East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust has hosted its first staff awards since the pandemic began, celebrating the achievements of its NHS stars.
Staff from across the Trust’s many sites – including Hertford County Hospital, Lister Hospital in Stevenage, Mount Vernon Cancer Centre in Northwood and the New QEII Hospital in Welwyn Garden City – were invited to put forward nominations before the East and North Hertfordshire Hospitals’ Charity-funded event, with a panel of judges scoring each nomination to determine the 33 finalists.
The ‘Time to Shine’ ceremony took place on Thursday 7 July, with more than 300 people in attendance to see 11 winners crowned at Tewin Bury Farm – the same Hertfordshire venue as when the Trust was last able to hold the awards in 2019.
First up was the Mitie Unsung Heroes Award, won by Chris Boseley and the Carlisle Support Services security team for working tirelessly to keep staff, patients and visitors safe – all amid heightened emotional interactions due to Covid-19.
The second winner on the night was Trust response volunteer Michelle Salisbury, who was named the Here to Help Award winner for always “going above and beyond for patients” since becoming a volunteer in December 2021.
Specialist radiographer Matt Treherne was then crowned Charity Champion, after cycling more than 1,000 miles from John O’ Groats to Land’s End last summer – despite his own health issues. Matt raise almost £6,000, split equally between three causes – a new radiology recovery area at Lister Hospital, Cancer Research UK and mental health charity Mind.
Next up was the PSTG Bright Sparks Award, won by senior respiratory clinical nurse specialist Sarah Lewis who developed a QR code poster for 15 different inhaler device videos for asthma patients, which is being used across the region and has received national interest.
Mae Cometa, the Trust’s deputy infection prevention and control lead, was announced as the Inspiring Manager Award winner for her tenacity in keeping patients safe and educating colleagues on how to manage Covid and other infectious diseases – while always being there to support her team.
Mae then returned to the stage to pick up the Safety First Award on behalf of PPE co-ordinator Ryan Sutton, who was unable to attend. Ryan has overseen PPE and fit testing – both the buying of and training for – throughout the pandemic, handling queries amid high levels of anxiety.
The NHS Professionals Experience Counts Award went to the maternity and obstetrics & gynaecology teams, who have worked tirelessly alongside the Lister Maternity Voices Partnership to deliver high quality, responsive care to women and their loved ones in extraordinary times.
The team behind the Covid Medicines Delivery Unit were then crowned the InPhase Patients First Award winners after setting up the unit at short notice to treat the most at risk patients, delivering potentially life-saving antibodies.
The Linet Compassionate Care Award winners were the critical care team, who have been at the front of the pandemic providing care to critically ill patients and their families – and all with compassion and kindness.
The penultimate award of the night saw nominations from the public – with the New QEII’s Dr Oonagh McGuinness named the Follett Trust Local Hero Award winner. Oonagh was nominated by a grateful patient after she uncovered a very rare condition, despite a negative scan result, with the patient concluding: “Dr McGuinness literally saved my life”.
The final award was for the Nervecentre Clinical Team Award – with the Covid Medicines Delivery Unit team picking up their second trophy. The team, made up from different departments across the Trust, have been giving potentially life-saving Covid treatments and had triaged over 2,200 patients and treated more than 750 at the time of the nomination.
The Trust’s chief executive Adam Sewell-Jones, who hosted the awards, said: “These awards were an opportunity to celebrate the achievements of many of our colleagues, as we reflect on some of the most challenging times the NHS has ever faced.
“It was fantastic to be able to come together and hear so many inspiring stories during the night – a snapshot of the incredible work our amazing staff do each and every day.”