who go above and beyond in their job and provide excellent care to their patients.

Jennifer Mytton, Head of Nursing within ASD, said: “It was me who submitted the nomination as I’ve seen first-hand just how committed Daryl is to his colleagues and his patients. He’s a very experienced Nurse Manager with more than 20 years’ experience behind him. But, rather than keeping his head down and getting on with his job, he provides a lot of support and guidance to his fellow Nurse Managers who do not have as much experience as him. He helps to guide them, providing some much-needed mentoring when required.

“Daryl’s team have also had some wonderfully positive discharges and I truly believe he has helped transform lives. He’s leading the way in providing least restrictive practice to all his patients which has been hugely popular with everyone on the ward.

“They have access to the TV, the remote and he’s put planters out in the courtyard. All these things may seem small, but they mean a lot to the patients as they don’t have to ask and shows that the Daryl and his team hold trust with them.”

Daryl’s innovative approach has been particularly successful with one Fern patient who has been working full time in the local community.

Before he embarked upon his paid employment, Daryl ensured he received support from the wider charity and the other divisions. He was given a work placement onsite in Tompkins café and performed contracting duties at Workbridge. Now he is commuting to work on an electric scooter and learning to drive.

Edwin Dean, from Adult Education who has supported the patient throughout, said: “It’s been truly wonderful and inspiring watching this patient develop. Besides from the hard work and commitment that the patient has provided, he would not have been able to pursue any of these achievements without Daryl’s support.

“Working with the Fern ward is an example of how upholding the guiding and overarching principles of multi-disciplinary working can really empower and enlighten our patients to go on and do great things. Congratulations to Daryl for this award win – it is well deserved.”

Daryl said: “It was a huge honour to be recognised and to receive this amazing prize. It was a real morale booster for me and for the team, but to be honest I feel I am just doing my job. I care very deeply for our patients and I just want to make sure that we’re delivering the best, quality care that we can.”

If there are any nursing colleagues who you think deserve to be nominated then please submit an application. It’s free to enter and could go a long way in ensuring that individual receives the credit and recognition they deserve.