Queen's Nurse Julie Roye, an exceptional leader in nursing, has been honoured as the RCN Nurse of the Year 2023 for her transformative work in a GP surgery, particularly in increasing cervical screening uptake by 25 to 64-year-olds from 52% to 80% in nine months at Cauldwell Medical Centre, Bedford. Her efforts have significantly reduced barriers to access for the diverse community.
The ELFT Head of Nursing for Primary Care received her profession’s most prestigious award at a ceremony in Liverpool Cathedral on November 10, 2023. She won praise for her 'truly inclusive' and comprehensive approach, genuine co-production of services with the people who use them, and her focus on staff development.
Ms Roye won the Leadership category before being named RCN Nurse of the Year 2023, marking her as the first Primary Care nurse to achieve this prestigious title. The Nurse of the Year is chosen from the 16 category winners. Her work exemplifies the impact of dedicated nursing leadership in enhancing patient care and addressing health inequalities.
Ms Roye said: "I am overwhelmed! I can't believe what happened. When they called my name, I thought they were calling someone else! It's a surreal feeling, but it shows what can be achieved with a fantastic team who believe in your ideas and a community that embraces change."
‘This shows a deprived borough can achieve the same health care as privileged areas with the right leadership and by accepting change."
RCN Chief Nurse Nicola Ranger and Joanne Bosanquet, Chair of the judging panel, commended Roye's passion and determination in addressing health disparities. Her comprehensive approach to population health and diversity has set a benchmark for care transformation in the UK.
Julie's leadership and patient-centric approach have been lauded by colleagues and patients alike. Christina Guevara, a lead practitioner at Cauldwell Medical Centre, praised Roye's motivational and supportive leadership style. Patient Joyce Tucker shared her positive experience with the improved cervical screening process, highlighting Roye's passion for empowering patients and staff.
"I am delighted to see Julie win the prestigious RCN Nursing Awards," said Dr. Mohit Venkataram, ELFT Executive Director for Primary Care. "Her leadership, patient-focused approach, and innovative work in cervical screening have made a significant difference in our community. She is a beacon of excellence within our directorate and Trust. I am proud of Julie; she truly deserved this award."
ELFT Interim Chief Nurse Claire McKenna added, "Julie's achievement means a great deal to our Trust. We are incredibly proud of her and the recognition she has received. Julie's success shines a light on the vital role of primary care nursing, highlighting its significance in our healthcare system and the profound impact it has on patient outcomes. Her dedication and innovative approach in nursing are an inspiration for the wider nursing community."
Continuing her trailblazing efforts, Ms. Roye has already embarked on a new project aimed at improving digital literacy among patients in diverse communities. This initiative involves developing short videos in various languages to facilitate better understanding and engagement with healthcare services.