Excellence Awards 2023 Winners

An awards event was held on Thursday, March 16 to celebrate the achievements of some of the amazing colleagues, volunteers, and fundraisers, for Kettering and Northampton general hospitals.
Excellence Awards 2023; NHS colleagues, volunteers and fundraisers who have gone the extra mile receive awards
The Excellence Awards 2023 received more than 450 nominations across 15 categories and were organised by the University Hospitals of Northamptonshire NHS Group – the organisation which runs both hospitals.
Winners included a healthcare assistant whose outstanding dedication to her duty made a patient feel ‘comfortable and loved’ at end-of-life, two health care assistants who have provided valuable support for colleagues at difficult times in their lives, and a healthcare assistant who went out of her way to make sure a homeless man had a new set of clothes to help him leave hospital.
Others who went the extra mile included some of our dedicated volunteers, a team that help prevent patient falls, a team that promotes equality and diversity, and a man whose work helped reduce a hospital’s carbon emissions by hundreds of tonnes.
The event itself was held at Hanger One, the Aviator Hotel, Sywell Aerodrome, with awards presented by Trust Executives. The event was compered by Tom Percival and Annabel Amos from BBC Radio Northampton.
UHN Interim Group Chief Executive, Deborah Needham, said: Our annual Excellence Awards are one of the most important dates in our calendar and we were delighted celebrate the achievements of our colleagues.
“It has been another very busy and challenging year for our hospitals and these awards give us a chance to acknowledge the dedication and commitment of our staff, volunteers, and fundraisers, and to celebrate all that we have achieved together.
“I want to congratulate everyone who was nominated, who was shortlisted, and who have won awards.
“Our judging panel had some very difficult decisions to make but we clearly have some very worthy winners who have done so much for patients, their families and carers, and for their own colleagues.”

Patient Experience Award

Winner - Louise Woodford, Healthcare Assistant, was nominated by the family of a patient who was at end of life. Part of her nomination reads.
“Louise couldn’t have done enough to make my mum feel comfortable and loved. She spoke to her with respect and a truly caring voice, nothing was too much trouble. She cared for my mum in a way that touched my heart. Louise seemed to spread her magic to everyone, she always gave 100% to her patients.”

Excellence in Collaboration and Partnership Award

Winner – The Allied Health Professionals Conference Planning Team - Part of their nomination reads.
“The inaugural AHP group conference was held in 2022 to showcase the excellence in care the professions across the group bring to the two hospitals. The long-lasting impact ensured that our AHPs felt respected, valued, and engaged, and are exploring longer term opportunities to work together to further deliver excellence in our care to our patients across the county.”

Sustainability Champion Award

Winner – Paul Slater, Consultant Anaesthetist. Part of his nomination reads.
“Paul has been a huge driving force behind the green actions of the anaesthetic department. As a result, the hospital exceeded national and regional targets for the reduction of desflurane (an anaesthetic gas) and was recognised locally as an example of best practice. This resulted in a carbon and financial saving of hundreds of tonnes of CO2 and tens of thousands of pounds every year.”

Supporting Staff Wellbeing Award

Winner - Healthcare Assistant Pastoral Support (NGH) - Part of their nomination reads.
“Amy (Taylor) and Sarah’s (Wooley) invaluable roles were created to support the retention of our healthcare support workers. Collectively, they have supported colleagues with personal distressing circumstances (mental illness, homelessness, and other complex situations), becoming advocates for colleagues to voice their concerns, taking courage to speak up to staff when they have witnessed poor behaviours, and escalated situations they have been unable to solve.”

Patient Safety Award

Winner – Falls Prevention Teams at KGH and NGH - Part of their nomination reads.
“The teams show courage and accountability, ensure ward staff are trained and follow procedures to prevent falls. They respectfully listen to staff views and opinions through their monthly meetings and use their expert knowledge and skills to show courage in learning from cases.”

