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Tracey, Airedale Nurse, in front of tree

A Heart Failure Nurse Specialist at Airedale NHS Foundation Trust has been awarded the prestigious title of Queen’s Nurse, in recognition of her high level of commitment to high standards of patient care and continually improving practice.

Keighley-born Tracey Hellawell from Steeton, is to receive the honour on 13 December at the Queen’s Nursing Institute’s (QNI) award ceremony. Due to the pandemic, this will be the first time that the ceremony will be held virtually.

Tracey said:

“I am incredibly proud to be receiving the Queen’s Nurse title.

“It recognises the work that goes into heart failure care and management which is something that I am truly passionate about.”

Tracey began her career at Airedale as a Student Nurse in 1985. Following this, she worked her way up to become Senior Staff Nurse in 1990, Senior Sister in 1998 and Cardiology Lead in 2000. In 2006, Tracey joined Bradford and Airedale Primary Care Trust (now abolished) to set up the Heart Failure Nurse Specialist Service that was funded by the British Heart Foundation for 3 years as a pilot scheme before being supported by the PCT. Tracey then returned to Airedale in 2013 where she is currently a Community Heart Failure Nurse Specialist.  She works with cardiac patients in the community, supporting and educating them through lifestyle changes that can help them to live with the diagnosis of heart failure.

Through Tracey’s support, patients are often able to self-manage their condition and know when they need to seek help.

Tracey said:

“I provide a guiding hand along the uncertain journey for many patients living with the unpredictable nature of heart failure.

“They feel empowered to take control of their health after they have been educated about their condition.

“Patients are more confident as they can now focus on what they can do rather than what they are no longer able to do.”

Tracey’s links to Airedale don’t just end with her career; her husband is an Ultra Sonographer and her daughter, who is currently in her final year of studying Medicine at Cambridge University, also volunteered in the Accident and Emergency Department during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Tracey is the fourth nurse from Airedale to receive the title and is honoured to be joining the ranks of her fellow Queen’s Nurses:

“I am so grateful to be able to call myself a Queen’s Nurse alongside my fellow Queen’s Nurse colleagues.

“I hope that this inspires the next generation of nurses to want to work within the community to help individuals in need of care and support along their health-related journey.”

The title of Queen’s Nurse is awarded to those who have demonstrated their commitment to high standards of practice and patient-centred care. The Queen’s Nursing Institute believes that the shared title brings together a community of nurses who share common values.

Trudy Balderson, Head of Community Services and the first of Airedale’s Queen’s Nurses is thrilled to welcome Tracey as a new member of the community:

“I am delighted that the Queen’s Nursing Institute has recognised Tracey’s contribution and commitment to community nursing.

“It is fantastic to see the number of Queen’s Nurses within Airedale NHS Foundation Trust continuing to grow.

“The vital care and support provided to people in their own home by community teams has never been more important than it is now.

“Despite the significant challenges that community teams are currently facing, this is something to celebrate.”

Amanda Stanford, Chief Nurse at Airedale NHS Foundation Trust said:

“I am extremely proud to see Tracey being awarded Queen’s Nurse in recognition of her work as a Community Heart Failure Nurse.

“Tracey consistently demonstrates the values of compassionate and person-centred care when caring for patients and families.

“Throughout the Trust’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Tracey responded with the upmost professionalism and commitment.

“This award is well-deserved, and it is a privilege having Tracey as part of the nursing team at Airedale.”