Jackie Phillips, the former Nurse Manager of Palliative Care for Northamptonshire and Senior Clinical Nurse at Cynthia Spencer Hospice, was nominated for a Cavell Star award for going above and beyond for her patients throughout her thirty-year career.
Jackie passed away in April this year and her friend and fellow nursing colleague Krystyna Grey was keen to recognise and celebrate Jackie’s commitment to generations of patients in Northamptonshire. Krystyna met Jackie when they both started their nursing training at Northampton School of Nursing in 1970. Their rooms in the nurses’ home were next to each other and a lifelong friendship started from that moment.
“We looked extremely smart in our uniforms,” remembers Krystyna “with starched aprons and caps and a navy and red cape to wear whilst walking along the corridors. Outdoors, we wore a gabardine mac and a storm cap. The uniform policy was very strict!”
“Although life was strict and formal on the wards, we still found time for fun,” says Krystyna. “Jackie and I took part in the annual Northampton carnival, using bedpans to collect money! We also had a Christmas show which was always fun and everyone at the hospital could take part.”
In just a few years, Jackie was promoted to Senior Sister on Talbot Butler ward, the Oncology and Radiotherapy ward at Northampton General Hospital and also trained in oncology at the Royal Marsden Hospital in London. In 1981, Jackie was nominated and awarded Nurse of the Year by the people of Northampton, something that made her immensely proud.
Krystyna nominated Jackie for a Cavell Star Award for going above and beyond for her patients and paid tribute to her friend,
“She was a credit to the nursing profession; caring, highly respected and dedicated, an outstanding nurse who always understood the needs of others. She was also fun to be around and had an adventurous spirit too, like doing a parachute jump to raise money for the cancer ward.
“Jackie was a true role model to her staff and showed compassion and care to the patients and families at the hospice. I feel privileged to have known her.”
Nursing charity Cavell Nurses’ Trust launched the Cavell Star Awards in 2018 in partnership with LloydsPharmacy Clinical Homecare. Nominations are being sought from nursing teams throughout the UK for that special team mate who has shown exceptional care for either their colleagues or their patients and patients’ families. Each Cavell Star Award winner receives a medal, presentation case and pin badge as well as invites to attend special Care & Cake parties, celebrating of the nation’s nursing professionals.
Jackie’s husband Roger and her sister Joan received the Cavell Star Award in her memory. Roger reacted to the presentation,
“Jackie would have been thrilled to receive a Cavell Star Award but she would have insisted that her whole team be recognised, not just her. Jackie’s team meant everything to her and if you were a friend of Jackie’s then you stayed a friend! Colleagues have contacted me since Jackie passed away and they’ve all said what a privilege it was to be able to work for her. Nobody understood people quite like Jackie did.”
The Cavell Star Awards are in partnership with LloydsPharmacy Clinical Homecare and sponsored by NEXT, NHS Improvement, National Garden Scheme, Health Education England, NHS Professionals, Queen Alexandra’s Royal Army Nursing Corps, Alexandra, British Journal of Nursing, The Embassy of Belgium in the UK and Thornbury Nursing Services & Scottish Nursing Guild.
We are so very proud of Jackie and all of her achievements. If you would like to find out more about our palliative care services, click here.