There is cause for celebration as two members of West Herts Hospitals NHS staff have been recognised in the Queen’s Birthday 2020 Honours.
The Honours List which is usually published in June was deferred this year, to recognise those involved in the response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Chief nurse Tracey Carter and consultant respiratory physician Dr Matthew Knight of West Herts Hospital have both been appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the Queen’s Birthday 2020 Honours List.
Tracey Nichola Carter, who lives in Hemel Hempstead, was awarded an MBE for her services to Nursing in the NHS.
She has been a nurse for over 30 years and joined West Herts in 2014.
Her leadership has helped the trust to better recruit, retain and transform its nursing workforce helping to dramatically reduce the vacancy rate for junior nurses from over 23% to around 7%.
Tracey is very active in helping to identify and support the development of new roles to widen and transform the trust’s nursing workforce.
She has championed the introduction of the role of nursing associates which enables healthcare support workers to gain a nursing qualification.
West Herts’ respiratory consultant Dr Matthew Knight was also awarded an MBE, for his work to conceive, design and deliver a ‘virtual hospital’ to look after patients infected with COVID-19.
Dr Knight led a frontline team of doctors, nurses, physiotherapists and admin staff, some of whom were shielding, to safely prevent and reduce hospital admissions through the virtual monitoring of patients’ symptoms.
Patients were given a pulse oximeter to monitor their oxygen levels and heart rate at home and were reviewed virtually or on the phone.
Since March 2020 over 10,000 virtual consultations have taken place via the ‘virtual hospital’ which has delivered outstanding care to over 1,250 patients.
It has prevented several hundred admissions and ensured patients felt safe and secure.
The virtual hospital is a ‘first of its kind’ model which can be expanded to cover other illnesses and conditions.
Trust chief executive Christine Allen said: “I couldn’t be prouder as a CEO to see Tracey Carter and Matthew Knight recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honours. They are the embodiment of our trust values of care, quality and commitment helping our teams to deliver exceptional standards of care to our patients. They are an inspiration to everyone who knows them.”
Trust chairman Phil Townsend said: “Congratulations to our colleagues! Countless patients will have benefitted over the years from the care, excellence and innovation which Tracey and Matthew have demonstrated. I am immensely proud of them both and delighted that their efforts have been recognised and rewarded in this way.”