Star Awards 2020

The Star Awards 2020 recognises the hard work and dedication of colleagues’ right across our Trust this year.

The ceremony was a digital event, which could be viewed by staff in their work areas and homes and was hosted by ITV weatherman Des Coleman, who is also a former Eastenders star.

This year we received the largest number of nominations in the history of the Star Awards – over 700. Nominations included acts of kindness and stories of overcoming hurdles to provide outstanding leadership. Each nomination had a common thread – our organisation has some remarkable people working here.

Congratulations to everybody that was shortlisted and to all of our winners. Their dedication and hard work make our Trust a special


  • 2020 vision prize for Integrated Care Pioneer of the Year – Discharge Enablement Team/Palliative Care Service
  • Award for Equality and Diversity Champion – Alison Byrne
  • Digital Leader of the Year – Joanne Bryer
  • Distinguished Service Award – Nick Sherwood
  • Excellence in Education Prize – Clair Millard
  • Excellence in Research Prize – Research and Development Team
  • Fundraiser of the Year – Nick Makwana
  • Learner of the Year – Max Newbould
  • New Leader – Maria Atkinson (Joint Winner) Amirah Sheikh (Joint winner)
  • Patient Safety Award – Learning from Deaths Committee
  • Prize for Innovation – Junior Doctors’ Wellbeing Hub/Sanctuary
  • The Green Award (sponsored by Tusker) – Alcohol Care Team
  • Volunteer of the Year – Kamal (Kay) Deep
  • Clinical Team of the Year (Adults) – Palliative Care Team
  • Clinical Team of the Year (Children) – Neonatal Unit
  • Non-Clinical Team of the Year (sponsored by Engie) – Portering Team
  • Employee of the Year – Edward Fogden
  • Quality of Care Award – Gynaecology team
  • Chairman’s Award for Notable Contribution to the Local Health and Social Care System – Imran Zaman
  • Local Primary Care Award for the Most Valued Service in the Trust – Community COVID-19 Testing Team

Meet the finalists (2020)

The Star Awards 2020  is our very own event where we recognise the teams and individuals in our #SWBfamily. The event was held virtually on 27 November. Below is an in depth look at the finalists.

Non-Clinical Team of the Year

Portering team: The team consists of 80 porters plus additional bank porters. Without doubt the team’s greatest achievement this year has been how they all embraced the implementation of our electronic patient record, Unity. All the porters have welcomed the change, which is a credit to the entire team and Trust as a whole.

Procurement PPE team: When COVID-19 hit, the procurement team was re-organised to ensure everyone was 100 per cent focused on PPE. They were also well supported by a number of other colleagues and teams including volunteers who worked as PPE wardens. The team’s greatest achievement was ensuring the Trust never ran out of PPE. There was a lot of hard work but they always managed to find solutions so that colleagues were protected.

Informatics: Over the last two years there have been a number of projects the informatics department have successfully completed including the implementation of Unity, our electronic patient record, rolling out new equipment across the Trust, introducing a 24/7 IT service desk, implementing free WiFi across the organisation, creating a fast and stable network for both office and home working and introducing WebEx across the Trust.

Clinical Team of the Year – Children

Paediatric diabetic team: The paediatric diabetes service looks after children and young people (CYP) with diabetes mellitus at City and Sandwell hospitals. The service receives Best Practise tariff by meeting national standards. In the last published National Paediatric Diabetes Audit, 94.8 per cent of Sandwell and 92.9 per cent of City children with diabetes received all seven key health checks compared to 55.2 per cent nationally.

Looked after children’s team: The looked after children’s team have continued to work in partnership with school nursing and health visiting services who have contributed to ensuring CYP’s health and wellbeing are monitored and supported and they exceeded the national target of health assessment completion with 88 per cent of CYP having their annual/bi-annual health assessment.

Neonatal unit: Thinking about the last 12 months, the neonatal team cite the extension and refurbishment of the unit as a great success. Everything was revamped from the floor to the ceiling to create a purpose-built high dependency unit for our most poorly babies. There now is plenty of room between the six cots to care for the babies, as well for their parents to spend time with them without feeling cramped and claustrophobic.

