Two Hywel Dda University Health Board employees have been awarded a King’s New Year’s Honour.
Gina Beard, Lead Cancer Nurse, is awarded the honour of Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in recognition of her services to Cancer Nursing. Dr Mike Bartlett, Associate Specialist Haematology, is awarded a Medal of the Order of the British Empire (BEM) in recognition of his services to Medical Education.
Gina Beard said: “I feel overwhelmed and honoured to have been nominated for this award and accept it on behalf of all the cancer teams in Hywel Dda, who work tirelessly to support those facing the challenges of a cancer diagnosis.”
“Receiving a cancer diagnosis is a major life event. It is a privilege to be able to lead services that provide patients with the support and care they need, and work alongside a dedicated and kind team of health and care professionals.
“I would also like thank my amazing family, who believed in me and supported my ambitions as a nurse.”
Gina, who lives in Pembrokeshire, has worked as a nurse for over 30 years and chose to develop her specialism in cancer nursing.
Mandy Rayani, Executive Director of Nursing, Quality and Patient Experience, says: “Gina has consistently delivered an outstanding service to patients and played a leading role in the development of cancer services at Hywel Dda University Health Board.
“I am delighted that she has been recognised for going the extra mile to prioritise patient and staff safety and well-being. I am very grateful to her for her continued leadership of the service, she is an exemplar to us all and brings our values to life every day through her work.”
Gina has played a part in several successful projects and service developments. Amongst her many achievements is the refurbishment of Pembrokeshire Haematology and Oncology Day Unit (PHODU) that was recognised by Macmillan as an approved Quality Cancer Care Environment.
With the formation of Hywel Dda University Health Board in 2009 came the establishment of four separate chemotherapy day units covering three counties across which Gina has worked tirelessly to strengthen the nursing agenda, create consistency in philosophy and delivery of care. She has gone above and beyond not just in maintaining services but in leading service design and development.
Gina was key to establishing CaPS, the Cancer Psychological Support Service – providing emotional support to patients and carers throughout their cancer journey and empowering the cancer workforce with psychological skills in their everyday roles.
Linked to the need for consistency in the approach to care, Gina led the redesign of the telephone triage and advice service for patients having non-surgical cancer treatment. Thanks to this work Health Board can provide a dedicated 24-hour triage and support line that also ensures consistency of service delivery across the four hospitals.
She has been the driving force in the design and implementation of the new Rapid Diagnosis clinic and the Malignancy of Unknown Origin service, which help to meet urgent patient need and transforms the patient experience and care pathway. Such service change has been achieved by Gina’s commitment to collaborative working with senior clinicians, administrators and listening to the needs of patients and their families.
As an advanced practitioner and despite her significant management and leadership responsibilities, patient contact has remained core to her practice. Gina has led the development of nurse and pharmacist led practices in the four hospitals.
In addition to delivering new and additional services, Gina is a powerful advocate and champion of the nursing agenda. She consistently championed and challenges the teams she leads to develop themselves and to improve patient experience, keeping the patient firmly at the centre of the health board’s work. This was particularly evident during the pandemic when she communicated clearly and compassionately and provided reassurance and confidence to staff and patients.
Judith Hardisty, Interim Chair at Hywel Dda University Health Board said: “I am delighted that Gina has been recognised with an MBE for her service to cancer nursing.
“Gina has dedicated over 30 years to cancer nursing, serving her community with care, compassion, and determination to ensure equity of care to all, breaking through the barriers of rurality.
“Gina is a fantastic leader and nurse, always seeking to improve the services to our patients and her colleagues and frequently asks ‘how can we do things better?’. She has a deep sense of duty, commitment, and service to members of the Hywel Dda community – both our staff and patients. Thank you, Gina, for your tireless service and ongoing commitment to health and care in west Wales.”
Dr Mike Bartlett
Responding to the news of his nomination, Dr Bartlett, said: “I feel privileged to receive this award, and accept it on behalf of my colleagues at Hywel Dda University Health Board with whom I have the pleasure of working with, and the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) whose bravery knows no bounds.
“I gain a great deal of personal joy from sharing my knowledge with others, within the NHS and in the broader community of west Wales. It has been a real honour to develop the Coastal Medical Program and to work alongside members of the RNLI in supporting them to develop skills that can help to save lives.
“During the winter months we hold classroom-based training courses and practice casualty care, which may include performing CPR or trauma scenarios. From April onwards, we work together on the beaches of Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire and participate in live scenarios – testing the skills of the lifeboat crew in near real-life situations.”
Mike has contributed several years of service to organising and directing Advanced Life Support and Advanced Trauma Courses, ensuring that cohort after cohort of doctors are equipped to provide care to critically ill patients. This role is undertaken in his own time in addition to his post as a senior doctor in Haematology and cancer care.
Unperturbed by the challenges presented by the pandemic, Mike found new ways to teach and worked conscientiously behind the scenes to keep training infrastructure in place. Whilst his leadership and contribution are recognised on a regional basis, he is also an instructor for courses across the UK including at the Royal College of Surgeons, and he is an Honorary Lecturer at Cardiff University Medical School.
Professor Phil Kloer, Deputy Chief Executive and Executive Medical Director at Hywel Dda University Health Board, comments: “Mike is an outstanding and inspirational medical educator with over twenty-five years of service to the NHS.
“Mike is recognised by his peers as an exemplar of teaching and training. His drive and vision have been hugely beneficial to the provision of medical education within a large swathe of mid and west Wales.”
In addition to his commitment to the staff and patients at Hywel Dda, Mike led the development of a unique educational partnership involving medical staff, the RNLI and HM Coastguards in Pembrokeshire and Ceredigion - Coastal Medicine. This community-driven and pioneering lifesaving initiative, now in its sixth year, has delivered real and validated impact upon the RNLI teams' performance in casualty care. Clinical Fellow and Foundation level doctors have trained alongside RNLI and Coastguards in both classroom-based activities, and realistic live action simulations on the seas and beaches.
Congratulating Mike on his award, Judith Hardisty, said: “I am very pleased that Mike has been recognised for his contributions to both Hywel Dda and our local community in west Wales.
“Thanks to his dedication to his profession, countless medical students, doctors of all grades, and most recently dozens of lifeguards and boat crew serving with the RNLI have been trained to save lives, both in hospital and in the community.
“I am aware that Mike firmly believes in giving something back to his local area and this is apparent in how he has gone about in developing the Costal Medicines course – taking his professional knowledge and training and sharing them with volunteers in our communities. We will be forever grateful to him that so many staff and first responding volunteers now feel more confident to save lives in peril around the coasts of Wales.”
The New Year Honours List 2024 marks the incredible public service of individuals from across the UK.
Recipients of the New Year Honours List have been awarded for their outstanding contributions across all parts of the UK for their work on areas including sustained public service, youth engagement and community work.