Silver award for a very special nurse

17 August 2021

A Spire Southampton nurse with 50 years of service has been presented with a special award from the Chief Nurse for England Ruth May.

Lin Silvestri began her career in nursing at the age of 17 in 1971 at The Lord Mayor Treloar Orthopaedic Hospital in Alton. After 30 years in the NHS, including spells at the Royal South Hants Hospital and Southampton General Hospital, she spent three years nursing in Saudi Arabia, where her husband had been deployed. She has been at Spire Southampton since 2004.

Lin worked tirelessly during the pandemic to care for NHS cancer patients who received treatment at Spire Southampton. Together with her team, Lin made patients with some of the most critical conditions feel welcome and comfortable, and Lin’s dedication to patient safety and infection control helped to ensure that there were no cases of COVID in her unit for a year. 60 hour shifts were a regular occurrence for Lin during this period.

Lin Silvestri with colleagues at Spire Southampton Hospital

Lin is one of a handful of nurses around the country to have been awarded the Chief Nursing Officer’s Silver Award which recognises outstanding care and service which goes above and beyond what is expected. Prof Deborah Sturdy, England’s Chief Nurse for Adult and Social Care, presented Lin with her award virtually, on behalf of Chief Nurse Ruth May, in a surprise ceremony on Thursday 12 August.

Fiona Taylor, Hospital Director at Spire Southampton Hospital, said: “I am delighted that the Chief Nurse has recognised Lin’s exceptional service with this award. Lin is a true star here at Spire Southampton. She has an instinctive knowledge of what every patient needs, and how to match their needs with the best care.

“At the start of the pandemic, her team was fairly inexperienced, with many having only just arrived from overseas, feeling homesick and scared. She was able to provide comfort and the benefit of her years of expertise, drawing from her experience of working abroad, to help them feel at home.

“Lin is hugely regarded by all our consultants and much loved by all her team. At a time in which we owe so much to all our nurses, Lin represents everything that is great about nursing.”

Prof Deborah Sturdy, Chief Nurse for Adult and Social Care, said: “These awards recognise exceptional people who do an exceptional job. Lin has been a truly inspiring nurse leader who has provided unwavering support to her colleagues and has shown a true commitment to providing the best possible care to patients throughout her career. On behalf of the entire nursing profession, I would like to thank Lin for her phenomenal contribution over the last 50 years.”

(Left to right) Karen Willoughby, Director of Clinical Services, Anne Richardson, Director of Clinical Services, Lin Silvestri and Karen Hawksworth, acting Deputy Director of Clinical Services

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