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Retired colleague Karen receives BEM in The Queen's New Year's Honours List

Karen Bussooa has received a BEM in the New Year's Honours list

Retired UHDB End of Life Care Facilitator, Karen Bussooa, has been awarded a British Empire Medal (BEM) in The Queen’s New Year’s Honours List for her services to End of Life Care.

Karen began her training as a nurse in Derby in the late 1970s before qualifying in 1980 and going on to work at the former Derbyshire Royal Infirmary site on London Road. Karen then went on to work in Oncology, community nursing and in primary care, before pursuing her passion for providing excellent end of life care by becoming an End of Life Care Facilitator in 2007 in which she worked until she retired in June 2020.

Karen, second from left, receiving an annual UHDB award with her colleagues in 2019During her career working in palliative care, Karen has been at the forefront of a number of new initiatives to improve end of life care for our patients, including implementing the Birds Model for care, the pop-up bedrooms scheme and the opening of the Healing Garden at Royal Derby Hospital, as well as establishing the education programme for nurses. 

Karen was a major part in leading UHDB to receive its first ‘Outstanding’ score for ‘Responsive’ in End of Life Care in our CQC report in 2019. Karen was also part of the team who won Charity Project of the Year at our Annual Making a Difference Awards in 2019 for their work on creating the Healing Garden at Royal Derby Hospital. 

Karen led the ‘Dying Matters’ awareness campaign for a number of years, engaging staff and public across Southern Derbyshire. This is now a collaborative event held with the University of Derby, Treetops Hospice and the wider community.

Karen said that she was “honoured” to receive the accolade: “What can I say, I am very honoured to receive the BEM. My job was something that I simply loved throughout my whole career. I miss the job and the people so much. 

“It was a big surprise when I saw that I had been awarded the BEM, so I just want to say a huge thank you to my colleagues who put me forward.”

Away from her work at the Trust, Karen also worked with the GP Macmillan Facilitator, implementing the Gold Standards Framework into General Practice and identifying patients in the last year of life.

Jane Moreland, End of Life Care Facilitator at UHDB, worked alongside Karen for many years and paid tribute to her former colleague: “I am delighted to hear that my friend and colleague Karen has been awarded the BEM for services to End of Life Care.Karen Bussooa in her early nursing career

“Karen is an amazing role model and ambassador for the nursing profession and has inspired many people in her career with her dedication, passion and commitment to improve care for patients especially for those at the end of life. Being awarded the BEM in recognition of this is fantastic news and well deserved.”

Dr Maelie Swanwick, Consultant in Palliative Medicine and End of Life Care, also praised the fantastic work and dedication Karen has shown through the decades to improving end of life care for patients:

“Through her creative vision, enthusiasm and unflagging commitment to excellence, Karen has significantly elevated the service’s profile and empowered nursing teams to provide exemplary EoLC both to patients and families.

If you would like to nominate a UHDB colleague for an honour, please email: uhdb.honours@nhs.net.

All photographs taken prior to Covid-19 infection control measures