Suzanne, 48, has worked at the hospital for 30 years starting as a student, going on to specialise in stroke care. Around 1992 Suzanne and a colleague Sharron Dempsey formed “Supporting Hands”, a Bolton based charity formed to support survivors of stroke and their families. Although Suzanne is no longer the Chairperson or as involved as she was originally, the organisation, now renamed JIGSAW (Joint Initiative Group for Stroke Awareness and Wellbeing), is still going strong.
Suzanne was heavily involved in the opening of the first ever Acute Stroke Care Unit at the RBH some years ago and went on to help improve the survival rates for stroke patients in Bolton and greatly improve their rehabilitation.
Suzanne has achieved a BSC Honours Degree in Nursing Studies and more recently a Masters Degree in Professional Development. In 2010 she won the North West Clinical Leader of the Year Award, from the NHS NW Leadership Academy.
Suzanne said: “The official letter arrived from Downing Street around a month ago. I couldn’t believe I was receiving such high recognition, it was a complete shock. It has been so hard keeping this a secret with only my husband Tony knowing about it. I want to thank all those colleagues and patients who wrote such lovely letters supporting the award. I’m now looking forward to attending Buckingham Palace with my family to receive the award”.
Suzanne is married with two children and lives in Little Lever. Husband Tony said: “I am so proud of what Suzanne has achieved, she is an inspiration, always putting others, including her patients first.”
Dr Jackie Bene, Acting Chief Executive at Bolton NHS Foundation Trust, said: “I’m really proud of Suzanne’s achievement. She’s a great example of how a member of staff can help patients and their families.”