Former Director of Nursing Recognised in King’s New Year Honours

29th December 2023

Nicki Patterson, former Director of Nursing, Primary Care & Older People and Deputy Chief Executive in the South Eastern Trust, has been honoured with an OBE in recognition of her services to Health and Social Care in the King’s New Year Honours.

Nicki retired from the South Eastern Trust in March this year following a distinguished nursing career, spanning four decades.

Nicki trained as a nurse in the 1980s, taking up a Staff Nurse post at the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast in 1987.  She worked clinically as a Staff Nurse and Ward Sister during these years. Nicki then moved to the Mater Hospital Trust in 2001 as an Assistant Director of Nursing before moving in 2003 to the Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety as a Nursing Officer, working at Government level where she was an integral part of the Chief Nursing Officer’s Team.

In 2009, prior to major health service restructuring in Northern Ireland,  Nicki took up the role of Director of Nursing before being appointed as Nursing Co-Director in the Belfast Trust.

Nicki was appointed to the role of Director of Nursing, Primary Care and Older People in 2013 and during her time in post, she played a vital role in shaping Nursing, Primary Care, Older People and Allied Health services across the South Eastern HSC Trust.

Thrilled to receive this honour, Nicki said, “It has been a real privilege to work in Northern Ireland as a Nurse for nearly four decades. I have met so many amazing people along the way – patients & their families, colleagues I have worked for and with. This award is for all of them. Nursing with heart & head is not always easy, but it is always worthwhile and makes a true difference to people’s lives often when they are at their most vulnerable.

“Thank you to everyone who has supported me along the way – you know who you are!”

Upon learning of the honour, Chief Executive, Roisin Coulter, expressed profound pride and admiration for Nicki and stated, “This recognition is a testament to Nicki’s exceptional leadership and tireless efforts to raise the standard of patient care. Nicki demonstrated exceptional leadership during the response to the COVID pandemic and in the rollout of the regional vaccination programme.

“The OBE is a fitting acknowledgment of Nicki’s significant contributions to Health and Social Care and it reflects her deep commitment to the well-being of the community.  The Trust congratulates Nicki on this well-deserved honour.”