MORE than 30 years of dedication to patient care have earned Wirral nurse Tracey Hartley-Smith a prestigious Royal honour.

Cheshire and Wirral Partnership (CWP) NHS Foundation Trust's clinical lead for children and young people's learning disability services in Wirral has been awarded the title of Queen's Nurse.

Recognised for her commitment to improving patient care, Tracey joined Cheshire and Wirral Partnership (CWP) NHS Foundation Trust in 2019 following a diverse career working with adults and children with learning disabilities.

The title of Queen's Nurse is available to individual nurses who have demonstrated a high level of commitment to patient care and nursing practice.

It recognises commitment to excellence, to improving standards of care, to innovation and to learning and leadership.

Tracey, who has worked for the NHS for 32 years, has previously been recognised for pioneering work with children with learning disabilities and autism.

In 2018, she was awarded the Royal College of Nursing Institute's (RCNI’s) Learning Disability Nursing Award for developing a specialist nursing service for children with learning disabilities and autism in North Lancashire.

With support from her manager, Tracey filled out an application for the title of Queen's Nurse earlier this year.

Tracey said: "Receiving this recognition is definitely one of the highlights of my career and the support I've received from colleagues and parents whose children I’ve helped is overwhelming.

"In February 2019 I started in my role at Clinical Lead in the Wirral CAMHS Learning Disability service.

"It is such a privilege to be part of a team so dedicated to providing holistic and person centred care to children and young people with learning disabilities.

"I have had so many wonderful opportunities whilst in this role, including enhancing the health facilitation role within the team, developing strong links with the Learning Disability Liaison Nurse at the local hospital trust, and developing a Sensory Pathway.

"I am also privileged to work directly with some truly wonderful and inspirational families."

Gary Flockhart, director of nursing, therapies and patient partnership at CWP, added: "I'm really pleased that the dedication Tracey has shown for improving services for children and young people with a learning disability has received such high recognition.

"At CWP we are committed to providing person-centred care, and Tracey embodies this in all she does.

"Well done, Tracey!"