A Newtownabbey-based speech and language therapist has received a prestigious award for her valuable service over the past 40 years.
Mildred Bell, the head of Speech and Language Therapy at the Northern Health and Social Care Trust (NHSCT), was awarded a Royal College of Speech and Language Therapy (RCSLT) Fellowship.
Mildred and her husband travelled to Leeds to pick up the prestigious fellowship presented by the president of the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapy, Sir George Cox.
Based in Newtownabbey, Mildred has been head of Service for Speech and Language Therapy in the Trust for moire than 17 years and is about to complete over 40 years of distinguished service to the speech and language therapy profession.
A fellowship award acknowledges and honours therapists who have contributed outstanding service to their profession or outstanding leadership in the context of research and publishing, teaching, clinical expertise and management.
Mildred said: “I am delighted to receive this fellowship, to be recognised by your peers is extremely rewarding and I am very grateful to my professional colleagues for the nomination.
“Speech and language therapy is a very rewarding profession with the greatest award being when you see the difference your input makes to a patient and their ability to communicate.”
Mildred has been responsible for significant improvements and developments within the service during her time.
She was instrumental in driving forward the MASTS service which supports staff in nursery and primary schools with knowledge and skills to identify and help children who are having difficulties with their speech and communication.
Mildred also set up and established the Intermediate Rehabilitation and Stroke Service. This allows patients who have had a stroke to return home earlier than usual by providing them with a tailored home-based programme. This helps them as they adapt to the effects of stroke allowing people to regain their speech, communication and motor skills much quicker.
Mildred has also shown outstanding leadership and management skills in developing working partnerships with numerous professions including physiotherapists, occupational therapists, nurses and social workers to ensure service user needs are met.
Brenda McConville, assistant director Paediatrics and Associated Services, Northern Trust said: “Mildred’s unassuming nature, ability to inspire, motivate and guide, commands the respect of colleagues and staff alike.
“Mildred’s considerable contribution to new service development and reform has been undertaken while leading the service to deliver effective and efficient provision to the local population living in the Northern Trust area.
“I am delighted to see Mildred recognised at such a high level, she is a credit to the speech and language profession and to the Northern Trust,” she said.