Yesterday the first Fiona LIttledale Award was presented at the annual Patient Experience Network Awards. This is how it was introduced.
My wife, Fiona Littledale, after whom this award is named, spent all her working life as an information manager. The last ten years were as the Faculty Liaison Librarian to the Medical School of St George’s. She loved her job, and often got a real boost when she later found herself under the care of one of her students whilst undergoing treatment. She loved her job so much that she kept working all through 24 rounds of chemo, whenever her strength would allow. It is a measure of how much she loved it that one of the hardest days during the last year of her life was the one on which she had to leave it because she was simply too ill to go on.
For Fiona, the jewel in that job which she loved so much was to invest time in those who were already working, but who wanted to improve their skill set and deliver still better care to their patients. She would go out of her way, often at great cost to herself, to help them pursue those studies by accessing relevant, up-to-date, peer-reviewed information. To see one of them fly, equipped and motivated to do so – gave a lift in a life which was increasingly weighed down by cancer.
When you lose the person you love, there are many ways to remember them – and I have run the gamut of most of them. However, we really wanted to remember Fiona with an ongoing legacy which would encourage the pursuit of excellence which she held so dear. Each year, the Fiona Littledale Award will recognise outstanding excellence in oncology nursing in a way which she would have loved. She will forever be my bravest and best, and would be glad to have her name associated with the best in this field.