The Star Awards 2023

We’re pleased to announce the full list of winners from The Star Awards 2023.

But first we want to thank all the nominees for the hard work and dedication they have shown throughout the last year.

The winners are:

Employee of the Year: Huma Naqvi
Amazing, caring, champion  

This is a photo of Dr Huma Naqvi. Huma was appointed as the first ortho-geriatrician in the Trust around ten years ago, and since this point she has managed the whole orthogeriatric service single-handedly. She has a number of key responsibilities, such as managing the hip fracture management protocol, supporting the general surgery abdominal surgery patients in line with national protocol, and managing junior doctors in trauma and orthopaedics for several years now. This latter responsibility includes rota planning, training, teaching and mentoring. 

Dr Naqvi is also the well-being champion for clinicians in the Trust and goes out of her way to support colleagues. On top of all this, Dr Naqvi is also the training programme director for the geriatric service. 


Non-clinical Team of the Year: Chaplaincy Team

Compassionate, kind and selfless 

This is a group photo of the chaplaincy team. There are six people in total standing around a special memorial tree within the chapel at Sandwell Hospital.Our multi-faith chaplaincy team offer support to patients and colleagues alike and offer guidance equally to those with faith and those without. The team develop and maintain prayer spaces, allowing staff, patients and visitors to seek solace during difficult times after receiving a warm welcome from a member of the chaplaincy team. 

The Chaplaincy team visit many of our patients weekly across all of our sites and provide a safe space and sanctuary at a time of need.

They provide support when we are at our most vulnerable and provided invaluable support to all during the pandemic. Available 24 hours a day, whether they are called out in the middle of the night to attend to an end-of-life patient, a mother who has undergone a stillbirth or to defuse a situation, they drop everything in their personal lives and attend to patient and colleague needs. 


Clinical Team of the Year: Cancer Hotline Team
Hardworking, enthusiastic, positive  

This is a photo of the Cancer Hotline team. there are seven in total and there are two rows of people.The cancer hotline was established in 2022 to provide Sandwell residents with a dedicated resource they can call if they are concerned about symptoms of cancer. Facing funding and staffing issues, the team worked tirelessly to set up this unique service, working collaboratively with both NHS England and the West Midlands Cancer Alliance. They have seen more than 300 patients since they launched and have referred over a third of those to a two week pathway. The service is taking some pressure off primary care, triaging and returning calls within 48 hours. They provide reassurance to those patients not deemed urgent or who do not need further referral – and for those patients who require further investigation, they refer extremely quickly to the appropriate service without the need for the patient to visit their GP. 



Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Award: Janice Nelson
Inclusive, authentic, driven 

This is a photo of Janice Nelson standing in front of some doors. Janice took on the role of procurement equality, diversity and inclusion lead in 2021. To the best of our knowledge, the role is the first of its kind nationally, and therefore Janice had to set the ambition for our service with a blank sheet of paper. She has implemented an EDI procurement strategy which set the aims, outcomes and key metrics for the next three years. As a result, our team are delivering improved EDI and social value outcomes, increasing BAME opportunity to access NHS spend. She has showcased her approach at an “ICS meet the buyer” event, engaging with small and medium enterprise businesses, supporting them to access contracts within the NHS.  Janice captures supplier diversity information, and EDI questions are now issued with all tenders. Results form part of the scoring process to ensure we place added value on SMEs that reflect our EDI principles.  Janice also works alongside Black Country Chamber of Commerce, understanding the barriers SMEs and BAME may have in accessing NHS contracts. Through her EDI work, Janice has significantly improved our score in the Talent Inclusion and Diversity Evaluation assessment giving fair and equal opportunity to all. 


