Senior north London nurses celebrated as they reflect on 'hugely challenging' Covid-19 fight

Central and North West London community nurses Luxmi Dhoonmoon, Lisa Basi, and Helen Willetts. 

Central and North West London community nurses Luxmi Dhoonmoon, Lisa Basi, and Helen Willetts. - Credit: CNWL NHS Trust

Three senior north London nurses were delighted to receive awards from the nation's chief nursing officer marking their contributions to community nursing across Camden, Brent and beyond during this year's pandemic. 

All three received a silver commendation from the England's chief nurse Ruth May marking their tireless work.

The trio, who all work for the Central North West London (CNWL) NHS Trust, spoke about how difficult coping with the coronavirus in the community had been. 

Nurse Lisa Basi with her silver commendation

Lisa Basi with her silver commendation. - Credit: CNWL NHS Trust

Camden-based Lisa is head of the trust's integrated primary care team, and she's now set to play a key role in rolling out various Covid-19 vaccines. Meanwhile Luxmi is a nurse consultant who has been particularly recognised for her work as a leading authority on wound care— she's an expert in "tissue viability". Helen is a director of nursing and oversaw nursing strategy. 

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Lisa said this year had been a test like no other. She said: ""It's been a tough year as you can imagine. We started and were thrown in at the deep end working with acute trusts and nurses in the community to work out how we were going to adapt to best support people in their own homes."

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Now, she's involved in planning for the roll-out of vital vaccines.

Helen Willetts with her silver commendation from England's chief nurse. 

Helen Willetts from Central and North West London NHS Trust with her silver commendation from England's chief nurse. - Credit: CNWL NHS Trust

She told this newspaper that the awards were recognition of the under-reported work of community nurses.  

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"It's great, especially because there's been a lot of focus on acute trusts, intensive care and hospitals," she said. 

"But there's been so much NHS working to help care for people at home, to prevent them needing to go to hospital. Nurses were going into patients own homes and facing really tough situations."

Helen is CNWL's director of infection prevention and control and she paid tribute to her colleagues and explained their work continues to be vital.

She said: "The main drive at the moment is keeping people engaged and motivated and making sure their wellbeing is as tip-top as possible." 

All three said how proud of their teams they were, while Luxmi said the year had been "so challenging". However she added: "When I said jump, we all jumped together." 

Luxmi Dhoonmoon receives her silver commendation from CNWL's chief nurse Maria O'Brien. 

Luxmi Dhoonmoon receives her silver commendation from CNWL's chief nurse Maria O'Brien. - Credit: CNWL NHS Trust

Ruth May said she was "so proud" to see nurses like Helen, Lisa and Luxmi  "really step up and be amazingly flexible in their approach". 

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