'Exceptional' nurse leader wins top award in memory of late colleague

An exceptional nurse leader has won a top award in memory of a late colleague.

Jill Timmins was named the winner of the Jilly Wilcox-Jones award at a glittering gala evening at Venue Cymru to mark the Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board Achievement Award 2019.

The awards, sponsored by Centerprise International, celebrate the outstanding achievements of NHS staff from across North Wales.

The special award was set up in memory of Jilly Wilcox-Jones, a former nurse who had dedicated her working life to supporting people with mental health problems. The mum-of-three, from Nantyglyn near Denbigh, died in April 2016 after developing acute lymphoblastic leukaemia.

Jill, who was a colleague of Jilly, was recognised for her commitment lifelong learning, her exceptional leadership, and her determination to put patients at the centre of everything she does.

She began her career as a nurse in the mid-1980s before working in a range of clinical and managerial roles.

Jill broke new ground by becoming the first Consultant Nurse for Substance Misuse Services in Wales, and she played a leading role in working with the Welsh Government to introduce a number of new, evidence-based approaches to support people’s recovery.

More recently, she has overseen a number of improvements in mental health services, including the establishment of North Wales’ first Perinatal Mental Health Service, which supports new and expectant mums who are struggling with their mental health.

Nominating Jill for the award, Lesley Singleton, Director of Partnerships at BCUHB, said:

“Jill is an exceptional nurse and senior leader who has the priceless ability to really listen. Her supportive, compassionate nature means that she is always the go-to person for staff

“The driving force throughout Jill’s career has been a determination to put patients at the centre of everything we do, and she has often been ahead of the curve in championing new ways of delivering care which later become mainstream practice.

“Jill will embark on a very well deserved retirement next year and we will all miss her passion, leadership and kindness.”

Jill said: “It’s a great honour to be recognised with this award and it’s all the more special because it has been given in memory of a very dear colleague."

Nick Napier-Andrews, Head of client solutions and clinical services for award sponsor ID Medical, said: “Jill was a worthy winner of what was a special award on the night.

“The awards provided a great opportunity to celebrate excellence in healthcare in North Wales. Jill’s commitment to supporting her colleagues and improving the provision of Mental Health services in North Wales was genuinely inspiring.”

Jeremy Nash, Chief Executive of Centerprise International, said: “It was a privilege to be the headline sponsor at the Health Board’s Achievement Awards for the third year running. The Awards served as an excellent opportunity to recognise all of the amazing people working within the NHS across North Wales.

“Centerprise is committed to supporting the Welsh community and NHS in equal measure.  We were delighted to be represented at the Awards, which was a wonderful celebration of the incredible efforts of the Health Board and its committed staff.”