A Durham nurse who returned to the NHS frontline to fight COVID-19 has been nominated for an Our Health Heroes lifetime contribution to healthcare award in recognition of a stellar 42-year career.
Before reversing her decision to retire in March 2020, Kim Hogg (below) spent 17 years working at women’s prison HMP Low Newton, where she is regarded as a trailblazer for a number of health improvement schemes which have since been rolled out nationally. Kim is credited with implementing an award-winning midwifery service that caters for pregnant inmates, but her crowning achievement is the transformation of a three-bed cell into a dedicated coloscopy (cervical screening) unit – the first in Europe at the time.
Speaking to Sky News recently, Kim said that retirement “would be the wrong thing to do”, and that she returned to HMP Low Newton to keep healthcare services running during the pandemic.
“They let us continue a lot of our services throughout lockdown, but we had to think outside the box,” she said. “We had to have very stringent cleaning and stick to bubbles. We did have an outbreak, like most places, but we had in-cell telephones to do welfare checks and consultations.”
Kim’s extensive roll call of healthcare achievements and unwavering dedication to helping vulnerable women hasn’t gone unnoticed by NHS bosses who are lining up to sing her praises.
Angela Star MBE, Nursing & Quality Manager at NHS England, describes Kim as “a really exceptional nurse and an excellent role model. Despite everchanging prison healthcare, she has coped and maintained her ethos of high-quality, women-focused healthcare. Kim has led many initiatives which have benefitted the women, personifying an innovative, ‘can do’ approach in all aspects of work.”
These sentiments are echoed by NHS England Commissioner Julie Dhuny who comments: “Kim is an inspirational clinician and leader, setting and maintaining the highest levels of healthcare standards. Her development of prison-based colposcopy services and the implementation of a dedicated bespoke midwifery service is now emulated nationally. As a commissioner, I have always been impressed with Kim’s high level of dedication and commitment to her patients and colleagues.”
Winners of Skills for Health’s Our Health Heroes Awards 2022 will be announced at a special awards ceremony due to take place at London Science Museum on 24th March. Voting is now open – to show your support for Kim and cast your vote now.