A DEDICATED nurse has been presented with her British Empire Medal to mark more than 50 years of service.

Mary Richardson was instrumental in developing services, particularly for the most vulnerable and less able patients.

The County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust nurse was praised for embracing change but, at the same time, her leadership has illustrated that ‘old school values’ of nursing are very relevant in society today.

She undertook a BSc Hons, in Community Nursing at the age of 57 and is currently a district nursing sister.

“I will treasure this British Empire Medal and am delighted to accept it on behalf of nurses across the NHS who work tirelessly every day to give our patients the very best care," she said.

Mrs Richardson was presented with her award by Mrs Sue Snowdon, Her Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant of County Durham.