AN inspirational Whiston Hospital nurse has been named as Employer of the Year at Mersey and West Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust’s staff awards.

Sarah McKenna, an Advanced Nurse Practitioner in the hospital’s Emergency Department, was praised for her efforts to provide the highest standards of care for her patients while also developing a new patient streaming service that has helped reduce A and E attendances.

She received her award from TV personality Craig Phillips and St Helens Rugby League legend Paul Sculthorpe MBE.

Described as the “best of the best by colleagues’’, Sarah has helped to drive change in the Emergency Department with her knowledge, experience, and sheer determination to provide the highest standards of care for her patients.

She has also been pivotal to the newly developed, award-winning, primary care streaming service that has helped to greatly reduce attendances at Whiston’s A and E department.

Sarah said: “I was really shocked to win the award I must admit, but very proud at the same time.

“I have worked here for 22 years and love my job. I love helping patients and working with a great team of people every day.’’ Two other inspirational members of staff were also shortlisted for the award.

Mr Dilnath Gurusinghe, Consultant Burn Surgeon at St Helens and Whiston hospitals, was described as “remarkable’’ with patients and colleagues praising his commitment, skills and expertise.

His nomination said: “His pioneering work in early burn grafting has transformed the lives of patients, who cannot thank him enough for the life enhancing difference he has made.‘’

Kate Edmondson, Patient Experience Facilitator at Southport and Ormskirk hospitals was also nominated for the award with colleagues saying: “Kate always goes the extra mile and makes a real difference, supporting patients in times of personal need and through the most difficult experiences. She is a true angel.’’