Executive nurse at Alder Hey Children’s NHS Foundation Trust, Moya Sutton, has received an honorary Fellowship from Edge Hill University in recognition of her tireless work on behalf of the world-renowned Merseyside children’s hospital.

The Fellowship was awarded at the University’s annual graduation ceremony and was initiated by the Dean of the Faculty of Health who has worked with Ms. Sutton to develop nursing studies between the two organisations. Described as ‘the Perfect Partnership’ the seven-year bond between Edge Hill and Alder Hey has produced real opportunities to address the Government’s Every Child Matters agenda collaboratively.

“Both Edge Hill and Alder Hey are well-established with national reputations and this is a powerful combination,” says Dean Seth Croft. “This partnership helps us attract the most committed students who will then become the best children’s health practitioners in the future, delivering excellent care to children and their families. Specifically, Ms Sutton has ensured that the profession of nursing has been increasingly recognised and profiled and has driven many successful collaborative projects between the University and the Trust which have included a child health conference held to celebrate Nurses’ Day, with a particular emphasis on parents’ experiences of children’s services.”

An important milestone for the partnership was the first Children’s Parliament for West Lancashire Children’s Trust. The project involves encouraging children from Skelmersdale to think about health issues. They are tasked with devising strategies, which the parliament votes on, with a view to putting the successful initiatives into practice. The first, which focused on obesity, was opened by Ms Sutton, who simultaneously led the hospital’s accreditation by the World Health Organization as England’s first paediatric health promoting hospital.

Ms Sutton has 30 years’ extensive NHS experience, the past three of which have been at Alder Hey. She is the executive lead for partnerships and safeguarding and is passionate about delivering the highest possible quality patient for children, young people and their families.

On receiving her Fellowship she said: “I am both honoured and humbled to receive this distinguished award from the University. It has been my privilege to lead the nursing body at Alder Hey which has involved training placements for more than 300 Edge Hill students each year. This is indeed a perfect partnership – not least in the world-class aspirations that both our organizations share.

“We are particularly proud to have launched the collaborative Ambition Nursing Research programme which, for the first time, has introduced an internal structure for paediatric nursing research at the hospital. Edge Hill academics are a vital part of that programme and the results will benefit not only Alder Hey and Edge Hill, but also child health practitioners and teachers across the North West and beyond.

“I look forward to many more collaborative years helping the University produce the high calibre nursing graduates that we have come to expect”.

Ms. Sutton was previously Assistant Director of Health and Social Care in Knowsley. As the only nurse to manage children’s social services, she led Knowsley to achieve an Excellent rating for children’s social care and achieved Beacon status. Moya was also nurse advisor to St Helens & Knowsley Health Authority and held a national role regarding the health contribution to crime and disorder.