Sarah Brand wins Cavell Star Award for going above and beyond for colleagues | Latest news

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Sarah Brand wins Cavell Star Award for going above and beyond for colleagues

A Nottingham University Hospitals nurse has won a Cavell Star Award. 

Dr Sarah Brand, Assistant Divisional Nurse for Cancer and Associated Specialties, was nominated for going above and beyond for her colleagues.

Sarah worked as a Business Analyst for a while but knew her heart really wasn’t in it.

She said: “I realised that nobody was relying on me. If I hadn’t have turned up for work, nobody would have really noticed.

"I looked at my mum in her nursing role and realised she made such a difference to people’s lives and they relied on her to be there. So I embraced nursing and I’m glad I did, I couldn’t imagine doing anything else now.”

Sarah qualified as a nurse in 1999 and gained experience on respiratory and plastic surgery wards before moving to critical care. She also became a research nurse and has continued this part of her role for the last 15 years.

Sarah's role now sees her supporting nursing teams day-to-day.

“I look to support staff to be the best they can,” says Sarah “and lead on practice development, research and education, developing our staff and getting them involved in education and research," she said.

Sarah is passionate about education and has completed a PhD whilst working.

“Nursing is full of opportunities, there’s a role for everybody,” explains Sarah.

“I feel privileged to meet amazing patients and amazing members of staff. If I can make a difference to a person’s life, even for just a few minutes, that makes me really happy. Sometimes it’s the small things we do that people remember forever.”

Sarah was nominated by her team for a Cavell Star Award for going above and beyond for her colleagues. Team mate and Clinical Nurse Specialist Gillian Priday explains:

“Sarah is an amazing nurse, she constantly encourages other nurses across the division to believe in themselves and makes them want to be a better nurse every single day. She is a real force for good, her personality and smile light up any room.

“It has been really tough during COVID but Sarah has continuously supported people, kept staff focused and helped people realise their potential. Nothing is too much trouble for her, every work place needs a Sarah. I am a better nurse because of her, each day she inspires and encourages me.”

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 a special Care & Cake Garden Party, celebrating of the nation’s nursing and midwifery professionals.

Reacting to the award,Sarah said:

“It was really lovely and overwhelming! I was touched that someone would take time out to write such kind words about me and recognise what I’ve done.

"I’m just doing my job as far as I’m concerned and I want people to be the very best nurses they can be. I’m so proud of all of them.

“It’s amazing to be recognised for something so positive and I think there’s not enough of this happening in the NHS. It’s important that the Cavell Star Awards exist to give this recognition and having received one it does make a massive difference to morale.”

The Cavell Star Awards are in partnership with LloydsPharmacy Clinical Homecare and sponsored by NEXT, NHS Improvement, Health Education England, NHS Professionals, Queen Alexandra’s Royal Army Nursing Corps, Alexandra, British Journal of Nursing and Thornbury Nursing Services & Scottish Nursing Guild.

John Orchard, Chief Executive at Cavell Nurses’ Trust, explains: “Thank you to our partner and wonderful sponsors for making the Cavell Star Awards happen.

“We know there are nursing and midwifery professionals up and down the country who show exceptional care every day, often in very difficult circumstances and sometimes when their own life is falling apart. You can say a big ‘thank you’ to your colleagues by giving them a Cavell Star Award!”

John continues: “Cavell Nurses’ Trust is here for nurses and midwives when they’re in a crisis, so we are really excited that the Cavell Star Awards are proving so successful at boosting morale for nursing teams working extremely hard in very challenging situations, especially this year during the Covid-19 pandemic.”

Healthcare professionals wishing to nominate a nurse, midwife or HCA for a Cavell Star Award can find out more at


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