Distinguished Service Award:  Verna White
Role model, dedicated, positive  

This is a photo of Verna White standing in a clinical area at Sandwell Hospital.Verna has worked within the NHS for almost 30 years, starting as an auxiliary, progressing to a nurse and then later training as a midwife at SWB. Verna has undertaken many roles, her most recent being a delivery suite coordinator. During her years in midwifery at SWB, Verna was the ward manager of M2 at Sandwell, and antenatal clinic manager at City. Despite suffering her own tragedies and heartache, she is always positive and has the biggest smile and infectious laugh. It is always noticeable that Verna’s positive work ethic influences others around her, generally making the workplace and clinical environment a really kind and pleasant place to be. She is the ultimate ARC role model, with an added sparkling smile and infectious laugh that centres positivity and kindness as core components in how she coordinates and runs her shifts. 



Prize for Transformation and Research: Training and Development Team, Breast Imaging
Empowering, entrepreneurial, visionary  

This  is a photo of the breast imaging team. There are four members of the team standing around a breast imaging scanner.There is a national shortage of mammographers and limited training places at university. Last year the service had a 47 per cent vacancy factor, so the programme manager designed a concentrated immersive training programme which resulted in trainees gaining clinical competency at a greater pace (within 30 days) allowing them to work autonomously within six months instead of 12 months. The service is now fully established and could potentially be in a position to train mammographers for the Black Country Provider Collaborative moving forwards, to support their vacancy factors and generate income. Through zero vacancy factor the service has reduced the risk of missed round length KPI, as well as early detection and treatment of small cancers. The risk of staff burn out has also been reduced. The service has utilised this opportunity to research different methodologies to enhancing training practices and the student journey, collecting data with a view to publish in a peer journal and work towards academy status. 


Volunteer of the Year: Brian Guest
Amazing, Wise, Committed  

This is a photograph of volunteer Brian Guest who is standing on a ward. Brian has consistently supported our volunteer service, despite having a medical condition. He continually offers to go above and beyond to support with projects or kindly offers to take the lead. Brian has been working with our library service on the roll out of the ‘borrow box’ scheme – which allows patients to use iPads to read. Brian trained other volunteers in using the app to enable them to go onto the wards to support patients.  

Brian freely gives his time and knowledge and sees volunteering as his way of giving back to the trust and saying thank you for the care his wife received during some spent-on Sandwell ITU. 



Patient Safety Award: Emily Hobbs and Zeena Tudor
Enthusiastic, innovative, passionate  

This is a photo of Emily Hobbs and Zeena Tudor standing together in the Courtyard Gardens at Sandwell Hospital.Zeena is a District Nursing Team Leader and Emily is a Practice Education Lead in District Nursing. They have led on the national community safer staffing tool rollout within district nursing, devising a plan to roll this out to the entire district nursing workforce and enabled the Trust to be one of the first organisations to introduce this and test the new national standards. This enables our community services to be safer for our patients. The safer staffing tool will tell us how many staff we require on a shift to perform safe care to our patients. This is so pivotal for our patients, ensuring they are seen in a holistic manner and get care delivered by the right staff at the right time. They have led this project with great enthusiasm and have ensured it has been a success. 



Learner of the Year: David Cartwright
Inspiring, passionate, dedicated  

This is a photo of David Cartwright who is standing on his own. David has dedicated his last three years completing the scientist training programme specialising in respiratory, which he completed in September 2023. David spent his first year rotating between specialisms completing competencies and organised himself extremely well, considering the impact of COVID-19. His second and third years were spent within respiratory physiology, building his clinical knowledge and skills across a broad range of diagnostic tests. During this time, he participated in several MDT’s, building working relationships across respiratory. He always throws himself into teaching fellow colleagues and demonstrates excellent teaching skills both on a one to one and within a group setting. David has been completely committed to ensuring his academic work excels and performed continuously at a high standard while completing his university modules, including the completion of an audit. He has also presented at an annual conference for the Association for Respiratory Technology and Physiology. 


