We are delighted to announce that Amanda Rae, our quality & compliance manager, has been awarded the title of Queen’s Nurse by the Queen’s Nursing Institute (QNI).

The QNI is the UK’s oldest professional nursing organisation, and possibly also the oldest nursing charity in the world. It awards the honorary title of Queen’s Nurse to registered nurses and specialist community public health nurses who demonstrate a high-level commitment to patient-centred values and to improving nursing practice. Individual candidates are assessed by a panel on the evidence in their application and feedback provided by their managers and patients.

Amanda is now entitled to use the title of Queen’s Nurse in recognition of her outstanding contribution to nursing over the last twenty-seven years.

“Becoming a Queen’s Nurse is an amazing honour in recognition of my contribution to nursing. I am so pleased and proud to have been recognised. I also feel honoured to be a part of such an inspiring and innovative community,” she says.

Amanda actually started her career in health and social care at the tender age of 14! Having been inspired by her grandmother’s experiences as a carer during the war, she began visiting an elderly lady after school to keep her company – and quickly realised that the care sector was where she wanted to be. She became a carer after leaving school, then trained as a Registered General Nurse. After qualifying in 1995 she worked in a hospital setting on several acute medical wards before social care called her back.

Alongside gaining her Levels 5 and 7 in Business Studies and a postgraduate diploma in Human Resources, Amanda has worked in a variety of roles, both out in the community and in residential/nursing care, from care assistant through to senior sister, HR & training manager, registered manager and operations manager.

Her current role involves setting and monitoring standards to ensure that the organisation meets its regulatory obligations. During the pandemic, Amanda was not able to visit the homes as often or as regularly so, without any IT training or expertise, she single-handedly built an online governance system, using Microsoft 365. This performs many crucial functions such as planning, bespoke audits, identifying trends and issues, discovering training needs, storing core information, communicating with the homes and providing news alerts. Within Canford Healthcare, the process is referred to as the Governance and Quality Cycle, which facilitates safe, person-centred care and the best resident outcomes.

The system has been a finalist in several industry award schemes and recognised as business leading by external professionals. Amanda has demonstrated it within Care England forums and is supporting other organisations within the sector to implement their own version of it. She has also fed back suggestions for improvement to Microsoft itself.

“I am passionate about great care and doing the right thing for the right reasons. My approach is to lead by example and never ask anyone to do anything that I am not prepared to do myself. I feel that there are very rarely bad people, but there may be a bad policy, process or procedure that needs review. With every problem there is room for a solution, and with every challenge there is an opportunity waiting to be taken.

“To me, it’s an honour and a privilege to assist people – in their own home or in residential/nursing care – to live their best life in their preferred way.”