Clinical Team of the Year – Adults

ICU physiotherapy team: The ICU physiotherapy team provides evidence based, specialist individualised rehabilitation programmes, treatment and advice regarding options of respiratory care and tracheostomy and ventilation weaning for critically ill patients. As an integral part of the ICU multidisciplinary team, they support collaborative patient management planning. Engaging with patients and developing effective therapeutic relationships guided by the ‘What Matters to You’ principles is key to the team facilitating best patient outcome, both physically and psychologically.

Respiratory physiology team: Reflecting on the past year, the team of 16 cite playing a leading role in setting up and delivering the COVID-19 response, acute CPAP/NIV service on the Respiratory Hub, almost overnight, as part of a multidisciplinary team and being able to deliver a very high quality of care to severely and critically ill patients. In the coming year the team look forward to building on the successes of the COVID-19 response service and potentially developing this into a permanent multi-disciplinary acute NIV service.

Palliative care team: There are 58 staff in the palliative care team. Opening Leasowes Intermediate Care Centre to 20 beds in response to COVID-19 is mentioned as one of the team’s greatest achievements of the past year. Furthermore they have continued working with the care homes team to improve end of life care and enabled the discharge enablement team to support end of life patients getting out of hospital to the place they want to die.

Employee of the Year

Edward Fogden, consultant gastroenterologist: Dr Edward (Ed) Fogden has demonstrated huge commitment to the trust during the last year and in particular during recent times with the COVID-19 pandemic. As well as continuing his work in gastroenterology, he has regularly and willingly supported the acute take, sourced resources to distribute and support colleagues, been involved in management/protocols and has tirelessly worked to support teams.

Eoin Dore, junior doctor: Dr Eoin Dore is the first ever junior doctor to be shortlisted for this award. He graduated from UCL in 2014 with MBBS BSc Hons in physics. He worked as an F1 and F2 in Chichester and London, extending his foundation training after four knee surgeries following a rugby injury. He was twice awarded a certificate of merit by South Thames Foundation School.

Lynne Cartmell, domestic supervisor: Lynne has worked at the trust for 25 years and for the last nine years has worked nights at City Hospital. She has worked extremely hard during the COVID19 pandemic outbreak. People like Lynne often go unrecognised as they go about their work with quiet determination and they don’t like to make a fuss or draw any attention themselves. Lynne is always wearing a smile and never complains.

Soraya Roberts ward sister: Soraya qualified as a nurse in 2015. In the past 12 months she has supported her whole team when they have had to move wards twice. She has also offered support to staff when they had to be redeployed to areas they hadn’t worked in previously, despite being nervous and apprehensive about her own move to an acute medical ward without any acute experience.

Patient Safety Award

Learning from deaths committee: The Learning from Deaths Committee is a strategic overview group involving multi-professional staff and is responsible for providing assurance to the Trust Board that mortality is proactively monitored, reviewed, investigated and; drives improvements within the Trust.

Sheilah Kamupira, neonatal consultant, neonatal lead for chronic lung disease, lead for postnatal ward and transitional care, neonatal mortality lead, patient safety champion and rota coordinator: Sheilah has been part of the SWB family since November 2016. Thinking of the last 12 months Sheilah has had many successes including being the leader of  quality improvements projects for the neonatal unit and post-natal ward with an aim to improve patient care and safety.

Russell Stephenson, eye clinic liaison officer: Russell has worked at Birmingham Midland and Eye Clinic for over five years and volunteered for two years with one of his greatest achievements over the last 12 months being able to support over 1,000 patients offering information, advice and guidance and processing all certificates of vision impairment.

Critical care outreach team: The critical care outreach team provide 24 hour cover, seven days a week with the aim to avert critical care admissions, enable discharge and share critical care skills and knowledge.

Excellence in Research Prize

Karim Raza, professor of clinical rheumatology: Karim has been an honorary consultant at SWB since 2004. He is delighted that Birmingham has been awarded a major Centre of Excellence grant in inflammatory arthritis, bringing together the Universities of Birmingham, Glasgow, Newcastle and Oxford to further our understanding of rheumatoid arthritis and other inflammatory arthritides. He is the Birmingham lead for the centre.

Research Midwives: A research midwife may not be something that you are entirely familiar with, but the part they play within our workplace is crucial. The role of a research midwife can be varied and includes procuring studies, recruiting and gaining consent, collecting and analysing data, and publicising results.

