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At-risk nurse Gladys, 75, in running for Covid hero award

A 75-year-old nursing superstar has been shortlisted for a crop of national awards.

South Africa-born Gladys Nkhola, who works at independent dementia hospital Monet Lodge in Manchester, was recognised for her contribution during the pandemic and for the last 40 years.

Gladys is in the running for five Great British Care Awards, including the categories of Covid hero and outstanding contribution to social care. She is also shortlisted for a Markel Third Sector Care Award.

Despite being in an at risk category herself, Gladys has taken on extra shifts during the pandemic to cover for staff who are isolating, switching to taxis rather than taking the bus to reduce the risk of her bringing coronavirus to residents.

Gladys has been dual qualified as a general nurse (RGN) and as a specialist mental health nurse (RMN) since 1976. Moving to the UK in 2002, she has worked at Monet Lodge since 2004.

Monet Lodge provides residential care and support for people living with complex dementia or mental health conditions and is operated by adult health and social care charity Making Space. It is rated ‘good’ by watchdog the CQC (Care Quality Commission).

Joby Raju, clinical lead, Monet Lodge, said: “With both her age and her Black South African heritage putting her clearly in a risk group herself, she has been utterly selfless throughout the pandemic.

“Gladys has dedicated her life as a nurse to the care of others. At 75, she continues to work tirelessly and compassionately, night after night, to ensure that the patients in her care receive the absolute best care that they deserve.

“She has an inherent sense of humanity, compassion, love and understanding. Her clinical knowledge is vast and she is a great motivator and leader. Working on shift with Gladys, staff always learn something new.

“Gladys always has a smile on her face and a twinkle in her eye and nothing, absolutely nothing, is too much trouble for her. She would be a very deserving winner and all the staff at Monet Lodge are rooting for her.”

Gladys will find out if she has won in early 2021.

Diane Cooke
Diane Cooke is a three times award-winning journalist who has worked for UK national/regional newspapers, magazines and websites.

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