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Watford nurse providing a lifeline for unpaid carers wins top accolade

Posted: 21 October 2022

Picture of Dame Philippa Russell, Vice President of Carers UK and a carer, award winner Andrea Hone and ceremony host, comedian Judi Love

Pictured from left to right: Dame Philippa Russell,
Vice President of Carers UK and a carer,
award winner Andrea Hone and ceremony host,
comedian Judi Love.

A nurse who has improved the experience of people caring for loved ones has won a prestigious award.

Andrea Hone, who works for West Hertfordshire Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, has won the NHS England-sponsored Commitment to Carers category of the RCN Nursing Awards 2022.

Carers lead Ms Hone acted quickly when the National Inpatient Survey showed that her trust had scored below average for considering patients’ home situation and involving patients in discharge decisions.

Working with the hospital’s integrated discharge team and Hertfordshire County Council, she started the Connecting with Carers Discharge Project and recruited a carer coordinator.

Carers are now supported during their loved one’s hospital admission, and the team works with voluntary organisations to ensure there are prompt referrals for any support they need. Carers receive follow-up calls at two and four weeks after discharge to review referrals, check on well-being and to discuss any concerns.

Ms Hone said: ‘I am passionate about making a difference for our carers, so to win an award for this is absolutely amazing. To get the recognition for the hard work that has been carried out to develop the service is an honour.

‘But as well as being proud, I’m really excited for the future as this will showcase the importance of supporting carers not only in my organisation, but nationally too. And it will give me opportunities to improve the service further.’

The Commitment to Carers award is sponsored by NHS England. Jen Kenward, NHS England experience of care lead – community, primary and integrated care, says: ‘The judging for the Commitment to Carers award is always incredibly challenging and with a background of an increasingly complex transition from the crisis management of COVID-19, to planning for winter pressures and managing care across new integrated systems, this year was no exception.

‘Nursing leadership is evolving and as the NHS restructures and builds closer integrated working partnerships with social care and the voluntary sector it is vital that nurses see and understand their role in this new construct. Leading across and in partnership with key organisations is absolutely part of the future blueprint for nurse leaders.

‘The judges were impressed by Ms Hone’s insight into the challenges experienced by unpaid carers and her compassion and drive to ensure they that carers of all ages are visible, valued and supported. She has developed strong and sustainable collaborative working practices with local statutory and voluntary sector organisations, ensuring that carers are helped to access support and have a safe space to share their concerns. Her passion and insight into the future landscape of support for unpaid carers is inspirational.’

Chair of the judges Joanne Bosanquet, chief executive for the Foundation of Nursing Studies, says: ‘Ms Hone is working tirelessly to support people caring for family or loved ones both when they are admitted to hospital and when they leave. Her person-centred and whole-system approach is having a huge impact on informal carers and the people they care for.’

  1. For more information, please contact the communications team on: 01923 436280 or email: For out of hours media enquiries please call the Watford General Hospital switchboard on 01923 244366 and ask for the on call communications manager.
  2. West Hertfordshire Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust serves people from across Hertfordshire, north London and further afield. It operates from three hospitals; Watford General, St Albans City and Hemel Hempstead. The trust has a catchment area of over 500,000 people and is one of the largest employers locally, with around 5,000 staff and volunteers.
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