Sustainability Award: Cardiac Cath Lab
Committed, enthusiastic, dynamic, 

This is a photo of three members of the cardiac cath lab team. they are standing in a clinical area. The cardiac cath lab team have made several active changes this year to improve their approach to sustainability and are consistently at the top of the green impact points table.  They have now gotten rid of plastic cups, with all colleagues bringing their own ceramic mugs. They have also done away with plastic bed covers and the use of inko pads, began using plastic trays instead of cardboard dishes and focused on waste by using yellow bin bags instead of orange ones. They are also looking into how to recycle old or out of date equipment such as catheters, as well as reducing their use of single-use items. The team have made big changes in a short amount of time, reducing the Trust’s environmental impact overall and acting as a shining example of what we can achieve. 


Rising Star Award: Emma Bessant

Passionate, Caring, Encouraging  

This is a photo of Emma Bessant.Emma began working at SWB as a domestic, before progressing to become to a band 7 sister over the course of a few years. She has recently taken over as senior sister on a struggling ward, bringing staff together with improved standards and morale and has improved the ward for colleagues and patients. Emma is described as always have a smile on her face, which can brighten up anyone’s shift. She is well respected and leads perfectly by example, the impact she has had in such a short amount of time is immeasurable.   



Patients Choice Award: Ophthalmology Ward
Compassionate, kind, professional  

This is a group photo of the ophthalmology team at City Hospital. There are 13 people in the photo, Row 1 has three people, whilst row 2 has 10 people pictured.The Ophthalmology Ward team at City Hospital were nominated by the family of a patient. They stated: “On the 31st of May 2023 our husband, dad and grandad presented at eye accident and emergency with what we presumed at the time was an infection. He was seen by one of the surgical team that felt he had an infection, but she wanted to take advice from a senior doctor. The doctor returned with what dad felt was the worst possible news, he needed to be admitted. As soon as we arrived on the ward at around 8pm the team were welcoming and friendly. They explained dad needed eye drops every hour. At this point he was exhausted; he hadn’t slept the previous night at all, but the team did all they could to make him as comfortable as possible. Once he had seen the doctor the next day his plan was to continue on the eye drops every hour. The nursing team were attentive with his medication but also tried to lift his spirts though his exhaustion. Nothing was ever too much for us or dad during his admission and they celebrated the wins when he started to improve and when his drops were reduced allowing him to get a few hours’ sleep. They made his room as dark and comfortable as possible. Dad was discharged home following a six day stay and has continued to receive exceptional care as an outpatient. We are truly thankful for the team on the eye ward for everything they did for dad, and we are quite sure that they saved his vision. We can’t express what this means to us as a family.” 


Partnerships with the Community Award: Angela Arnold AND Jayne Salter Scott with the Youth Space
Jayne Salter-Scott and the Youth Forum 

Energetic, Ambitious and Passionate  

Jayne has been instrumental in gaining traction to implement and gain membership of SWB Youth Forum, offering the young people who attend an approachable, friendly space and encouraging them to be participants in various activities each month. She encourages them to set their own agenda and even lead meetings. The young people who attend each month have shown great commitment to the Trust by attending monthly for three hours each time and are assisting us to think about how young people, inclusive of those with disabilities, experience our services. They are insightful and brave, never shying away from telling us how it is in a respectful and compassionate manner. The success of the forum has led to organisations in the region approaching us to This is an image with two photos. One photo shows Angela Arnold. The second image shows a group of young people lined up in the courtyard garden at Sandwell Hospital. establish how we have created such enthusiasm for the Youth Forum; this is testament to the Youth Forum members’ ambition to make a difference and Jayne’s ability to walk alongside them as they co-design a forum they want to be part of.  

Angela Arnold

Selfless, Women-centred, phenomenal 

Angela has single-handedly set up a substance misuse service within maternity services for SWB women, linking in with other services both internal and external to streamline care. Angela will case load these women, going above and beyond to help them maintain engagement with all services to improve outcomes for the women and babies. She accompanies them to antenatal clinic appointments for support, as well as delivering a training session to staff each month regarding substance misuse and pregnancy. Angela is women focused and so empowering to some of our most vulnerable women and she goes about it with no recognition for her achievements. She is always there to offer advice, support and management planning.