A STOKE Mandeville nurse has been honoured with a prestigious award by DJ Chris Evans.
Liz Monaghan, a matron at Aylesbury hospital, won the best nurse award at The Sun's Who Cares Wins awards on Tuesday night.
The awards, hosted by Sun columnist and TV presenter Lorraine Kelly, are now in their third year.
They were set up to allow readers to pay tribute to the selfless medics, researchers and volunteers who have touched – or in many cases – saved their lives.
Liz is matron for palliative and end of life care at the Florence Nightingale Hospice, based at Stoke Mandeville. She has worked in palliative care for three decades.
The delighted nurse was handed her gong by Virgin Radio presenter Chris Evans.
Described as “doing that extra bit so selflessly”, Liz was awarded the title for setting up the Purple Rose initiative to improve care for patients and their loved ones in the final days of their lives.
Liz, 53, introduced purple drawstring bags for deceased patients’ personal belongings – initially using her own money to fund these – instead of the standard envelope.
The scheme includes supplying a special purple rose that can be placed on the door or curtain to allow families privacy.
Purple Rose ‘kits’ are supplied to wards across the Trust and are funded by the Florence Nightingale Hospice Charity.
Liz was nominated by Elaine Trump, 70, a member of Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust’s Patient Experience Group.
Elaine said: “It makes a difference when you get a person like Liz. She does that extra bit so selflessly.”
The judging panel was made up of TV doctor and NHS GP Dr Dawn Harper, Professor Chris Moran, the National Clinical Director for Trauma in England, and Chief Midwifery Officer for England, Professor Jacqueline Dunkley-Bent.
Liz featured live on The Chris Evans Breakfast show on Virgin Radio on the morning of October 9 to talk about what winning the award means to her and the Purple Rose initiative.
She said: "I lead an amazing team.
"It's [the Purple Rose] a symbol to let others know that the people around the patient are with someone at the end of their life, sharing important moments and to be mindful of that."
Jo Turner, CEO of Florence Nightingale Hospice Charity, said: “We are delighted that Liz’s initiative has been recognised by this award.
“The charity and the hospice are focused on providing a special kind of care and support for those at the end of their lives, and their families. Liz has enabled that care to reach outside the hospice by using the symbol of the Purple Rose to alert ward staff to their special circumstances.”