AN 'inspirational' deaf nurse has been given a top award for her work in making nursing a career of choice for people with disabilities ­— particularly those with hearing impairment.

Respiratory nurse Joanne Mohammed has been profoundly deaf since the age of six and received the prestigious silver Chief Nursing Officer (CNO) award after being nominated for her work to create a culture of inclusion to ensure every member of staff has a voice and visibility.

She has worked at East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust for more than 20 years, and currently works as a Patient Flow Matron.

The silver CNO award recognises performance that goes above and beyond the expectations of the everyday role, and those who demonstrate excellence in clinical practice.

Joanne said: “Having a disability, as I am deaf, has not been without its challenges. I have had to continuously adapt and find solutions which enable me to function in the hearing world.

"Fortunately, technological advances in recent years have made life so much easier for me in my working day as a nurse.

"I am passionate about inclusion, accepting our differences and creating workplaces in which people can be the best version of themselves.

"I am overwhelmed at receiving the Silver Award and would like to say thank you to Bev Matthews and Helen Bevan for nominating me, and for their guidance, inspiration and support over the last couple of years.”

Bev Matthews, Clinical Transformation Lead and Virtual Collaboration Cell Lead at NHS Horizons, who nominated Joanne for the award said: “Joanne has been an inspiration to work with.

“She has transformed the perceptions of those who are deaf or hard of hearing to believe that they can consider a career in health and care.

"She is a nurse who shows natural leadership, supporting those who are marginalised by creating opportunities and driving behaviours to make the changes necessary to tackle exclusion.”