A NURSE from Pontypool says she is “absolutely over the moon” after being included on the New Year’s Honours List.

Sara Goode, 50, who will be awarded a British Empire Medal for her commitment to the NHS, said: “I really can’t believe it. I was in total shock when I received the letter.

“I was shaking, just saying: ‘Oh my God, I can’t believe it.”

Mrs Goode is the Lead Nurse for Emergency Planning at Aneurin Beavan University Health Board – the board that covers the whole of Gwent.

Her work has been critical in training nurses to deal with pre-hospital major incidents. Creating a bespoke training course, the programme has ensured that when disaster does strike, respondents are well prepared.

Effectively, nurses are now trained on how to run a casualty clearing station, which allows ambulance services to free up personnel and, critically, means they can devote more time to treating patients.

Over 278 emergency nurses have now been trained and Sara has also co-ordinated an on-call system of Medical Emergency Response Incident Team (MERIT).

MEIRT has since been used locally for international events such as UEFA football matches and the 2014 NATIO summit.

Her advice was also vital in the redesign of the new emergency department and entrance at the Royal Gwent Hospital.

Fittingly, it all started at the Royal Gwent.

Mrs Goode began life as a nurse in 1988 at the Royal Gwent and went straight into the accident and emergencies department.

Though, she does admit “the pressure was nothing like it is now” in A&E.

Such is her commitment to her job that when heavy snowfall hit Gwent in 2018, she stayed overnight at the Royal Gwent for a number of days without going home.

While many of us were out enjoying the snow that descended on Wales in 2018, Mrs Goode was grafting – ensuring patients received care and, crucially, ensuring nurses and doctors were able to provide that care.

It was her work that secured a fleet of 4 x 4 vehicles and volunteers to safely transport stranded patients and staff.

She has dedicated 29 years of her life to the NHS and she says it was only natural that she became a nurse.

“My grandmother was a nurse, and so was my mother.

“So, I always wanted to be one.

She said she “couldn’t wait to tell her family” after receiving the letter through the post.

Recipients receive notification of their award several weeks before it is announced but are bound to the strictest confidence.

But her husband was allowed to know and she said he was “really proud of me”.

“I had Goosebumps when I was reading the letter,” she said.

And, as years go, Mrs Goode hasn’t had a bad one.

She won the Royal College of Nursing Nurse of the Year Award for Innovation in November for her work in preparing and nurses to deal with emergencies.

“It is a big honour and I am so proud.”