Claire Kent. Picture: Paul Tibbs

A matron at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King’s Lynn has been praised for being an inspiration.

Claire Kent, who is Matron for Medicine at the Gayton Road hospital, has been named by the Nursing Times as one of its inaugural list of 46 national leaders who will help inspire others to follow their example.

All the finalists were selected by a judging panel from a shortlist of more than 200 healthcare professionals froma cross the country.

The panel made its selection based on the NHS Leadership Academy’s Healthcare Leadership Model, which looks for strengths in leadership, influence, impact, role model and legacy.

In selecting her, the judges said: “Claire is as close to the front line as it gets and highlights the value of outstanding clinical leadership to senior managers.”

After receiving her award Ms Kent said: “I felt really humbled and proud to find myself on the same list as some really excellent people.

“In our job the patient will always come first. I’m also aware of the importance of staff motivation and morale and helping staff to be the very best they can be.”

She started her nursing training at the QEH in 1985, and considered herself to be ‘home grown’.

The Nursing Times nomination for Ms Kent read: “A respiratory specialist nurse before taking her current role, Claire was a finalist in the Emerging Leader category of the National NHS Leadership Recognition Awards.

“She is admired for her patient-focused attitude and commitment to caring for both patients and staff.

“Claire has developed a training programme on privacy and dignity for all her Trust’s nurses and allied health professionals and is described as the type of person most of her staff aspire to be – a compassionate but firm leader who helps others to achieve their goals while ensuring they remain patient-focused.

“She is known for supporting not only her own teams but others across the Trust and for being a valued mentor and coach.”