A N ILKLEY health visitor has collected a prestigious award from the Queen’s Nursing Institute (QNI) for outstanding service.

Claire Rowley was one of five community nurses from across the country presented with The Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother Award for Outstanding Service. The award was presented by Kate Billingham CBE, Chair of the QNI’s Council.

Claire, a health visitor with Bradford District Care Trust working in the Ilkley area was given the award for being committed to the needs of the local community.

She has developed innovative programmes to support families until their child reaches the age of five. This includes parenting classes and breastfeeding support. Claire has also been a driving force in improving the learning experience for local health visitors and health visiting students.

Claire said: “I am absolutely thrilled and overwhelmed to have received this award. I have always tried to do my best and deliver a high quality service. You can never do this alone and over the 25 years that I have been health visiting I have worked with many people including midwives, GP’s and children’s centre staff to provide the best for local families.”

The award was founded in 1994 and is presented to nurses who have given exceptional service to patients through nursing practice in any aspect of community health care. The award is for nurses or midwives who have given service to patients and the profession, over and above the call of duty; and have made a particularly distinguished contribution to the health of people in the community.

Dr Crystal Oldman, QNI chief executive said: “The QNI’s Award for Outstanding Service is a highly prestigious award for community nurses that indicates an exceptional degree of professionalism and dedication to patients and colleagues. On behalf of the QNI I would like to congratulate Claire Rowley on this achievement.”

Claire has previously been recognised by the Queens Nursing Institute. In 2000 she received the QNI Millennium Award and in 2003 Developing Practice Award.

The event was held at the Royal Garden Hotel, Kensington is one of the major events in the nursing calendar.