An award set up in memory of a nurse who championed mental health issues has been given to a colleague who has worked tirelessly to improve the support given to people with mental health problems when they come in to hospital.

Sian Cartwright was named the winner of the Jilly Wilcox-Jones award at the Betsi Cadwaladr Health Board Achievement Awards.

The Glan Clwyd Hospital based psychiatric liaison team manager was presented with the award at a ceremony attended by 330 health board staff and VIP guests at Venue Cymru, Llandudno.

Jilly, who dedicated her working life to supporting people with mental health problems, died in April 2016 after developing acute lymphoblastic leukaemia.

The mum-of-three from Nantyglyn near Denbigh was BCUHB’s principal psychologist.

During her long career in the NHS she led the development of a service which supported cancer patients with their psychological wellbeing, and a successful rehabilitation service at Mold Community Hospital.

Andy Wilcox-Jones presented Sian with the award, which recognised his wife’s work in championing mental health issues and her commitment to lifelong learning.

Sian was recognised for her tireless work to improve the range of support available to people with mental health problems when they are admitted to hospital.

She established the psychiatric liaison service 15 years ago at Glan Clwyd Hospital.

Since then, she has overseen an expansion in the service and advancements which have seen Betsi Cadwaladr Health Board lead the way in psychiatric liaision services across Wales.

She was nominated for the award by her colleague, Stephanie Bright, who said:“Sian will always put patients first and I am overwhelmed by her commitment, calm approach and knowledge of mental health issues and services.

“She is her own biggest critic and would never acknowledge her achievements within the service. However individuals who work with Sian, or know of Sian put her in high esteem as a knowledgeable, committed and valued colleague.”

Sian said: “I’m honoured to accept this award in Jilly’s name. She was a very committed professional and a compassionate nurse so this award is very special.”

The awards were sponsored by Centerprise International Business, provider of IT for the healthcare, defence, education, and government sectors.

Centerprise International Chief Executive Jez Nash said: “We are proud to support the NHS in North Wales, and the evening showcased the very best care provided by doctors, nurses, healthcare professionals and volunteers throughout the region.

“Sian is a fantastic example of a member of staff going above and beyond to improve the quality of care to patients often in times of crisis.”