Benenden Hospital nurse shortlisted for National Award

Kathy Howard, a Continence Specialist Nurse at Benenden Hospital

Kathy Howard, a Continence Specialist Nurse at Benenden Hospital, has been shortlisted for the prestigious 2022 Nursing Times Awards for Nurse of the Year, which will take place on 26 October at Grosvenor House, London.

Jane Abbott, Hospital Director said: “I am absolutely delighted that Kathy has been shortlisted for this award. She is a role model to all – young and old. She has accomplished so much during her career and putting patients first is always at the forefront of her mind.

“Kathy is truly deserving of this nomination and on behalf of myself and everyone at Benenden Hospital, we would like to say many congratulations and wish her the best of luck for October.”

Kathy has been a nurse for nearly 62 years, and during that time she has supported thousands of patients and their families over her extensive nursing career. She has shared her knowledge, skills and her passion for nursing with several generations of nurses in the hope of raising the focus of, and improving, continence care for all patients.

Kathy’s nursing career started at the age of 16, when she became a nurse cadet and then went on to complete her psychiatric nurse training in Ireland at the age 18. She came to England to complete her general nurse training and began district nursing - riding her bicycle to her home visits. She set up the first community continence service in Bexley in 1992 and found her true calling and has continued to provide outstanding, professional continence care to her patients and their families.

She then began working at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Woolwich where she supported and developed the nursing urology service over many years. There she set up a prostate screening clinic. She continued to work tirelessly across both urology, gynaecology and maternity services, and was instrumental in also starting a pelvic floor antenatal clinic. She was also sponsored by BBraun as a Institute Student Council Specialist Nurse.

Kathy has worked at Benenden Hospital for over a decade. Her role as a Specialist Continence Nurse is varied and includes tasks such as patient follow ups after urology surgery and teaching patients on how to use their pelvic floor muscles. It is a role that Kathy is extremely passionate about and she looks forward to coming to work and making patients’ lives better.

Kathy has been part of a well-established specialist nurse led clinic at Benenden Hospital since 2013 and was a key member of the team receiving the hospital’s Clinical Excellence Award in 2015.

Ali Turner, Matron for Benenden Hospital said: “Kathy is simply the essence of everything it is to be a nurse. Her dedication, passion and sheer commitment to her patients, her colleagues and to our wonderful profession is as timeless as she appears to be!

“I feel proud to know her and privileged to have her alongside me in one of my teams”.

To find out more about the Nursing Times Awards 2022, you can visit their website.

Published on 13 July 2022