INSPIRATIONAL community worker Baroness May Blood MBE was the special guest at a presentation day organised by the Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust.

The life peer and acclaimed peace and community worker from Northern Ireland attended the Leading to Transform Patient Experience Celebration event at the Blackley Baptist Centre, Elland.

Certificates were presented to senior nurses and therapists for their innovative projects to improve patient care. The projects were part of a leadership development programme.

The projects included introducing art into hospital to improve the environment for patients and a new televised introduction to children’s care for non-English speaking parents of young patients.

The Baroness heard a series of presentations and said it was impressive to see staff at the forefront of improving patient care.

She said: “We need more of this in the NHS.

“When you hear about people on the front line driving patient care like this it is so positive.”

Baroness Blood, who sits in the House of Lords, was born in Belfast and worked in a linen mill all her life. She is trade unionist and became a leading community worker and won awards for her contribution to the peace work in Northern Ireland. Despite leaving school with no qualifications at 14 to join the mill she now has three honorary university degrees.

Dianne Lewis, leading the project at the Trust, said: “We asked Baroness Blood to our event as she speaks with such passion and enthusiasm about her life and work and the need for change. Our staff’s ideas gained from their own experiences are constantly changing the way we work to improve the care our patients receive.”