Cavell Star Awards

“We’re very proud to be supporting Cavell Nurses’ Trust with the Cavell Star Awards. Our focus this year is to promote and recognise the hard work and efforts of agency nurses.”

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What are the Cavell Star Awards?

Cavell Star Awards is an inspiring new national awards programme that recognises nurses, midwives and healthcare assistants who shine bright and show exceptional care to one of three groups of people:

Their colleagues

They’re the loyal teammate who cares when you’re having a tough day, the person that puts their arm around the whole team.

Their patients

They’re the trusty worker who ensures their patients are always safe, comfortable and informed.

Their patients’ families

They go the extra mile to make certain patients’ families also feel part of the care journey.

At Thornbury Nursing and the Guild we feel passionate about shining the light on the amazing work of agency nurses, midwives and HCAs, who are often negatively represented simply for choosing flexible work. We've teamed up with the Cavell Nurses' Trust to help make this happen and we would like your support in doing so.


“Increasingly we hear of agency nurses and midwives being treated differently, feeling undervalued and not being welcomed by colleagues when they travel to different places of work. Our own workers have had similar experiences. Our nurses, in particular, often travel very long distances at extremely short notice to help hospitals and patients when they need it most, and we believe agency work protects hospitals and patients faced with staff shortages and increasing demand. It also offers a flexible working option that allows many nurses to remain nursing – and earning.

There is a growing misconception that agency nurses solely choose this path because of enhanced pay rates. However a recent survey of 23,578 nurses across the Independent Clinical Services group demonstrated that a significant number chose agency work for the flexibility it offers. Many said that agency work allows them to care for their children. Nurses choose agency work for a variety of reasons and we should support this choice.

We are proud of each and every member of our Thornbury team and we hope that our efforts will help all agency nurses gain the recognition they deserve. No matter what type of nurse you are, who you work for or whether you choose substantive, bank or agency work, we believe you should all be treated the same.”

Sara James

Chief Operating Officer

Meet a previous winner

Guild HCA Elaine nominated her Guild colleague Gillian for a Cavell Star Award. Here's why Elaine nominated her:

"Gillian and I have been colleagues for 2 years in different community packages and it’s a real pleasure to work with her. The Scottish Nursing Guild have many fantastic Nurses and Healthcare Assistants but Gillian stood out in the crowd. She is so kind, thoughtful and would do anything to help others even when life throws a curve ball as she found out recently. Gillian was involved in a car accident last month and although came out of it with minor injuries,she thankfully was able to return to work and in her own words said “I need to get on with it.” As for clients I’m always amazed at her empathy towards others less fortunate. She has an ability, a shining light that clients gravitate too and the best thing is she doesn’t even know it, it’s completely natural. She is one of life’s earth angels and I’m so glad she has won a Cavell Star Award - she truly deserves it." - Elaine

The Cavell Star Awards are about promoting peer to peer nominations and that is something very close to our hearts. Agency work can often be a lonely experience for some but at the Guild we make sure our nurses feel like part of a big team and part of the Guild family.

Gillian and Elaine, you are true inspirations. Well done.

Guild nurse Vanessa Johnston suffered a heart attack outside the hospital accommodation she was staying at with colleague Davina Wotherspoon on a placement for the Scottish Nursing Guild. We have been told that if it wasn't for the rapid response and extraordinary efforts of Davina, Vanessa would not have made it. The experience was incredibly difficult for both Vanessa and Davina and very upsetting for everyone at the Guild. Thankfully, Vanessa is recovering well and all thanks to her colleague and friend Davina.

To celebrate Davina’s incredible efforts we treated both nurses to an Afternoon Tea. On the day, Davina was presented with an Outstanding Achievement award on behalf of everyone at the Guild and she also received a Cavell Star Award for her bravery and incredible efforts.

On behalf of Vanessa, her family and fellow Guild nurses, we thank you Davina. You are an incredible nurse and we are so proud to have you on the team.

Who will you nominate?

If you know an agency nurse, midwife or HCA who deserves recognition, please nominate them.