Excellence in Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion Award

Winner – Claire Knibb (KGH) Medical Directorate Project Manager. Part of her nomination reads.
“Claire is passionate and selfless when promoting Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion at KGH and promoting Compassionism. Always going the extra mile to go on ward tours, listening to the challenges of doctors and dealing with the pressures of the NHS. Claire is an amazing colleague, deeply passionate about everything KGH stands for.”
Winner - Andre Gore (NGH) Pathway Redesign Lead. Part of his nomination reads.
“Andre is a truly excellent ambassador of Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion. Andre has created a safe space for colleagues and patients to raise EDI concerns and has helped other teams and departments become more inclusive. “

Inspirational Individual Clinical Award

Winner (KGH) – Zoe Russell, Healthcare Assistant. Part of her nomination reads.
“A patient of no fixed abode attended the eye department after arriving very unkempt. Zoe took it upon herself to purchase some new, clean clothes for the patient to wear upon leaving hospital. Zoe went above and beyond the duties of a healthcare assistant to ensure this man was well looked after. Zoe is inspirational based upon this pure act of human kindness.”
Winner (NGH) Sarah Thorogood Student Nursing Associate. Part of her nomination reads.
“Sarah is a strong advocate of individualised care and has shown amazing compassion towards patients with learning difficulties and brain injuries. Sarah purchases nice toiletries for patients on the ward, and researched and obtained inflatable hair wash bowls, so bed bound patients could have their hair washed. Sarah is supportive, shows kindness, empathy and compassion to all.”

Inspirational Volunteer of the Year Award

Winner – (KGH) – Shannon Hawthorn, Volunteer. Part of her nomination reads.
“Shannon embodies all we could hope a volunteer would offer – her enthusiasm, her commitment, and her willingness to try. She has become an invaluable member of the volunteer team; reliable and dependable, she never misses a shift.”

Inspirational Volunteer of the Year Award

Winner – (NGH) - Alan Twiselton, Volunteer. Part of his nomination reads.
“Alan is the epitome of what a volunteer is, caring, open, honest, helpful, empathetic and genuine. He always puts the patient at the heart of everything he does and is a ray of sunshine. Alan goes above and beyond on every shift, striving to make things better for others.”

Fundraiser of the Year Award

Winner (KGH – Michelle Clark, Fundraiser. Part of her nomination reads.
“Michelle is very creative with the wonderfully knitted donations of baby clothes, having taken it upon herself to beautifully package them and sell them. Michelle’s tireless enthusiasm raised over an incredible £4,300 towards the Twinkling Stars appeal for new maternity bereavement facilities at KGH.”
Winner (NGH) – Mat Wright, Fundraiser. Part of his nomination reads.
“Mat’s relationship with the charity started with his family donating a TV in memory of his father, as a thank you for the great care he received. From sharing our social media posts, to fundraising and actively taking part in our initiatives - Mat has also taken part in Step into January fitness challenge, completing 10,000 steps a day raising over £850 for Allebone Ward, where he now works.”

Inspirational Team Award Non-Clinical

Winner (KGH) – Kenyans in Kettering
“Joining KGH, it was hard for me to cope both at work and home. Encountering diverse cultures, a new working environment and having difficulty expressing myself - English is not my first language. It took a toll on me. Whenever I met with these guys, we would share a meal, talk, and share what each of us was facing and I felt I was not alone anymore. As new cohorts came into KGH, we formed a group called Kenyans in Kettering, whose focus is to assist any international nurse that comes from Kenya to feel at home in Kettering.”
Winner (NGH) – Medicine and Urgent Care Division Rota Co-ordination Team. Part of their nomination reads.
“This team supports with the co-ordination and day-to-day management of the staffing rotas of over 110 junior doctors. They have worked tirelessly, endeavouring to provide support to ensure that the right number of doctors are present on the medical wards and in the emergency department and arrange extra cover in times of high patient acuity to make sure our patients are safe and have high standards of care. The division consider the team to be a ‘hidden hero’.”

