Our Chief Nurse, Michelle McLoughlin CBE, enjoyed an unforgettable day at Buckingham Palace earlier this week (Thursday 9 May) when she was awarded her honour from HRH The Duke of Cambridge.
Proud Brummie Michelle was named in Her Majesty the Queen’s New Year’s Honours List and was given the award in recognition of her dedication and compassion helping countless children and young people during her 30-year career.
After training at the former East Birmingham Hospital, she joined the team at Birmingham Children’s Hospital as a Specialist Liaison Nurse in 1991 – concentrating on helping young people with the most complex needs, particularly those with serious kidney conditions.
Michelle explained how joining the team at the city’s renowned paediatric hospital was a lifetime ambition.
“I grew up on stories of the Children’s Hospital including that of my aunt and uncle’s son, who sadly died at a young age many years ago.
“Within the story of the terrible sadness that the loss of a precious child brought, they told stories of just how amazing the hospital was. It certainly inspired me when choosing my career and I just knew it was where I wanted to be.”
As her career progressed Michelle’s passion to offer the very best possible care and support to young people and their families continued to shine through as she moved into senior nursing management roles before being appointed as Chief Nurse for Birmingham Children’s Hospital in 2007.
This vital role oversees the day-to-day care provided at the specialist paediatric hospital which enjoys a global reputation for excellence in many areas, including the treatment of the most serious kidney, liver and cardiac conditions.
Michelle was an integral part of the team that helped Birmingham Children’s Hospital achieve an ‘Outstanding’ rating from the Care Quality Commission (CQC) in 2017 – the first of its type to be awarded the highest possible rating. In the same year she also took on the Chief Nurse role at Birmingham Women’s Hospital following its integration with the Children’s Hospital.
Accepting the norm isn’t something that Michelle does and she has continually pushed the boundaries to improve care – not only in her home city but also across the country. She has pioneered a number of things that have made things better for patients including a dedicated system to improve safety called the Children and Young People’s Safety Thermometer tool and she also led a project to turn plans for the first patient feedback app into a reality.
Respected nationally, she’s Chair of the National Association of Chief Children’s Nurses (ACCN) and leads a national project focusing on safe and sustainable workforce for children and young people’s inpatient hospital care. Earlier this year, Michelle was named as one of the 70 most influential nurses and midwives since 1948 in a joint project celebrating the profession by the Nursing Standard and NHS England as part of the 70th anniversary of the NHS.
Sarah-Jane Marsh, Chief Executive at Birmingham Women’s and Children’s NHS Foundation Trust, said:
“Michelle’s commitment to always offering outstanding care to patients and families, never accepting that good enough is good enough, is inspiring and generations of healthcare professionals have undoubtedly learnt from her fierce determination to ensure that every child and young person she is responsible for is looked after like they are a member of her own family.
“In the modern NHS, where many organisations have multiple Matrons, Michelle has always insisted that there will only be one on her watch – and we are all so proud of our Matron.”