Joanne wins top healthcare award after playing key role at Whiteabbey Nightingale

A dietitian who played a key role in the opening of the Whiteabbey Nightingale has been named the overall winner of the 2021 Advancing Healthcare Awards.

Friday, 28th May 2021, 11:53 am

Joanne McKee, a dietitian in the Northern Health and Social Care Trust, moved outside her speciality when she became the Allied Health Professional (AHP) lead at the Whiteabbey Nightingale hospital.

Joanne was instrumental in the planning and opening of the regional centre for post-Covid inpatient rehabilitation. Opened in November 2020, the Enhanced Nursing and AHP led Rehabilitation and Step-Down Unit enabled over 140 patients to benefit from seven-day AHP rehabilitation.

Joanne joined the Northern Health and Social Care Trust in 2000 and worked as a Renal Dietitian and Lead Dietitian at Antrim Area Hospital and East Antrim Community teams since 2009. She took on the role of Northern Trust Dysphagia Co-ordinator in February 2019.

Joanne McKee.

She moved to her current role of Allied Health Professional lead for the regional post-COVID Nursing and AHP led Rehabilitation Nightingale Unit in October 2020, leading a rehabilitation therapy team of physiotherapists, occupational therapists, speech and language therapists and dietitians in partnership with the nursing team - building a strong multi-disciplinary team.

Suzanne Pullins, Director of Nursing and User Experience, Northern Health and Social Care Trust, said, “Joanne leads and her colleagues listen. She is knowledgeable, motivated, kind and passionate about the delivery of evidence-based patient care, an excellent role model for both staff and patients.”

Health Minister Robin Swann congratulated Joanne following her recognition.

THe UUP representative said: “I would like to pay tribute to Joanne McKee for being recognised as the overall winner.

“This is an exceptional achievement and reflects the exceptional role that Joanne has played at the Whiteabbey Nightingale. The judges outlined Joanne’s commitment to providing a culture of recovery, compassion and kindness which was also reflected in patient feedback.”

The UK-wide awards, which recognise projects and professionals that lead innovative healthcare practice and make a real difference to patients’ lives in the healthcare science and allied health profession, were presented at a virtual ceremony on Friday, May 21.


Click here to read Rise in numbers attending Antrim and Causeway emergency units, Trust board told


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