Research and development team: The team is 46 strong and over the last 12 months has shown real resilience. They had to quickly respond to the challenges of COVID-19 which included many of their team being redeployed to critical care.  The existing portfolio of studies were also suspended in order to be able to open required COVID-19 studies with much shorter turnaround times and providing seven day service for recruitment to these studies.

2020 Vision Prize for Integrated Care Pioneer of the Year

Discharge enablement team/palliative care service: The last year has seen many successes for this team including the opening of 20 beds at Leasowes Intermediate Care Centre in response to COVID-19, appointing two new palliative care consultants, working with the care homes team to improve end of life care, supporting end of life patients getting out of hospital to the place they want to die and developing comfort care packs for relatives.

Advanced clinical practitioners/admission avoidance team: Over the last 12 months the team has grown with the biggest achievement being in advanced clinical practitioner investment. The out of hours element of the community admission avoidance teams are now co-located in one base offering greater sharing of knowledge and skills.

Medicine therapy team: The team provides inpatient therapy assessments at City and Sandwell Hospital, to patients across all of the elderly care, gastro/haematology wards, and the respiratory hub. They assess patients who may present with falls, reduced mobility and balance, those struggling at home with activities of daily living, cognitive impairments and respiratory problems requiring chest physiotherapy.

Local Primary Care Award for the Most Valued Service in the Trust

Admission avoidance team: The out-of-hours element of the community admission avoidance teams are now co-located in one base offering greater sharing of knowledge and skills. Therefore with their clinical expertise the team, among other things, have been able to avoid unnecessary admissions for patients with COVID-19 symptoms or recovering from the virus.

Community COVID-19 testing team: The community swabbing service was created within 24 hours of the request being made as part of the Trust’s response to support patients, colleagues and their families during the pandemic. The team has carried out over 7,641 tests for SWB colleagues, their household members and patients requiring a planned procedure at one of our hospital sites including BMEC and community dentistry.

Special Award – International Year of the Nurse and Midwife

Charanjit (Chan) Sangha, matron, community nursing services: Charanjit (Chan) started working in the NHS in 1992 and qualified as a registered nurse in 2003. She has been providing excellent standards of care to housebound patients during the COVID-19 pandemic and has remained strong, calm and resilient for her colleagues. This in turn has maintained excellent levels and standards of care to our vulnerable, isolated and lonely patients during these challenging times.

Rebecca O’Dwyer, lead nurse and joint clinical lead for critical care services/deputy group director of nursing, surgical services: Rebecca started nursing in March 1990 and has worked at SWB since November 1996. She is a phenomenal nurse leader who has led her team to a CQC outstanding rating and Clinical Team of the Year at the Star Awards 2019. She has successfully led the team through the first surge of the COVID-19 pandemic with professionalism and humility and has always had the welfare of the patients and colleagues foremost in her mind.

Jennifer Cadwallader-Hunt, advanced neonatal nurse practitioner: Jennifer has been nursing for 21 years, 17 of those as a neonatal nurse and has been with the SWB family for 12 years. She played a crucial role in moving an active neonatal unit onto a ward in the main hospital when it was being refurbished ensuring noise levels of groundwork’s construction did not impact too heavily on the development of our tiny inpatients. A very short period after moving she was also instrumental in Unity go-live, our electronic patient record system. As well as managing the successful move back to the newly refurbished neonatal unit.

Joanne Tonks, osteoporosis practitioner nurse: Joanne is currently redeployed as lead nurse for swabbing and PPE team. She has been part of the SWB family for 30 years. She describes stepping out of her comfort zone (since March) to undertake a role that is so far removed from her osteoporosis role, perhaps ultimately as her greatest achievement this year.

Quality of Care Award

The Gynaecology team: Gynaecology is made up of approximately 100 staff. They have two main specialities; general gynaecology and gynaecology oncology. Over the past 12 months their main achievements have been digital, firstly with the response to the introduction of Unity, our electronic patient record, and the hard work of the teams in continuing to improve compliance in maintaining the safety plan.

Mr Susnata China, consultant gynaecologist, unit lead for gynaecological cancer: Mr China joined the SWB family in 2018. He has been a consultant gynaecologist for more than 12 years. His successes over the last 12 months include serving and continuing with full activity and treatment of several women  in spite of the pandemic.

