Scotterthorpe psychotherapist awarded British Empire Medal for services to the NHS and community

A West Lindsey psychotherapist was awarded the British Empire Medal in the year’s New Year’s Honours list in recognition of her efforts to improve patient care and staff support in the NHS.

Scotterthorpe resident Dr Judith Graham has worked in a variety of clinical posts for more than 17 years and is currently an advanced nurse consultant and director of psychological professionals at the Rotherham, Doncaster and South Humber NHS Foundation Trust (RDaSH).

She said: “I am absolutely overwhelmed. I had to pinch myself. I couldn’t believe it when I found out. I feel so privileged to have been nominated and selected for such a prestigious medal.”

During the pandemic, Judith worked with RDaSH teams to develop an enhanced staff wellbeing programme, establishing psychological support hubs and developing particular support for the most vulnerable.

Dr Judith Graham is director of psychological professionals at the Rotherham Doncaster and South Humber NHS Trust, which provides mental health, learning disability, drug and alcohol services and community health services across the three areas.

That has included a dedicated network for staff who were at home shielding, and enhanced support for LGBTQ and Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic staff.

While also caring for her father, Judith made hundreds of face coverings and ear supports for local nursing homes and carers, and supported food and medication drop-offs for a number of highly vulnerable people.

She still somehow found enough spare time to raise money for a number of charities and carried out ‘random acts of kindness’ by leaving gifts on people’s doorsteps to spread a little bit of happiness.

RDaSH chief executive Kathryn Singh said: “I am so proud of Judith. She works incredibly hard not only at RDaSH but also in her other roles.

“She is hard working, cares passionately for others and is inspirational. She thoroughly deserves this award.”

The medal caps a fine few months for Judith, following her appointment as a trustee and council member of the Queen’s Nursing Institute.

She is also a national Freedom to Speak Up champion, an advocacy role encouraging NHS staff to raise issues which could improve care.

She will receive her medal in the coming months from the Lord Lieutenant for South Yorkshire Andrew Coombe and will be invited to attend a royal garden party once it is safe to do so.

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