Two senior LPT nurses have been honoured by the Queens Nursing Institute, which champions community nursing.

Donna Fraser, community service matron for Melton, Rutland and Syston, has been made a Queen’s Nurse by the QNI. Pauline Rawle, community service matron (care homes) has been recognised for an innovation project, also by the QNI.

Donna said she was delighted to have been elevated to nursing “royalty”. She said: “Community nursing is me through and through. I am passionate about keeping people at home, and I am passionate about the role of the community nurse being seen as a specialist.

“You don’t have access to the resources you would have on a ward, and it takes a lot to be able to flex to the needs of the job. I love it.”

Donna has worked in community nursing for the past 14 years. As part of her application to be a Queen’s Nurse she gave evidence of work she had done to improve the safety of insulin-dependent diabetic patients, and to ensure safe levels of staffing on each shift.

She will now have access to greater networking and educational opportunities, which in turn should help improve care for patients being treated in their own homes.

Dr Crystal Oldman CBE, chief executive of the QNI said: “On behalf of the QNI I would like to congratulate Donna Fraser and welcome her as a Queen’s Nurse. Queen’s Nurses serve as leaders and role models in community nursing, delivering high quality health care across the country.

“The application and assessment process to become a Queen’s Nurse is rigorous and requires clear commitment to improving care for patients, their families and carers. We look forward to working with Donna and all other new Queen’s Nurses who have received the title this year.”

Pauline Rawle developed a project to help ensure care home residents had as healthy teeth and gums as possible. She was one of ten individuals who received an innovation certificate from the QNI and from the Burdette Institute for Nursing, which also provided £5,000 for her project.

Pauline created a training package for care home staff on oral health for their often very elderly patients. She also helped them navigate their way around various routes to get access to dental care and provided the homes with specialist equipment including 360 degree toothbrushes and torches.

She said: “It was about promoting knowledge, skills, confidence and competency.

“Oral health care is really, really important. It helps people to maintain their dignity and their nutritional input.”

Sue Boran, The QNI’s director of nursing programmes, said: “It has been an absolute pleasure to support these projects over the past year. They started in the middle of a pandemic and all workshops and support meetings were held online. It is to the credit of all the project leads and co-leads that they have succeeded with such extraordinary improvements to the health and wellbeing of people with complex needs in diverse community settings such as care homes, general practice, prison and at home.”