Pioneering Prison Nurse Leader Is Finalist For National Award


A Spectrum nurse leader, credited with making major contributions to the improvement of health and care standards in prisons, has been nominated for a prestigious national award.

Sandra Hands, who qualified as a nurse in 1987, is a finalist in the Outstanding Lifetime Contribution to Healthcare category at the upcoming Our Health Heroes Awards, delivered by Skills for Health.

Over the course of a 35-year career, Sandra has held a number of senior roles focused on improving care standards in prisons and hospitals – most notably leading projects working with the Scottish Government, Prison Service and the NHS.

In the early 2000s, she project-managed a Nursing Service Review which ensured the Scottish Prison Service delivered an effective needs-based nursing service to the patients in their care.

In 2011, as Clinical Lead she was instrumental in transferring responsibility for healthcare provision from the Scottish Prison Service to the NHS, and in 2015, Sandra supported nurse leaders at HMP Liverpool to get things back on track after its healthcare services were put into special measures.

Sandra’s work has received numerous accolades over the years, including the World Health Organisation (WHO) Health Improvement Award, WHO Best Practice Award and The Butler Trust Award, to name a few.

Since 2017, Sandra has held the role of Spectrum’s Cluster Manager for North West Prisons.

Nominating Sandra for the award, Debbie Ward, Director of Operations (North West) at Spectrum, said, “Sandra is an innovative problem solver – she manages with emotional intelligence and a style that fosters the engagement and dedication of her teams. She is a true leader who manages high performing teams and team leaders to achieve great patient outcomes.”

Show your support for Sandra by casting your vote here:

The Skills for Health Our Health Heroes Awards is sponsored by Unison, NHS England, NHS Employers and more. Gold, Silver and Bronze Lifetime Contribution Award winners will be announced at a special ceremony, held in London on 7 June.

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