Research and Innovation Award

Winner (KGH) – Respiratory Home Oxygen Virtual Award. Part of their nomination reads.
“In the first 3 months of 2021, 147 patients were successfully discharged early to the COVID virtual ward. This significantly relieved the pressure on hospital bed capacity. This was a unique model which our oxygen team developed for the first time in an NHS setting. The results were published in a major journal and formed the basis of the oxygen virtual ward for respiratory.”
Winner (NGH) – Emily Lambert, Lead Nurse Pathway to Excellence. Part of her nomination reads.
“Emily is a trailblazer in research. She has led on setting up the Evidence Based Practice course for the Group, to enable nurses, midwives and AHPs to start their research journeys. She has supported applications to regional Clinical Academic Programmes and been able to secure additional funding for NGH, to support building research capacity.”

Inspirational Individual Non-Clinical Award

Winner (KGH) - Claire Knibb, Medical Directorate Project Manager. Part of her nomination reads.
“Claire is absolutely someone who gets things done. She has led on many culture change initiatives…all of which have been based on compassion for others, integrity and reliability, openness, honesty and respect for all she works with. She embraces our Trust’s diversity, ensuring that EVERYONE feels included and part of the wider hospital community.”
Winner (NGH) – Sarah Kinsella, HR Business Partner. Part of her nomination reads.
“Sarah has been heavily involved in a piece of work to develop a new policy for colleagues who are looking to take leave to start a family. She has driven changes that will provide colleagues with more support during challenging times and has worked to provide support above and beyond what most of the NHS, or many other employers provide.”

Dedicated to Development, Learning and Progression Award

Winner (KGH) – Rebecca Smith, Knowledge Services Manager. Part of her nomination reads.
Rebecca promotes the library and our services to all when she can and has raised our profile significantly. She has transformed the tired space we had into somewhere vibrant and inviting, with the user at the heart of the space. She did this on a tiny budget and sometimes used her own resources to get the desired results.”
Winner (NGH) – Laura Sheehan, Macmillan Health and Wellbeing Co-ordinator. Part of her nomination reads.
“Laura has developed a successful, growing YouTube channel for people affected by cancer in which she created and manages the content. Because of her passion for improving patient experience, the content is relevant and patient focused.”


Inspiration Team Clinical Award

Winner (KGH) – Breast Service Team. Part of their nomination reads.
“From the receptionists who make cups of tea for patients, to clinic nurses and health care assistants reassuring each patient, to the specialist nurses who support those with a breast cancer diagnosis, and the admin staff who make the appointments in the first place, this team is exceptional! Through COVID uncertainty, sickness, and other challenges, the team have pulled together and worked to care for patients holistically.”
Winner (NGH) – Night Practitioner Team. Part of their nomination reads.
“Responsible for the clinical safety and safe nurse staffing of the whole hospital between the hours of 19.00 to 07.30, the team are highly skilled clinical nurses who support the ward teams to provide safe care at times when there is limited resource. They are flexible and resilient and always remain positive and professional. Most NGH staff will be completely unaware of their contribution to the safety of staff and patients at night, as they do it seamlessly.”

Lifetime Achievement Award

Winner – Alan Burns – Chairman Kettering and Northampton General Hospitals.  Part of his nomination reads.
“Through many years of service to the NHS, Alan has used his influence, knowledge, expertise, and passion, to advise and influence national policy through deep relationships with local communities and health and social care leaders. Combined with this, Alan has brought about local and national change and improvement to a range of health and social care systems by influencing national opinion, policy, and direction.”
The Excellence Awards 2023 event was sponsored by Northamptonshire Health Charity which supports KGH, NGH and Northamptonshire Healthcare Foundation Trust – and in turn by a number of local companies who made donations or offered their services at reduced cost including Gem Celebrations, Verse One, VIP Video Inn Production, RLS Print and Design, and Alpine Carpet Warehouse. We thank them all.