A MENTAL health nurse at the Maelor hospital has been presented with a surprise award for going above and beyond the call of duty to improve the experience of her patients.

Harriet Mallott’s fundraising efforts were recognised when Betsi Cadwaladr Health Board’s Medical Director, Evan Moore, made an unannounced visit to the Heddfan Unit at Wrexham Maelor Hospital.

He handed the delighted deputy ward manager a Seren Betsi Star Award, which honours the hard work and dedication of NHS staff.

Harriet, who works with older adults with mental health problems, has been recognised for her fundraising efforts in aid of Hydref Ward at the Heddfan Unit.

In January, inspired by the 'amazing patients' in her care and her late Grandfather, who developed dementia in his later years, Harriet shaved her long blonde hair and donated it to The Little Princess Trust.

The £2,500 collected through her hair raising efforts will help to fund therapeutic activities and new medical equipment to improve the experience of older patients on Hydref Ward, who live with a range of mental health conditions.

Harriet has also demonstrated dedication to her patients through her work with the Royal Voluntary Service charity to obtain new medical equipment for the ward.

She was secretly nominated for the accolade by her manager, Mike Shone, interim matron for Older Persons Mental Health Services in North East Wales. He said:

“Harriet has worked tirelessly to promote her fundraising and we are all extremely proud of her efforts. Her willingness to go above and beyond the call of duty to support our patients is an inspiration to us all on the Heddfan Unit.”

Harriet said: “I work with the most amazing patients who suffer from mental health conditions such as dementia, schizophrenia and personality disorders to name a few. Not only do these diagnosis affect our patients, they affect their families too.

“I know this first hand as my Grandad had dementia before he passed away and it was hard watching his mental deterioration. I feel like I'm helping my Grandad one hundred times over when I come in to work. So every little thing that I do makes a difference to someone's Grandad or someone's Grandma.

“Anyone who knows me knows that I value my looks and find confidence in them so by shaving my hair I was willing to allow myself to feel completely vulnerable, just like my patients must feel every day.

“The love I received from colleagues, patients and their families almost made me cry more than the fact my hair was gone!”

Presenting the award to Harriet, BCUHB’s Medical Director, Evan Moore, said:

“Harriet is extremely passionate about making a difference for her patients and has demonstrated her determination to go the extra mile in order to ensure they receive the very best care and support.

“Looking at the nomination received for this award it’s clear that she is a hugely respected and inspirational member of NHS staff who brings out the best in everyone around her. On behalf of everyone in the Health Board and the many patients who benefit from her dedication, I want to say a huge thank you and well done to Harriet.”