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A consultant learning disabilities nurse at South Staffordshire and Shropshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust has been awarded an OBE for services to nursing and people with a learning disability.

Gwen Moulster, who celebrates 40 years in learning disability nursing this month, is nationally recognised for her work to improve the care of people with a learning disability. She has recently been named as one of Nursing Times Inspirational Nurses of the Year and also received the Royal College of Nursing award for learning disability nursing.

Gwen has worked with people of all ages, from tiny babies to old people at the end of their life, and all levels of disability from mild to the most profound and complex. She has also spent time in a variety of organisations, including the Department of Health, the charity sector and local authority as well as NHS hospitals.

She has witnessed significant change in the approach to caring for people with a learning disability. Her first placement was in a large hospital for 2000 people where she worked on a ward for 60 women. One of her most recent successes has been to help implement an intensive support team whose main purpose is to ensure people can be treated in their community, rather than going into hospital.

Gwen says, “I am so grateful to have found a career that offers so much fulfilment and I consider it a privilege to have been able to work with people with a learning disability. They are so honest, what you see is what you get, and I am proud to have spent time with such amazing people. Receiving an OBE is a huge honour but I have only been able to achieve what I have because of the people I have worked with; people with learning disabilities, their families and carers and my colleagues.”