Last week I was pleased to welcome to the Senedd Sian Bodman, the senior diabetes specialist nurse in the Aneurin Bevan University Health Board.

Sian is nominated in the Patients Choice category of the Royal College of Nursing’s annual awards

She is one of five shortlisted candidates, and the only Welsh nominee.

Born and bred in Blackwood Sian has been a senior diabetes nurse since 1995. Based at County Hospital, Pontypool she covers hospitals, surgeries and clinics across the area, supporting patients as they adjust and learn to manage their condition.

Sian told me: “Patient welfare is at the centre of everything I do. Diabetes is a confusing world, and can be daunting with daily decisions around food, activities, travel and illness management.”

“The Patients Choice Award is the most prestigious for us as nurses as it comes from the very people we are here to help. I feel honoured just to have been nominated!”

The staff are the most valuable asset our NHS has. High quality, compassionate care is delivered every day by nurses across Wales. We cannot say thank you often enough to NHS staff like Sian.

Lynne Lewis, of Pontypool, the patient who nominated Sian said: “As soon I heard about the Patients Choice Award I decided to nominate Sian. She is a special person and does her job with amazing warmth and professionalism, and makes all her patients feel safe and confident.”

Sian understands what patients are going through but also recognises the impact on families. She developed sustainable nursing services in the community so that patients receive care closer to home, and makes every patient feel as if “we are in it together”.

People admire her ability to maintain clinical contact and support whilst driving forward innovative models of care for them.

We all recognise the professionalism and dedication of nurses like Sian, who help make our NHS the excellent service it is. Sian has earned the respect and admiration of her colleagues and patients. I urge everyone in Torfaen – in fact, everyone in Wales - to vote for her so that her work receives the accolade she deserves.

Online voting is open until Friday, April 28. Any member of the public can cast a vote at The winner of the Patient’s Choice Award will be announced at the RCNi Nurse Awards celebration, on Friday, May 5 at the Westminster Park Plaza, London.