High praise indeed for award winner Nina and colleagues

One of our nurses met the heir to the throne last week and was singled out for praise by the Prince of Wales. Later on she won a prestigious Nursing Times Award at a top London hotel. Not a bad day, for Senior Nurse, Nina Turner.

Nina was invited to a reception at Clarence House where she meet the Prince of Wales. She represented an Oxleas team, which included Pulmonary Rehab Lead Physiotherapist, Helen Jefford and fitness instructors at Maidstone Prison. They picked up the top prize in the Respiratory Nursing section.

Nina said: "I can't believe we've won. It was awarded to me, Helen and all the fitness instruction team at Maidstone. It was great to meet Prince Charles. He shook my hand and I curtsied to him. He spoke to the group I was in about cystic fibrosis and his charity work in general and how important he thought the work nurses do is.

"One person, and it had to be a nurse, was nominated to meet Prince Charles from each shortlisted organisation and I had that privilege. I went along to the reception at noon at Clarence House. It was really wonderful.

"And in the evening one of the judges at the Grosvenor House Hotel on Park Lane said that our work was really inspiring." The award recognises individual nurses or teams working in any setting who have improved the quality of care provided to patients with respiratory conditions.

Nina and the team's work - believed to be unique in English and Welsh prisons - is aimed at improving the health of prisoners through pulmonary rehabilitation. It aims to bring the treatment of prisoners in this field up to that of patients in the wider community. The project is being run at Her Majesty's Prison Maidstone in Kent. It involves patients that suffer from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

The Prince of Wales said that those nominated for the awards, in 19 categories, are making a ''tangible difference'' to people's lives, singling out Nina about whom he said: "Nina only qualified three years ago, but she has worked to ensure that the prisoners in her care have access to screening, diagnosis and a pulmonary rehabilitation programme, all steps towards improving the care of prisoners with chronic lung disease." He added: ''The nominees I have mentioned are just a few of the many thousands of nurses who understand the value of the 'human touch' and who are committed to working day in, day out, in hospitals and in the community, to give patients, carers and families exceptional care.

It strikes me that we must support them in their work and recognise their contribution however we can. It is impossible to express the value of the care they give, often when people are at their most vulnerable, and I can only congratulate them on all their achievements.'' 

The Prince of Wales' full speech.

Published on 5th November 2013