Advocating to ensure rural patients receive the same quality care as those living in big cities has won Hokitika district nurse Jessie Gibbens an Open for Leadership award.

The West Coast District Health Board nurse was presented the Health Quality & Safety Commission award last month by the HQSC chief executive Dr Janice Wilson after being nominated by the DHB for her commitment to establishing lasting relationships with her patients and advocating on their behalf.

Gibbens says district nurses on the Coast are big advocates for their patients including work closely with Canterbury DHB and ensuring patients have a good experience and understand what is happening.

“If someone has just been discharged from the ward and something isn’t going well, I advocate for them and make sure a specialist sees them,” says Gibbens. “If they need to talk to the team in Canterbury, we try to set this up by video conference instead of the patient needing to make the long trip to Christchurch.”

Wilson said Gibben’s exemplary leadership in a rural community – including ensuring patients receive the same quality care as patients living in the big cities made her an “extremely deserving recipient”.

The HQSC Open for Leadership awards are to recognise health professionals who demonstrate excellent practice, quality improvement and leadership skills. They are part of the Commission’s work building capability and leadership in the health sector.

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