Bravo Belinda – you played a blinder! | Latest news

Bravo Belinda – you played a blinder!

Belinda Knowles A Pinderfields nurse who describes caring for some of our city’s sickest babies as, “looking after our most prized possessions” has just found out how precious SHE is to patients.

Sister Belinda Knowles has dedicated the last 20 years to looking after not just premature and very poorly infants – but their often traumatised families.  Despite sometimes seeing folks at their lowest ebb, she says “I wouldn’t swap my job with anybody.”

And having won the love and respect of all her peers, Belinda has now been given the “Patient’s Choice Award 2015” at The Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust’s Celebrating Excellence Awards.  This was after judges were moved by letters from patients celebrating Belinda’s work.

Belinda had wanted to be a nurse since being four-years-old and qualified as a state registered nurse in Bradford before moving into midwifery. Having left to bring up a family, an advert in a local newspaper persuaded her to work on the special baby care unit at Dewsbury Hospital. Belinda is now based at Pinderfields and is part of a small team – with 90 years’ nursing experience! – and is an outreach nurse specialist.

Said Belinda: “My role is a mix of social work, safeguarding, nursing and counselling. I see these babies at their most fragile and their families at their most vulnerable. Of course there are up days and down days but when you see a child return and run around the ward it is a privilege.”  

A special ceremony at The Unity Works in Wakefield (Thursday 28 January) saw the Celebrating Excellence Awards presented in nine categories. Designed to honour individuals and teams at Pinderfields, Pontefract and Dewsbury hospitals, judges sifted through over 100 quality nominations to arrive at their winners.

Amongst those also honoured was Children’s Regional Burns Unit ward clerk, Kevin Rattray. Praised for “providing reassurance to families in stressful circumstances” he received the Behind the Scenes Award. Director of pharmacy at Pinderfields Phil Deady won the Leader of the Year after being cited by his team for, “inspiring a shared purpose, encouraging a vision that puts the patient at the heart of everything we do.”  Services offering support to patients across Mid Yorkshire were also saluted – including the Kidney Stone Service based at Pinderfields (see full list of winners).

Jules Preston, Chairman of The Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust said: “The standard of award winners and those commended was high and represents the incredibly innovative, professional and compassionate work so many of our staff do. Whether they are front-line medics or from that army of behind the scenes workers that keep our healthcare system working these people are the essence of the NHS – and what makes it great.”


The Celebrating Excellence Awards winners 2015/16

Name and role


Hospital Based

Comments from nomination

Matt Rothwell, podiatrist

Student, Trainee or Apprentice of the Year


“Patients often comment on Matt’s professionalism and caring approach.”

The Cardiac Rehab Volunteers

Volunteer of the Year

Pontefract and Dewsbury

“They help patients overcome anxiety following surgery.”

Richard Bunn, acute hospitals liaison manager

Employee of the Year


“Richard is passionate about delivering equality of care.”

Phil Deady, director of pharmacy

Leader of the Year


“Encouraging a vision that puts the patient at the heart of everything we do.”

Kevin Rattray, ward clerk, children’s regional burns unit

Behind the Scenes


“Providing reassurance to families in stressful circumstances.”

Information Technology Services Team

Valuing our People


“They promote development within the team and create an inclusive approach.”

Belinda Knowles, neonatal outreach sister

Patients’ Choice


“The care and emotional support we received from Belinda was unbelievable.”

Kidney Stone Service

Clinical Team of the Year


“They have a desire to minimise the risk of life-changing complications.”

Design and Print Team

Non Clinical Team of the Year


“They are approachable, flexible and customer focused.”