Whipps Cross ‘matron in a million’ crowned RCN Nurse of the Year 2019 | Our news

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Whipps Cross ‘matron in a million’ crowned RCN Nurse of the Year 2019

Whipps Cross ‘matron in a million’ crowned RCN Nurse of the Year 2019

A ‘one in a million’ senior nurse who has transformed an eye care unit at Whipps Cross Hospital has been crowned RCN Nurse of the Year 2019.

Taurai ‘Tara’ Matare has been described as epitomising everything you ‘could hope for in a nurse leader’,  winning the profession’s top accolade at the RCNi Nurse Awards on 3 July 2019.

Judges praised her passion for patient care, innovative ideas and her determination to overcome obstacles.

Earlier in the evening, Tara – who is a senior nurse and advanced nurse practitioner at Barts Health NHS Trust - was also announced winner of the Leadership category, supported by RCNi journal Nursing Management.

Tara said: “This is a dream come true. I have been a nurse for over 25 years, and to be recognised in this way for me is the pinnacle of my career. I'm going to continue doing what I do best in making sure that I promote nursing to nursing students. If you are dedicated it pays, and the sky is the limit for you. If you are committed to nursing and you want to develop you can achieve your goal.”

Barts Health NHS Trust chief nurse Caroline Alexander said: “Tara epitomises everything I could hope for in a nurse leader. I am hugely proud that she has been named the RCN Nurse of the Year 2019.

Tara is a real champion for improvements at Barts Health; her positivity, drive, creativity and unwavering dedication are unmatched. Her leadership at the Whipps Cross eye treatment centre has made real changes for colleagues and patients. She really is one in a million.”

Zebina Ratansi, Director of Nursing at Whipps Cross University Hospital added: "I'm extremely proud of Tara's achievements at Whipps Cross, and for her commitment to provide an exceptional service at the Eye Treatment Centre. She is a fantastic role model for other nurses and clinicians, and she thoroughly deserved to win the Nurse of the Year Award."

The judges, chaired by RCN deputy president Yvonne Coghill, were impressed by the passion shown for her specialty, which drove her 14-year mission to transform care for patients.

In 2004, Tara was asked to use her strong clinical leadership to bring together Whipps Cross Hospital’s separate eye casualty, outpatients and theatres to create a single, modern eye treatment centre.

Tara has ensured that there the unit is now fully staffed, and cut the number of breaches of the four-hour target for emergency treatment at the unit to almost zero. She has been lauded both by at the Trust and further afield for the supportive culture she has created, where before it was fractious with accusations of bullying. Her passion for staff development has created a culture in which everyone is a leader.

Consultant eye surgeon Sudeshna Patra nominated Ms Matare for the RCNi Nurse Awards. She said: “I remember the zeal with which Ms Matare developed new clinics; within months we were up and running, thanks to her skill and efficiency.

“In 2010 Tara was the first and only nurse injector in London, independently performing clinical assessments in retina clinics and devising management plans. Since those early days, she has developed her team so that we have nurse practitioner-led emergency eye services, an expanded team of nurse injectors, nurse-led diagnostic and pre-assessment clinics and a practice development nurse. Her greatest strength is her refusal to give up.”

The judges, chaired by RCN deputy president Yvonne Coghill, were impressed by the passion Tara showed for her specialty, which drove her 14-year mission to transform care for patients. Ms Coghill says: “Tara’s vision to provide excellent care for eye patients and her commitment to achieving that vision despite the barriers in her way is remarkable. She has never let up despite disappointments and the statistics show that she has achieved her goal. The judges were especially impressed with her determination to develop her team and the way in which she has turned every member of the nurse workforce into a leader.”

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  1. Rachel Nganjo Friday, 5 July 2019 at 08:02 AM

    Well done Tara! You have surely led by example and it is so wonderful to be recognised especially after such a long service. It shows you have been doing it right all the time.
    Congratulations!!

  2. Valerie Phillips Friday, 5 July 2019 at 02:47 PM

    Congratulations Tara this is a well deserved accolade for all your hard work and dedication. We are so proud of you.

  3. Aissatu Embalo Sunday, 7 July 2019 at 05:33 AM

    Congratulations sister and I wish you all the best.

  4. Gurdeep Kaur Monday, 8 July 2019 at 11:00 AM

    Dear Tara
    It's amazing to see you receiving that award. It's very empowering.
    You are an inspiration for us.
    Kind Regards
    Gurdeep Kaur
    Senior Sister Obstetric Theatres WXH

  5. Deborah Goldsmith Monday, 8 July 2019 at 01:51 PM

    Excellent and well deserved!!

  6. Sandra Bennett Tuesday, 9 July 2019 at 01:40 PM

    Congratulations Tara I am so proud of you.
    Last year I was a finalist in the leadership award category and I know the pride that you are feeling when your excellent work is acknowledged locally and nationwide.
    Shall we get together for a coffee to celebrate you.
    So so proud.

  7. Ophthalmology Clinic Friday, 12 July 2019 at 11:19 AM

    Congratulations Tara. We are so proud of you.

  8. James Green Thursday, 18 July 2019 at 01:41 PM

    Dear Tara
    I am so glad that your zeal to constantly improve the delivery of care to your patients has been recognised nationally. It is well deserved and should be an inspiration to others.
    All the nurses in Urology send their best wishes. And it is great that someone so modest about her achievements has won the award. You have made a real difference to patient care by recognising what patients need and setting them in place.
    kind regards
    James Green
    Director of Quality Improvement