A HAMPSHIRE Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust nurse has won a regional award for her dedication to medical research.

Debbie Dellafera won the Outstanding Health Professional award at the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Clinical Research Network Wessex Awards, which were held in Southampton.

Award-winner Debbie works as a clinical research practitioner across Hampshire Hospitals, which runs Andover War Memorial Hospital, Basingstoke and North Hampshire Hospital, and Royal Hampshire County Hospital in Winchester.

She specialises in Parkinson’s Disease, stroke care, long-term conditions and frailty and is responsible for enrolling patients into research studies looking at new and alternative ways of treating these conditions. She also supports patients throughout the process, ensuring they understand the trial and get the best possible experience.

Debbie was nominated for the award after recruiting more than 40 patients suffering from Parkinson’s Disease into a new trial. Her efforts ensured that Hampshire Hospitals was the top recruiting trust nationwide for this trial over the past year. She has also enjoyed success in recruiting to a further three studies into the condition over the past year.

She said: “I think I have got the best job in the world because by helping to make this research happen, I can really change things.

“It was a really good night at the awards, but I was really shocked when my name was read out. I did not expect it at all, because so many people there are doing such great work. To win was amazing and I am really proud. It’s a real honour.”

In addition to her work on Parkinson’s Disease, Debbie is a key member of the Wessex leadership team for stroke research, helping to ensure high-quality levels of research across the region. She has organised two regional conferences on the subject and recently took on another role within the stroke speciality at Clinical Research Network Wessex.

Hampshire Hospitals had two other finalists at the ceremony. Research nurse Liz Happle was also shortlisted for the Outstanding Health Professional award, while The haemophilia research team, led by consultant haematologists Dr Savita Rangarajan, Dr Sarah Mangles and Dr Tamara Everington, were finalists in the Excellence in Delivery of Commercial Research category.