The WWL Way
Telephone: 01942 244 000

Pioneering Nurse Fiona is awarded MBE

Newsdate: 13 June 2016Fiona Murphy

A nurse who has led innovative bereavement and donor work in Greater Manchester and shared it across the country has been awarded the MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours.

Fiona Murphy, Assistant Director of Nursing for Bereavement and Donor Support at Bolton, Salford and Wigan, has dedicated much of her 30 year nursing career to care for dying patients and their families. 

Fiona - winner in 2011 of the Nursing Standard Nurse of the Year award and Lancashire Life Woman of the Year– began this work in 2002 at the Royal Bolton Hospital as Donor Liaison Sister. She is now the driving force behind the Royal Alliance Bereavement and Donor Service, a nurse-led innovation that has transformed practice across three large foundation trusts, Salford Royal, Bolton, and Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh (WWL).

The pioneering work has dramatically improved end of life care and successfully promotes patient choice and dignity. Fiona has spoken about bereavement work at many national conferences and is currently shortlisted in the national Patient Safety Awards in the category for Clinical Leadership.

Fiona, who will be presented with her MBE within the next few months, said: “I am overwhelmed and delighted to receive this accolade for our services to nursing and bereavement care. I feel truly humbled.

“I’m proud of each and every healthcare professional who has played their part in breaking down some of the barriers in caring well for the dying and the dead. For me, this is testament that we are getting somewhere in getting it right for every patient every time.”

The three trusts’ bereavement teams provide support to patients and their families during the last hours of life and immediately after death. They regularly pull out all the stops to make a dying patient’s wishes come true including hosting birthday parties at the bedside and they have even arranged for some pets to make a special visit to hospital. They offer relatives the opportunity to have locks of hair or handprints of their loved ones.

Pauline Law, Director of Nursing, WWL says: “I am proud and delighted that Fiona has been awarded this honour. She has had a huge positive impact on bereavement care, both nationally and internationally, and she works tirelessly to promote excellent care that  ensures patients and families receive the very best care at the at the most distressing of times.  She is one of the most committed and courageous nurses I have ever met. She is a great role model for the nursing profession and this award could not be more deserved.”  

Fiona has worked closely with Professor Jennifer Leeming, HM Senior Coroner for the District of Manchester West which covers Bolton, Salford, Wigan and Leigh.

Prof. Jennifer Leeming said: “I’m absolutely delighted that Fiona has been awarded this honour, it is very well deserved. What she has done is to make the option of organ and tissue donation an ordinary part of bereavement care, and this can give great comfort some families. It is a huge achievement.”