Oct 19th 2015

Outstanding staff scoop prizes at the Trust Staff awards

 Staff at Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust (SWBH) gathered at the Trust’s annual Staff Awards to celebrate the exceptional work of teams and individuals in providing excellent care to patients.

 The awards, held on Friday 16th October at Aston Villa Football Club, were hosted by Birmingham comedienne and actress Jo Enright, and was attended by Lord Mayor of Birmingham, Councillor Ray Hassall, and the Mayor of Sandwell, Councillor Mrs Barbara Price.

There were 19 award categories to recognise different excellent aspects of work that staff and individuals have delivered. The awards were sponsored by global management consultants Hay Group, Abena, a leading manufacturer of continence care products, consultancy firm Capita and law firm Capsticks.

The winner for Employee of the Year Award was Joanne Peasley, Macmillian Occupational Therapy Assistant Practitioner. Working in what can be a very emotional area, with patients often approaching end of life, Jo always seems to know just what to say to reassure people. She was described as someone who really lives the Trust’s nine care promises, including ‘going the extra mile’. On one occasion she was walking along the corridor to see her next patient when she came across a distressed family who had just received news of their relative’s death. She approached them and offered condolences. She showed them to a quieter area and offered water. She listened to the family’s questions and answered what she could. She managed all of this in a few minutes and then carried on with her duties.

The Compassion in Care Award is nominated by our patients, their families and carers. This year’s winner was Health Care Assistant Jenny Oliver, who works in Colposcopy. Jenny received a number of nominations from patients who say she makes them feel at ease and takes away the fear.

Patients say that without Jenny sitting and talking to them throughout the process many women would not get through their examination and describe her as an amazing member of staff.

Our Beacon Service Awards were introduced two years ago to recognise services which are judged to be exceptional and have a regional and national reputation. This year’s winners were the FINCH service and the Stroke Service. The FINCH service (faecal incontinence and constipation healthcare), is one of a only a few centres in England offering specialist support for patients with bowel function disorders, and it sees patients from all over the UK. The Stroke Service was reconfigured onto one site at Sandwell Hospital in 2013. This has enabled the development of a ‘specialist stroke service’ now recognised as being among the top 8% of stroke units in the country.

For the first time this year we had a Local Primary care Award for the most valued service in the Trust, with the nominations coming from GPs and other primary care partners. The first winner was the Leasowes Intermediate Care Service. The GP who nominated Leasowes said there was clear evidence of working well with professional colleagues but also working in partnership with patients, listening and responding to their concerns and preferences.

The award Non Clinical Team of the Year was presented to Out of Hours Domestic Team, Sandwell Hospital. The team takes pride  in maintaining its high standards, so that even at 4am the floors are sparkling!

This year’s Clinical Team of the Year for Adults went to Cardiology. This service was reconfigured to the City Hospital site in August of this year, a huge change which would not have been possible without the engagement, drive and unity of the team. A service review by the Royal College of Physicians recognised the team’s strong leadership.

Taking the trophy for Clinical Team of the Year for Children was the Children Therapy’s service. This service won a Beacon Award last year and has continued to build on this success. With increased referrals, the team is consistently trying to come up with new and innovative ways of not only meeting demand but expanding the service.

The Birmingham Midland Eye Centre theatre team scooped the Patient Safety Award. The theatre team has led the way in introducing a programme of work to improve the safety of eye surgery. Surgical procedures have been filmed and, with the patient’s consent, these films have been used to enable the surgical teams to reflect on how safety procedures were carried out.

The Live and Work Project was awarded the Excellence in Education Prize for their effort in providing 27 apprenticeships for young people who are homeless, or at risk of homelessness, from across Birmingham and Sandwell. Developed in partnership with West Midlands youth homelessness charity St Basils, this is an innovative scheme which has never been done before in the NHS and has capacity to provide 27 apprenticeships and accommodation for young people who are homeless, or at risk of homelessness.

