Nurse honoured after tireless efforts during coronavirus pandemic

Jacky Copping MBE, deputy director of nursing at the James Paget University Hospital in Gorleston. 

Jacky Copping MBE, deputy director of nursing at the James Paget University Hospital in Gorleston. - Credit: JPUH NHS Foundation Trust

A dedicated senior nurse who worked tirelessly throughout the coronavirus outbreak has been made an MBE in the New Year's Honours list.

Deputy director of nursing Jacky Copping has worked at the James Paget University Hospital in Gorleston since she was 18 when she began her career as an enrolled nurse, before becoming a registered nurse in 1987.

The 54-year-old, from Beccles, has progressed through multiple roles throughout the organisation, and has now been honoured for her services to the profession, particularly during the coronavirus pandemic.

She said: "I was quite overwhelmed and totally shocked when I heard.

"I am just an ordinary person doing my job and I never expected this, but I am honoured and privileged someone has seen something worth in me.

"It has been a challenging year for everyone, but I am lucky to be surrounded by people who want the best care for patients and continue to deliver all they can for them.

"We're one big team, and the way our staff have responded during the year has been amazing. The pandemic has really tested people's resilience but throughout, staff have given 110pc to keep the quality of patient care at a high level, while looking after each other too."

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As well as initiating the Face Fit testing regime to ensure staff are as safe as possible during the pandemic, Miss Copping and the JPUH team have worked at a national level to help influence UK design and manufacture of developing masks with other acute trusts and NHS national procurement teams.

Miss Copping's many roles have including specialising in orthopaedic nursing, as well as overseeing the newly-opened orthopaedic rehabilitation ward at Lowestoft Hospital in 1998 after being promoted to senior sister.

She returned to the JPUH four years later, being promoted to ward-based matron, then divisional matron across the orthopaedic and A&E services.

Miss Copping, who attributes her choice of career to her mother, said: "It's amazing because I never used to like hospitals, but once I started working in one, I quickly realised it was the job for me.

"The science of nursing you have to learn, but if it's in your nature to be kind, caring and compassionate, you're at least halfway there.

"I know my dad will be looking down on me and feeling so proud."