A MENTAL health nurse has been handed a prestigious award for her commitment to patient care.

Ann Collins is one of very few nurses countrywide to receive the title of Queen's Nurse.

The former Radcliffe resident travelled to London for a special ceremony where the Queen's Nursing Institute (QNI) bestowed her with the honour.

Ann, who now hails from Little Lever, is one of only 10 mental health nurses thought to be within the Queen's Nurse network.

The kind-hearted nurse praised Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust(GMMH) for their support of her role as senior manager of Older Adults Community Mental Health Services in Bolton.

Ann said: "I am honoured and very privileged to have received this award and could not have achieved what I have without the support of the trust and the dedicated teams I work with. This award recognises the hard work they all do every day.

"I vow to proudly fly the flag for mental health nurses, especially those working in older adult services, and raise the profile of this under represented speciality."

Ann qualified as a Registered Mental Health Nurse (RMN) in 1988 and has since dedicated her career to working with older people with mental health needs, spending the last 20 years working in the community.

Having completed her first degree at Manchester Metropolitan University, Ann went on to complete a Master of Science in Dementia Care at the University of Manchester in 2007.

In 2009, she qualified as an Advanced Nurse Practitioner at Salford University.

Previous roles include supporting teams working in care homes to prevent hospital admission, and training and educating, as part of GMMH's wider aim to provide inpatient and community-based mental health care for those living in Bolton.

In 2014, Ann took up her current role in Bolton, having overall managerial responsibility for the Memory Assessment Service, Community Mental Health Team and Intensive Support Team.

But continuing her dedication and commitment, Ann went on to gain an Older Persons Nurse Fellowship with King's College London in 2016.

Ann's colleague Chris Parker, who is GMMH's assistant director for community services in Bolton, said: "Ann is truly inspirational and I am so pleased that she has been recognised and awarded the title of Queen's Nurse."

The senior manager for older adults community services in Bolton was awarded the title by guests of honour at the QNI event last Monday, Professor Jean White CBE, QNI Fellow and Chief Nursing Officer in Wales.

More than 300 nurses and guests attended the ceremony at the Royal Garden Hotel, in London.

The title acknowledges Ann's commitment to high standards of patient care, learning and leadership.

Ann's sister Judi Sheppard said: "We are so proud of Ann.

"This is a very prestigious title only given to very few nurses. It is a fantastic achievement."