Bedford Harriers A.C.




Jude Receives Her MBE
(11th June 2009)

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Harriers member Jude Cottam has been awarded with an MBE by Prince Charles. Jude was nominated for the award by Bedford Hospital.

"Judith (Jude) Cottam qualified as a nurse in 1986 and was employed as a stoma care nurse in Bedford Hospital’s colorectal ward in 1989. In 1998, in response to the government’s cancer service review, she opened up the service to patients with bowel cancer and then, in 2000, to patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). She was joined by another nurse in 1999 and the pair managed the service until Jude's retirement earlier this year. Between them, they dealt with up to 80 stoma patients per year, looked after 120 bowel cancer patients and managed a case load of around 280 patients with IBD.

Jude was named Nurse of the Year 2006 at the UK division conference in Leeds of the World Congress of Enterostomal Therapists and has subsequently been nominated for a number of community awards, most recently by her patients for a Pride In Bedfordshire accolade.

In an interview for her Nurse of the Year award, Jude was asked what she enjoyed most about her job. She answered: “Giving back hope to patients. Having a stoma still carries a lot of stigma and new patients feel very frightened and isolated. We do our best to dispel some of their anxieties and remind them that they are still the same person. Seeing them regain their confidence so they can go out and start enjoying a normal life again is extremely rewarding.”

Jude has also led national research and audits into stoma care to improve outcome and experiences for patients, and has dedicated much of her spare time to fundraising for the patients she cared for every day, noteably completing this year’s London Marathon, raising over £7,000 towards new endoscopes.

Bedford Hospital Chief Executive Jean O'Callaghan, said: "There is no doubt that Jude’s attitude to caring, and her dedication and professionalism, have improved the lives of hundreds of patients over the course of her nursing career.Jude stood out for her holistic approach in changing the lives of her patients for the better. Not only did she care for them in a clinical capacity, she pioneered research to improve the type of care bowel patients are given, and still undertakes charity work to raise money for treatment and equipment that will make a positive difference to them."