Strabane nurse 'humbled' by BEM accolade

A STRABANE nurse has been awarded a British Empire medal (BEM) in the Queen's Birthday Honours.

Alacoque McCaffrey, an occupational health nurse at Altnagelvin Hospital, has been accorded the accolade for services to occupational health, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Alacoque, who is originally from the town, has 20 years’ service as an occupational health nurse.

She is among the many people across Northern Ireland recognised for their contribution to society in the list released last week to coincide with the Queen's Platinum Jubilee celebrations.

Speaking of the accolade, Alacoque said she accepted the award on behalf of her colleagues.

“I am humbled and extremely honoured to receive this award and I graciously accept this award on behalf of the entire occupational health team, both past and present, who have been committed and driven to provide the best care and support to staff and managers in our Trust," she said.

"It has been my privilege to work alongside an extraordinary group of truly dedicated healthcare professionals, especially during these recent extraordinary and unprecedented times.

"It is wonderful that the work and contribution of the occupational health service within the Western Trust has been acknowledged and recognised. I am very proud to be part of this small, but massively effective team.”

Congratulations have poured in for the highly-respected nurse since the publication of the Honours List last week.

Western Trust director of Human Resources, Karen Hargan, praised the local woman for her "exemplary leadership and care" provided during the unprecedented health crisis.

“I would like to congratulate Alacoque on receiving this honour," Ms Hargan said.

"This is fitting recognition for her enormous contribution and the exemplary leadership and care she provided during the COVID-19 pandemic and ensuing vaccination roll-out.

“Alacoque is an extremely valued member of our occupational health team.

"She is passionate about the health, safety and wellbeing of all her colleagues in the Trust and I am delighted that she has been honoured for her work.”

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