Meet the finalists for the Our Health Heroes Awards 2023
Each of our finalists were carefully selected by our expert panel of judges and all took home a trophy. The awards ceremony was held on 7 June in London – see the winners announcement.
Apprentice of the Year
This award celebrates the significant contribution made by apprentices in the healthcare sector. This award shines a light on the bright stars of the future, with individuals who have not only gone above and beyond at their organisation, but act as advocates for apprenticeships as a route to healthcare careers, in both clinical and operational roles.
This award is proudly sponsored by Unison.
Joining in 2019, Rochelle was part of the first cohort of Project Management Degree Apprentices for the Trust, working in the estates management team.
In just over three years, Rochelle has made a tremendous impact on the Trust, despite having no prior project management experience.
As well as being a valued member of the estates team, Rochelle plays an active role on the Association for Project Management’s Women in Project Management Committee, chairing a mental health and wellbeing sub-group. Last year, she also addressed over 250 people at the Women in Project Management Conference held in London and has taken part in talks about project management careers and apprenticeships to school children in Portsmouth.
Among her achievements, Hailei has made a significant impact working with care homes in the local area to help them manage patients with more complex needs. This piece of work has seen her support senior clinicians, who have been triaging referrals, to gain further information that helps to manage the triage decision, reduce wait times and enhance patient care.
Hailei has also devised a checklist of questions to ask care home staff to help with the behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia (BPSD) that many patients may present with. This has been so successful that is has been adopted by other students on placement and Band 5 nurses who are not as experienced with managing BPSD.
Joe Malsen was the first person to be hired into the Radiotherapy Apprentice Assistant role as the apprenticeship position previously did not exist within the department. Nevertheless, he has hit the ground running, exceeding all expectations.
Since joining ICHT Joe has been quite the innovator, creating a pilot infection control project that reduced both virus and bacteria levels passively in the radiotherapy department. This is now being further extended to the oncology wards within the hospital.
Joe has also assisted in a major quality improvement project, working with a consultant clinical oncologist and other staff to collect data on primary brain tumour patients.
In addition to this longlist of achievements Joe is an ambassador for the North West London Allied Health Professionals (AHP) and has joined a Health Education England organisation committee. He has presented at HEE’s Capital AHP Support Worker celebration shining stars event, discussing leadership and research/quality improvement (QI) and has developed a skills passport for use within the Trust. This is in the process of being signed off by the Trust and will potentially be rolled out nationally.
Clinical Support Worker of the Year
This award celebrates those in clinical support roles, providing vital support services for patients and service users in health and social care settings. Clinical support workers play a crucial role in the delivery of exceptional care, without whom the health and social care sector simply couldn’t exist. These people have been on the frontline helping to care for the most vulnerable in society, many working in roles that often go unnoticed by the public but are inspirational to their colleagues.
Edelle works as a Therapy Assistant, within the City Health Partnership CIC. She takes the time to investigate and fix patients environments to ensure the risk of falls is mitigated – everything from changing lightbulbs, getting access to food banks, and making referrals across the Trust to optimise patient care. She goes above and beyond what is expected to treat her patients holistically, and is valued by her team and her patients alike.
Helen joined the Practice Education Team at Bedfordshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust after several years as a Clinical Support Worker. She now supports other Clinical Support Workers through employee forums, regular one-to-ones, managing training and education needs, and delivering or supporting programmes to enhance knowledge and skills to help provide safe and effective patient care. She also set up a monthly ‘Rose Award’, for patients and staff to recognise wards, areas, and departments where Clinical Support Workers are based – championing the contribution these vital roles make to patient care.
Karen joined the Breast Team at Royal United Hospitals Bath NHS Foundation Trust in 2020, where she provides practical help and advice, and emotional support, to breast cancer patients, helping them to navigate their treatment journey. Going truly above and beyond this role, Karen also runs a bra fitting service for post-operative patients, including prosthesis fitting; offers nipple/areolar tattooing for those who have had reconstruction; runs a monthly support group for patients and survivors; and with the Breast Care Nurses runs Health and Wellbeing seminars for those who have recently finished their treatment.
Operational Support Worker of the Year
This award celebrates those in an operational support role, providing vital support services for colleagues, patients, and service users in NHS settings. Operational support workers play a crucial part in our healthcare services keeping people, systems and processes running, without whom the NHS simply couldn’t survive.
This award is proudly sponsored by Unison.
Based on her own experiences and working in collaboration with recruitment and HR colleagues, Katie has created a new entry into work process, which introduces individuals who are out of work to meet the team and experience the various facilities roles that the Trust has to offer.
Due to Katie’s work more and more people are able to find work in the local area and the Trust is keeping hold of its staff for longer than it was before.
The quality of the programme she has designed is recognised regionally within the NHS and is providing a solution to both recruiting to facilities roles and long-term unemployment.
Described as “an integral cog in the integrated community health team” by her colleagues, Mary’s wealth of knowledge is unparalleled and “she often has the answer to the question before you even know you need it and is always two steps ahead,” says social work lead Shane Fearon.
She is constantly making process improvements within the team and has invested a significant amount of time in training social work staff. Due to her work, Mary’s team is one of the highest performing older persons social work teams in the region.
Among her many achievements, Laura has been instrumental in working with volunteers to improve the mental health and wellbeing of the wider community, all the while juggling her day-to-day job in occupational therapy.
She has introduced a robust framework of induction and training for volunteers, alongside refinement of recruitment processes that are effective, safe and a positive experience for all. In addition, she introduced a National Volunteering certificate for volunteers – an award scheme for volunteers (in partnership with a local charity) and placement and support to a volunteer working with British Transport Police to improve their support to people experiencing a mental health crisis.
Outstanding Lifetime Contribution to Healthcare
This award recognises those going above and beyond for the benefit of patient care. Nominees act as role models in the workplace, encouraging those around them and making outstanding contributions to the immediate care of individuals and the wider healthcare sector.
This award is proudly sponsored by NHS Employers.
Toni served the field of neonatal nursing for 52 years, retiring this year. Starting in a field without a large body of knowledge in 1972, she has worked tirelessly to implement and contribute to evidence-based approaches to achieve the best for babies and their families. She was a founding member of neoPremQI, a perinatal optimisation pathway project, that went on to becoming the award winning regional PERIPrem project – now being implemented across Wales. She has gone above the call of duty to support and mentor nurses for over 50 years and has regularly contributed to academic conferences to further the field.
Salli joined the NHS aged 18 and retires this year after a lifetime of healthcare service. During the 80s and 90s, Salli was a ward sister, teacher, and Macmillan nurse. She developed a Macmillan hospital nurse service – supporting cancer patients, their families, and clinical professionals – that is still operational today. Moving to Cheshire Hospices Education (CHE) charity, she led palliative care education for tens of thousands of health and care professionals. Under this directorship, she expanded CHE to become The End of Life Partnership, creating holistic approaches to living well, patient care, death and loss, through public awareness and community engagement, education and training for the health and care workforce.
Over 35 years, Sandra has held a number of roles focused on improving care standards in prisons and psychiatric hospitals and has supported nationwide service improvement projects working with the Scottish Government, Prison Service and NHS. Taking a leading role in service transitions and reviews, she’s spearheaded her teams to deliver improved patient outcomes by getting the best from nursing staff and creating effective learning cultures. Her projects have previously won awards from the World Health Organisation, and her team received the first ever Charter Mark given to a healthcare provider in a prison setting.
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