Karen Walker, HCA: Karen has been recognised by her patients on Lyndon 4 as brilliant nurse. She takes great pride in her job and also makes a real effort to keep family members up-to-date with patient recovery, which is now more important than ever because of restrictions to visiting due to COVID-19.

Fundraiser of the Year

Krystal Whitehouse: Baby Callie Francine Whitehouse was born on the 1 June 2016 at City Hospital to mum Krystal and dad Matt Whitehouse at 38 weeks. But the joyful moment was shattered when the parents learnt that Callie had a very weak heartbeat. Sadly despite all of the efforts of the team in maternity, Callie passed away shortly after. In memory of the newborn, friends and family rallied together and began a fundraiser with money going to Your Trust Charity and within weeks this had topped £2,000.

Nick Makwana, consultant paediatrician and group director of women and child health: Dr Nick Makwana has been with our Trust for 13 years. Reflecting on the last 12 months he said one of his greatest achievements was completing a 12 hour dance-a-thon and raising £7,500 for charity.

Jenny Richards: In February 2018, Carl Richards was diagnosed with Stage 3 bowel cancer and during an operation to remove the cancer, things took a turn for the worse when he suddenly developed sepsis. He was cared for by medics in the critical care unit at Sandwell. As soon as he was fit and well, he couldn’t stop singing the praises of the team who saved his life, vowing to repay the kindness they showed him by raising money for the Trust’s charity. It was this promise that spurred his daughter Jenny on to start a crowd funding campaign which would go onto fufil her father’s wish. She raised £4,655 for critical care fund.

Award for Equality and Diversity Champion

Paul Rees, clinical specialist physiotherapist: Paul has been at our Trust since 2010 and has been in his current role since September last year. He has seen a number of successes over the last 12 months including his involvement in the formulation of an assessment and treatment pathway to support people with long term persistent pain, a condition which receives a significant amount of stigma.

Homeless patient pathway team:  The team work with a very diverse and complex homeless population that are experiencing addictions; alcohol and opiate dependencies, as well as physical and mental health conditions, across a variety of different nationalities and cultures. In 2019, of the 650 patients referred to the service, 94 per cent received interventions from the team.

Alison Byrne, specialist midwife: Alison provides holistic care, support and advice for women who have undergone Female Genital Mutilation (FGM). She has worked in the NHS for 33 years and this year she will have worked 27 years as a midwife, 18 of those as a specialist running the service.

The Green Award

Alcohol care team: The team have actively focused on green and environmental issues including recycling, the use of bikes and public transport, minimal waste, vegetarianism and reducing litter.

Immunology: Immunology is made up of a small team of nine based at City Hospital. The team’s link with  Green Impact and making sure everyone in the team is aware of the recycling opportunities as well as looking after the environment is cited as one of their many achievements this year.

Cancer services: The team have pulled together to achieve the Green Impact silver award over the past 12 months and are constantly learning about how to make our work environment a little more earth-friendly. The team’s tag line is “reduce, reuse, recycle” for going green. They are now environmentally conscious, not only in the office but at home, making small lifestyle changes such as growing vegetables and sharing the crops.

Learner of the Year

Max Newbould, simulation technician: Max joined our workplace in April 2019 and has achieved plenty over the last 12 months. He has supported the development of the simulation centre which opened in May 2019 and has also supported the development of the new simulation space on the ward D20 for undergraduate teaching (due to COVID).

Rachael Gallagher secretary/admin assistant, estates: Rachael has been in our organisation for nearly 12 years. She was the first person in the Trust to complete the Business Administration Apprenticeship Level 3 at the new standard and gaining a distinction was a big achievement.

Monica Quinlan, uro-gynaecology clinical nurse practitioner/nurse cystoscopist: Monica qualified as a nurse in 2001. In the last 12 months she completed an MSc in Advanced Care Practice a milestone achieved after the sad passing of her husband. This year she has developed a Standard Operational Policy (SOP) that will allow our vulnerable patients using pessary management for their prolapse to have their pessary changed at home.

Distinguished Service Award

David Holden, maintenance assistant: David joined our Trust in 1980. His first role was in central stores where he worked for seven years, before becoming an electrical assistant in the estates team. After retiring five years ago, David continued to work a few days a week on the Bank helping out with the weekly fire testing, PAT testing, flushing the water systems and helping with essential safety checks within the Trust.