Winner of the Distinguished Service award was Professor David Luesley, Professor of Gynaecological Oncology. He has always been a ‘visionary’ for improving women’s healthcare, not only for the local population but also at a national and international level. He was instrumental in the launch of the Pan-Birmingham Gynaecological Cancer Centre at City Hospital which, under his leadership, has become one of the leading services of its kind in the UK. He trained the first ever nurse colposcopist – there are now over 250 nationwide.

Our Trust has a vision to be the best integrated care organisation in the NHS. That aspiration is reflected by introducing a new award this year for Integrated care pioneer of the year. The winner was Diabetes Specialist Nurse Susan Irwin. Ours is the first trust in the country to apply nurse-led integrated care for patients with diabetic kidney disease. Susan Irwin sees between 8-10 patients every week and spends time reviewing medications and insulin compliance. Medication compliance has increased and 95% of patients said the clinics had improved their diabetes knowledge and control.

Winning the Prize for the best innovation this year was the Frailsafe project. Sandwell Hospital is proud to be one of only 12 pilot sites for Frailsafe, a national project aimed at improving quality of care for frail older patients admitted to NHS hospitals. A screening tool to identify frailty and a “check and challenge” list to ensure patient safety is considered and risk managed has been integrated into the daily running of our assessment units.

Taking the prize for Excellence in Research was Consultant Colorectal Surgeon Kathryn Gill and Consultant Stroke Physician Dr Sissi Ispoglou. Under Kath’s leadership, SWBH has consistently been the highest or the second highest recruiting centre and patients have benefited from being able to access new techniques. Dr Ispoglou has raised awareness of stroke research among staff and members of the public, for example by coordinating a very successful Stroke Research Awareness Day.

In a recognition of the effort that the Homeless TB Team has put into proving screening for local hostel and homeless shelter users in the Sandwell, Dudley and West Birmingham community, they won the award for Equality and diversity champion.

Picking up the award for Leader of the Year, sponsored by Hay Group, was Terry Cordrey, Therapy Lead for the Rapid Response Therapy Service. Judges were impressed with his strong ability to coach individuals and teams. His contribution as a leader has improved patient care for those patients who access the rapid response service, responding to referrals within 30 minutes.

Nicola Taylor, Diabetes Clinical Manager, received the New Leader award. She has led the challenging task of moving diabetes care to be based in GP surgeries. She always makes time to listen and brings clarity to the most complex issues.

Team Leader of the Year was Steven Hill, a Security Team leader, at City Hospital. The team said Steven had always been there for them, both at work and in their personal life. He encouraged the team to talk after dealing with security incidents in order to see if there are lessons to learn and if things could be done better.

Lifting the trophy for the award Learner of the Year was Alimaa Rafaq who had shown remarkable change from the beginning as a shy trainee to become a much more confident and knowledgeable apprentice. She has now completed her apprenticeship in Business Administration, working with the Medicine & Emergency Care Admin Team at City Hospital.

And finally, this year’s Chairman’s Award was presented to Caroline Rennalls, Head of Capacity. Caroline has been at the heart of many of the ideas and innovations within the Trust over the past two years. She has been pivotal in intermediate care projects and setting up the Acute Medical Units.

Toby Lewis, Chief Executive at the Trust, said: “It is time to stand up for and to celebrate the NHS.  We are thrilled to be holding our biggest and best ever Awards ceremony.

“380 of our caring staff were at the awards, as well as patients and partner bodies.  It was a privilege to be here to celebrate their services, team work and their many successes. They have all demonstrated compassion, caring and resilience, of which they should be proud.

“This year we received more than 800 nominations and thousands of votes for our 19 award categories. I want to thank everyone, staff and patients, for giving their time in nominating the individuals and teams for the awards.

“Our 2015 awards recognise the passion, dedication and care of Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals staff.  We are excited about the future as we begin to implement our 2020 Vision. SWBH is a brilliant, honest place to work, with the right values and a clear plan for the future. 


Issued by SWBH NHS Trust Communications Department. Tel: 0121 507 5303.

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