A nurse consultant who campaigned for a children’s emergency department with trained nurses is this week’s local hero.

Jason Gray, who works at the Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital in Brighton, has also been nominated for the Pioneering Emergency Nurse category at this year’s Welch Allyn Pioneers of Care Awards.

Jason’s efforts have also been praised by his peers after he helped to bring about the new children’s emergency department, and the children’s emergency nurse practitioner team.

Coogan The stand-alone unit was the first of its kind in the region and was officially opened by comedian Steve Coogan in 2012.

Children had previously been sent to the A&E department at the neighbouring Royal Sussex County Hospital. However, it was felt a dedicated unit in the children’s hospital would be more suitable and shield them from the sights and sounds of the busy Royal Sussex department.

Dr Helen Griffiths, a nurse consultant, university lecturer, and member of the Primary Care Society for Gastroenterology, said: “The NHS is such a huge organisation that sometimes it’s hard to believe that one person can make a real change.

“However, Jason has shown that through commitment and passion it is possible, and the new children’s emergency department, and children’s emergency nurse practitioner team, demonstrate this.

Jan McMeekin, UK manager of sponsors Welch Allyn UK, whose experience in care stretches back almost 100 years, said: “It is all too easy to take nurses, and trainee nurses, for granted.

“By highlighting their pioneering work with patients and inspiring efforts while training, we can show just how much we owe them,”

Jason said that he was “privileged and honoured” to had been nominated for the award.

He added: “I would not be able to do this without the brilliant dedicated team that I work with.

“Helping children and families is the best part of my job.”

The awards ceremony will take place on Friday at The Royal Institute of British Architects in central London.