Carole Dinsley prides herself on being an old-style matron, but without the starchy image characterised in Carry On films.
The paediatric matron at Ealing hospital's children's department is determined to be the vital link between child care and families as well as running a tight ship where staff are empowered to work well as a team.
This warm, approachable mum was put forward by Kay Larkin, the child services manager, who said: "Carole goes way above her job description, going that extra mile. We have had times when we could not get extra staff, but I've never had to worry about cover for the unit because she will always step in. She has total loyalty and commitment to the department, loved by families and staff. Even her husband Tim gets involved as he was Father Christmas this year."
Carole, 53, from Ealing, said: "I am not the stern matron of the olden days. My role is to alleviate distress, talk to families who are worried or concerned, hopefully to deal with any issues before it reaches complaint level. To a family a small problem is as important, to them, as a big problem. It's all about shared care. After all the family knows their child best of all. It's hard having a child in hospital and we want that journey to be as comfortable as possible."
She said she could not operate without such a strong team, adding: "We have the right staff with the right calibre and I like to think if things go wrong they can talk to me. I could not do my job without the support of my team and together we ensure the unit is run and managed well."
A former nursery nurse, Carole completed three years training at Great Ormond Street Hospital and has spent the last 20 years at Ealing Hospital in Uxbridge Road, Southall. She said: "I wanted to continue working with children and at Ealing there are so many different challenges in a distric general hospital. You learn and think on your feet very quickly."