Oldham fertility nurse's compassion leads to nomination for top national prize

6th February 2012

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Oldham fertility nurse Sharon Bannatyne is in the running for a prestigious national prize after being nominated for a top caring award by one of her former patients – who valued Sharon’s support so much she asked her to be Godparent to the daughter born from the IVF treatment she received.

49 year old Sharon from Delph, who works for Manchester Fertility at Cheadle Royal, is one of four national finalists in the 2012 Claire Rayner Patient’s Choice Awards, run by leading industry magazine Nursing Standard.

Sharon, who has had infertility treatment herself, has worked at Manchester Fertility since 1991 and joined its team when she was still undergoing IVF treatment.

It was one of Sharon’s former patients, Patricia Doohan, who nominated her for this year’s award, after Sharon gave her and her family the support, encouragement and a much-needed shoulder to lean on throughout their IVF treatment at the clinic over 10 years ago.

Patricia believes it was down to Sharon’s support and dedication, often going above and beyond to help, that they finally had the successful IVF cycle they’d been waiting for - resulting in daughter Anna, who was born in 2001.   

Patricia says: “I’d had a few unsuccessful cycles at the clinic and the one which finally gave us our daughter was thanks to Sharon’s help. I was really down about facing another festive season with no pregnancy, and happened to see Sharon at the clinic.

“She’d always been there for us and she completely understood how I felt. She went out of her way to get us a last-minute appointment with our consultant so we could begin treatment pre-Christmas. She even stayed late to ensure we could be squeezed in, and we were cleared to try another round of IVF. It was this cycle that resulted in Anna.

“We valued Sharon and her encouragement so much during our treatment, it just seemed natural to ask her to be Anna’s Godparent and obviously we’ve remained in close touch over the years. I honestly believe without her we wouldn’t have our daughter.

“I hope she wins because her dedication, not only to us but all the people she’s helped over the years, deserves to be recognised. She genuinely cares for all her patients.”

Sharon’s own IVF treatment, which she began in 1990 at Manchester Fertility, was sadly unsuccessful. But this didn’t deter Sharon and husband Christopher (56) from becoming parents, and in 1992 they adopted siblings three-year-old Kayleigh, and five-year-old Jodie who are now aged 23 and 25.

Sharon, who lives in Delph, says her own fertility journey has given her a unique insight into the emotional turmoil of fertility treatment and what it takes to get through it, which has been so valued by patients such as Patricia over the years.

Sharon says: “When patients are emotional, upset and just need someone to talk to, I know exactly what they’re going through because I’ve been there myself. I do know what it’s like when things aren’t going the way you’d hoped, but I also know the elation of giving someone the fantastic news that they’re pregnant. It’s still a joy each and every time and you can’t help but feel emotionally involved.

“I couldn’t believe it when I found out I’d been nominated for this award by Patricia, especially after all these years. It just shows how crucial our support is, that even years later people still remember us and the help we give, even if it’s just a listening ear.

“I love my job, winning the Patients Choice Award would mean so much not only to me, but to everyone here at Manchester Fertility, including the doctors, admin staff, nurses and laboratory and embryology team. We’re one big family and without our team I wouldn’t be able to do my job.”

The Claire Rayner Patient’s Choice Award is a special award which enables members of the public to nominate a healthcare professional who they feel has made a real difference in either their healthcare or that of a loved one.

The winner, chosen by the public via an online vote, will be announced at the prestigious Nursing Standard Nurse Awards 2012 awards ceremony in London on Thursday 22 March 2012. The winner receives £1,000 towards their professional development.

You can vote for Sharon by visitinghttps://nurseawards.rcnpublishing.co.uk/patients-choice/cast-your-vote/

Voting closes on Thursday 15 March 2012.

ENDS     February 2012

For more information on the Patient’s Choice Awards, contact Lynne Pearce on 01992 448474

Notes to editors:

  • Manchester Fertility (www.manchesterfertility.com), based in Manchester city centre, has over 25 years experience in treating all forms of infertility and is now one of the UK’s leading private infertility clinics
  • Over 3,500 babies have been born to date thanks to the expertise of the team which includes embryologists, andrologists, urologists, consultants and counsellors, many of whom are leaders in their field
  • Manchester Fertility treats all patients who need help to get pregnant, including single women and same-sex couples
  • It has its own successful dedicated egg and sperm donor recruitment programme www.manchesterdonors.com – the clinic has no waiting lists for donor sperm and all donors are from the UK
  • Treatments at Manchester Fertility include IVF, Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI), egg-sharing, egg-freezing, sperm-freezing, intrauterine insemination, treatment using donor eggs and guidance with surrogacy
  • Success rate for IVF patients who had blastocyst transfer in 2010 was 50%
  • In a recent patient satisfaction survey, 100% of patients felt they had been treated with dignity and respect during their treatment at Manchester Fertility
  • Manchester Fertility’ consultants work with patients to decide the best treatment option in an open, honest and transparent way – patients will only ever receive the treatment best suited to them and their unique needs; all costs are communicated clearly to patients with no ‘hidden extras’
  • Staff at the clinic are known for their personal, empathic approach and have a unique understanding of the ups and downs of fertility treatment thanks to years of experience in helping people overcome infertility.

    Last updated: 27th January 2020