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Cathy recognised for her compassionate care to patients

19th January 2024

Six females and one male sitting on sofa with one being handed an award

A nurse who has displayed outstanding compassionate care has been recognised for her devotion to her patients.

Cathy McGonigle was named as the worthy recipient of the Southern Health and Social Care Trust’s ‘Edel Corr Award for Outstanding Compassionate Care’.

The award was set up in memory of former nurse Edel (who sadly passed away in 2021) to ensure that the values which Edel held throughout her career with the utmost integrity will continue to live on in her honour.

Cathy, who has nursed in the Trust for over four decades, received the award from Edel’s family for always going above and beyond for her patients.

Maura McCarthy, Theatre/Day Procedure Unit Manager, said that within her daily role Cathy “mentors and trains staff and shares her knowledge.”

“In her role in South Tyrone Hospital Theatre/Day Procedure Unit, Cathy developed a patient information leaflet regarding follow up and investigations for Endoscopy patients, which has benefited patients as well as family members to reassure them at what can be a frightening and somewhat life changing time. Feedback from Consultants that work within this specialist field have described this leaflet as being an excellent and valuable resource. “It is clear that Cathy has an unwavering understanding and empathy as to what any patient is experiencing and this is reflected within this leaflet.”

Cathy was also instrumental in setting up the Lavender Room in South Tyrone Hospital, a dedicated room which provides privacy and ensures that patients and families have the space and time to process potential bad news that they are receiving.

Cathy said: “I have worked with patients for over 40 years and so I have witnessed first-hand that it can be very traumatic when a patient receives bad news for them and their family. There is so much to process, that they often do not retain the information on the day.

“Therefore I thought this leaflet would help patients and their families so that they have this information available when they are ready. Hopefully it will explain to them what to expect over the coming weeks before their diagnosis.”

Cathy receives her award from members of Edel Corr’s family. Also pictured is Maura McCarthy, who nominated Cathy for the award.

Sharon Love, Head of Nursing and Midwifery Patient Experience and Quality Improvement and member of the judging panel, said Cathy’s long nursing career has allowed her to carry out her role through the eyes of the patient.

“Cathy is the epitome of everything a nurse should be. She has true commitment and passion for the Unit she has worked in for over 40 years and takes great pride in her work, which can be seen by her personally funding some of the Lavender Room makeover.

“Compassion is fundamental to patient care and Cathy is the perfect example of how she is using her role to improve the experience of patients and the quality of care they receive.”