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England’s Chief Nurse presents posthumous CNO Gold Award for Norfolk nurse

13 May 2022

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The Chief Nursing Officer for England Ruth May has awarded a posthumous CNO Gold Award to Emergency Department Staff Nurse Estrella Catalan who worked at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital.  Estrella sadly died of Covid-19 in February 2021 after receiving treatment in the hospital’s Critical Care Complex.

Ruth May, Chief Nursing Officer for England says:  “It is an honour to dedicate this award to Estrella. Estrella’s belief in her profession, dedication to the NHS and her pioneering approach shone through in everything she did and it is absolutely right that she is recognised with this CNO Gold Award.

“During Estrella’s career she was able to demonstrate her passion and skill to support education within the clinical environment.  Estrella’s dedication to mentoring, supervision and education was at the forefront of her role.  She inspired all learners with her passion for nursing, her drive to be part of a solution, her whole hearted commitment and desire to inspire.

“Estrella represented the best qualities of the nursing profession and while we have lost a wonderful and dedicated colleague, her family have lost so much more.”

Prof Nancy Fontaine, Chief Nurse at NNUH, says:  “Estrella was a wonderful person and a caring and conscientious nurse, who loved to teach and mentor students; she is missed by all her colleagues who remember her so fondly.”

Estrella worked for the hospital for more than 18 years, joining in September 2002,  working as a staff nurse on Gunthorpe and Heydon wards, and was a hugely respected, loved and dedicated member of the Emergency Department team and the Acute Stroke Team.

Following completion of her degree in nursing in the Philippines, Estrella and her young family came to the UK where she gained her Nursing and Midwifery Council registration in 2002.

Nancy adds:  “Estrella was part of the ground breaking team of nurses who joined the NNUH from their homeland of the Philippines.

“This transformational decision demonstrates Estrella’s desire to embrace change and grab opportunity despite potential hurdles.  Estrella was part of the leadership that integrated a cohort of overseas nurses smoothly and seamlessly in to both the acute hospital and the Norfolk community.

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