Chief Nursing Officer’s Award for Catherine Howell

30 June 2021

Catherine Howell OBE, NHSBT Chief Nurse, Diagnostic and Therapeutic Services, has been awarded a Chief Nursing Officer’s Award for outstanding contribution to patient care throughout her career.

Catherine retired today (30 June 2021) after 34 years of NHS service - 27 within NHS Blood and Transplant.

The award, which celebrates nurses and midwives who go above and beyond their everyday roles to provide excellent care, leadership and inspiration to their colleagues and patients, was presented virtually at Catherine’s final Team Meeting by a very special guest: Deputy Chief Nursing Officer for England, Hilary Garrett CBE.

Catherine joined the National Blood Service in 1994, and has worked in many different departments, including several national roles.

In 2002, she was appointed as Transfusion Liaison Nurse Manager where she established a new national team to support clinical colleagues in Trusts to improve transfusion safety and lead initiatives to support the safe and appropriate use of blood.

She was a co-author of the Department of Health 2007 Health Service Circular on the Safe and Appropriate use of Blood.

Catherine was the first nurse representative to sit on the Advisory Committee on the Safety of Blood, Tissues and Organs (SaBTO) which advises UK ministers and health departments on the most appropriate ways to ensure the safety of blood, cells, tissues and organs for transfusion/transplantation.

Under Catherine’s leadership within her Chief Nurse role, the NHSBT Therapeutic Apheresis Services (TAS) function has significantly reduced health inequalities for patients across the NHS.

The nomination was made by Lydia Ball, Head of Service Development, Therapeutic Apheresis Services and Anthony Clarkson, Director of Organ and Tissue Donation and Transplantation.

Lydia said: “Catherine is a highly respected, inspirational role model who deserves recognition for her tireless and sustained efforts to nursing, mentoring and passion for patient care. This prestigious award recognises her dedication, commitment and passion for patients over the duration of her career in the NHS.”

Anthony said: “This award is richly deserved. Throughout her career, Catherine has always put patients first, and has shown selfless commitment to the development and mentoring of others from all backgrounds.”

As an award recipient, Catherine will continue to be a Nursing Ambassador who raises the profile of the profession.