A Filipino nurse, who has been at the forefront of Yeovil Hospital’s pandemic response, has been shortlisted for a prestigious national award.

Senior Infection Control Nurse Rizah Bearneza is among 12 finalists in the Nursing Times’ Overseas Nurse of the Year Award.

The Nursing Times, which began more than 100 years’ ago, is one of the most important publications in UK healthcare and their annual Workforce awards celebrate those making a huge difference in recruitment, wellbeing and inclusion in health and care in the UK.

Rizah said: “I am honoured to be shortlisted. When I first arrived in the UK I felt so overwhelmed. Everyone was so kind, but I desperately missed my family. However, the more I learned and worked at Yeovil Hospital the more I realised I had made the correct decision to follow my passion and move my life to England.

“This recognition humbles my heart, but I wouldn’t be where I am today without the help of the Infection Prevention and Control Team and the whole YDH family.”

Rizah travelled 10,000 miles to join the Yeovil Hospital team from her home in the Philippines three years ago. As Senior Infection Control Nurse, working as part of small and highly-skilled team, she has been central to the hospital’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, working tirelessly to keep patients, staff and visitors safe.

Yeovil Hospital’s Chief Nurse Shelagh Meldrum said: “This is a fantastic accolade for Rizah. She is an excellent nurse, who has made this role her own.

“The pandemic has put infection control nurses like Rizah firmly in the spotlight and she – together with her colleagues – has risen to every challenge she has had to face. I’m thrilled that she chose to make Yeovil her home, and the team at YDH her family, and to see her being recognised for her exceptional work.”

We wish Rizah the best of luck for when the winners are revealed in November 2021 at an exclusive award ceremony.


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