Nick Sherwood consultant, intensive care medicine and anaesthetics and clinical lead for intensive care and emergency preparedness:  Nick first worked here as a trainee in 1992 and always knew he wanted to be a consultant at SWB from then. He has been a consultant for 23 years and more recently has played a vital role in critical care during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Cherry Hutchinson, staff nurse: Cherry has done over 40 years in the NHS. She is a loyal and compassionate member of staff and goes the extra mile in everything she does, often staying behind after her shift has finished to ensure that her patients’ needs are met.

Digital Leader of the Year

Mark Whitehouse, head of patient access and planned care: His greatest achievement over the last 12 months is rolling out Visionable for virtual patient appointments through a difficult time for the Trust, whilst also improving the booking processes.

Joanne Bryer, digital midwife, maternity: Joanne has been with the Trust for 22 years. She qualified in 2001 and worked as a community midwife before taking up her current role in 2013 for the implementation of BadgerNet.

Rashid Abuelhassan, A&E middle grade doctor: Rashid has been working in our organisation for over 21 months. Over the last few months he managed to develop a portal used by all ED colleagues across our sites.

New Leader

Jim Morrisey acting theatre manager, BMEC: Jim has been at our workplace for six years, and in his current role for the last 14 months.

Anil Bhogal trust security manager: Anil started at our Trust in 2013 and has been the security manager since last October. Only twenty weeks into his role as manager, he led his team in the successful implementation of a full lock down of our three hospital sites (City, Sandwell and Rowley Regis), following Government Coronavirus guidelines.

Maria Atkinson, clinical director paediatrics: Maria joined the Trust in 2010 as a paediatric consultant and has worked in various management roles including college tutor, risk lead and child death lead.

Amirah Sheikh, service manager, community medicine/NHS graduate management trainee: Amirah has been on placement in our organisation for over a year establishing a c-card scheme and domiciliary care service, setting up community clinics across five sites, designing a STI photo-screening service and building relationships with community based partners.

Volunteer of the Year

Rachel Bassett: Rachel has been volunteering with the alcohol care team at City Hospital for just over 12 months.

Rachael Cooper: Rachael started volunteering for the Trust in the summer of 2018. She regularly volunteered two or three times a week for up to five hours at a time until early January of 2020.

Kamal (Kay) Deep:  Kay has been a volunteer at our Trust for three years. She first thought about volunteering when her mother was admitted with a fractured knee and knew then; she wanted to give back.

Prize for Innovation

Medicine and emergency care nursing team – mouth care matters: Mouth Care Matters is an initiative involving approximately 150 colleagues from healthcare assistants to matrons on D11 D26, Priory 4 and Newton 4.

Junior doctors’ wellbeing hub/sanctuary: An enthusiastic and creative team has emerged this year to spearhead wellbeing initiatives. While the remit of this particular team has been junior doctors, they have sought to expand the initiatives to reach all staff groups where possible. The aim has always been to enhance and promote a culture of compassion and connectedness within the Trust – where ordinary human needs are recognised and staff are empowered to deliver excellent care from the starting point of knowing that they themselves are cared for.

City ED pioneer champions: City ED has a huge multidisciplinary team with different ideas and innovations; so the team, led by Danielle Scott, Zoe Crookes and Annabel Bottrill were encouraged to come together to share their thoughts in order to make the department the very best. The aim was to have the very best for staff so that they are then able to provide excellent care to our patients.

Excellence in Education Prize

Clair Millard, specialist bowel screening practitioner: Clair passed away suddenly in September this year at the age of 36. She was the heart and soul of the bowel screening service, dedicating herself to her role which she had carried out for eight years.

Mohammed Yusuf Mian clinical and educational lead, ear nose and throat: Mohammed has been an ENT consultant since 1991, working in various trusts around the country. He joined SWB in December 2018 and became clinical lead in March 2019.

Maternity and neonatal education team: This is a relatively new team who have worked together to strive to the best they can for our SWB family and community. They ensure they attend risk meetings and follow themes and trends of concern which are then taken into the clinical area with education and support.

Advanced critical care practitioner team: The advanced critical care practioners and professional development nurses demonstrated an exceptional contribution to education by providing training days for the staff redeployed to critical care for the COVID-19 surge.