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Excellence Awards for amazing individuals and teams who helped us deliver great care during the COVID-19 pandemic

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The compassionate, caring and innovative efforts of individuals and teams at Kettering and Northampton general hospitals were celebrated last night (Thursday, November 25). Both hospitals held virtual Excellence Awards ceremonies to mark the achievements of staff after a year of coping with the global pandemic.
Patients and carers joined hospital staff in nominating teams and individuals for the awards across a wide variety of categories.
University Hospitals of Northamptonshire Group Chief Executive Simon Weldon said: “After the most difficult year in the NHS’s history I was extremely proud to mark the achievements of our individuals, teams and volunteers who have served their local communities so well.
“The nominations we received demonstrate so many examples of the extraordinary dedication, compassion, and commitment that go into the care and support we provide.
“Picking winners was incredibly difficult and I would like to thank everyone who was nominated and shortlisted as well as the winners themselves who should be very proud of their achievements.”
Among Kettering General Hospital’s 11 winners were the A&E team, a lead nurse who supported scores of COVID patients and their families, and a midwife who supported an anxious mum during pregnancy, who had lost a son in an earlier pregnancy.
Kettering’s Hospital Chief Executive Deborah Needham said: “I am proud and humbled at the strength and depth of the amazing nominations that we received for this year’s awards.
“So many of our staff and volunteers have worked so hard and unsparingly to support their local communities, and each other. It was a very emotional awards night.”
Among Northampton General’s 12 winners were an audiology team member whose outstanding support may have saved a 16-year-old’s hearing, a doctor whose extra tests found and treated a cancer, and teams and individuals who have gone beyond the call of duty to support patients and colleagues during the pandemic.
Northampton Hospital Chief Executive, Heidi Smoult, said: “The last year has been extremely difficult for everyone, and I am very proud of the commitment and dedication of all our hospital teams throughout these challenges.
“Staff and volunteers have provided unrelenting support for patients and their families, and for each other, through a period of extremely challenging pressures, tragedy, and grief.
“Our awards cannot do full justice to all of those involved in our hospitals’ response but they can highlight some of the many great examples of those who have gone above and beyond in so many different ways. I am honoured to be the Hospital CEO and to work alongside these exceptional colleagues.”
The winners will all receive trophies and their achievements will be celebrated across the two Trusts.
The award categories and winners at Kettering General Hospital were:

Caring through COVID individual award

Winner: Sister Julie Danns, Lead Nurse for Home Oxygen

For working long hours throughout the pandemic to support her patients – many of whom were suffering from COVID. Hard-working, caring and passionate she always puts others before herself and her patients were always at the forefront of her mind. A colleague nomination read: “Her dedication to helping patients through this pandemic has been phenomenal, she is a thoroughly dedicated nurse who has made a difference to the lives of many patients and deserves recognition.” Julie helped patients of all ages, including the dying, and supported their relatives.

Caring through COVID team award

Winner: The Emergency Department (A&E)

For providing excellent care and support for patients and relatives during the pandemic. Very busy, adapting to ever changing COVID guidance, incredible team work, coping with very significant demand pressure, and ensuring patients felt safe in their care. A fabulous team.

Patient experience award

Winner: Midwife Michelle Paladino  

For the way she supported and reassured a mum during her pregnancy – a mum who had previously lost her son during an earlier pregnancy and hence was extremely anxious. This included weekly visits and phone calls. Her nominator said: “I wouldn’t have gotten through this pregnancy without Michelle. She has just been amazing.”

Respect, support and inclusion award

Winner: Sreejith Nair, Clinical Skills and Simulation Trainer

Also a Freedom to Speak Up Champion, Race Ethnicity and Cultural Heritage (REACH) Co-Chair and Staff Governor, who is always willing to give that extra mile to his colleagues and definitely have made a big difference in the well-being of the staff.

Research and innovation award

Winner: Dr Mohammed El-Din, Associate Specialist Cardiology

For setting up an innovative post Myocardial Infarction Clinic over the past year. A service which has meant patients who have had heart attacks are quickly followed up and seen by a dedicated team who check on their progress, listen to their concerns, and support them with their all-important medications.

Volunteer of the year award

Winner: We Care Volunteers

These individuals undertook varying roles during all of the phases of the pandemic. They unloaded lorries with more than 300,000 items donated into the Trust, and distributed them, alongside many meals, in a seven-day a week service. They ran the #We Care Cafe so that our exhausted colleagues could have a welcome break. They were made up of members of the local community and members of staff supporting their colleagues.

Inspirational colleague award

Winner: Phillip Musiiwa, Sonographer

The most helpful, kind and consistent colleague you could ever wish to work with. He has a zen-like calmness, unerring professionalism and will always do his best to help and accommodate patients at short notice. He takes everything in his stride and doesn't even expect thanks. He recently said to me, "If we are not here to do our best to help people, then why are we here?"

Best use of charitable funds award

Winner: Karen Danns, Matron for Haematology and Oncology

For getting Plum Pumps – devices that enable chemotherapy patients to two streams of medication simultaneously – a move which has enhanced safety and is the gold standard for chemotherapy care.

Team of the year award

Winner: The Staff Covid Testing Team

The staff swabbing team go above and beyond every day to ensure staff, their family members and patients are swabbed quickly, efficiently and with care, Because of this team KGH is able to provide a gold standard service to staff ensuring they can be tested immediately and get their results back within 24 hours - truly unparalleled service.

Unsung hero non-clinical award

Winner: Wendy Height, Administrator

Who found an elderly gentleman who was distressed and confused and had been separated from his wife. She took the time out to keep him safe and find those who had treated him and his family.

Unsung hero clinical award

Winner: Lauren Johnson, Staff Nurse

Was nominated by a patient who she looked after for over two days and who witnessed her care of other patients. “There are actually no words to describe how amazing this nurse is but I will try my best. She has the whole package - showing compassion, enthusiasm, care, understanding, respect, calmness, dedication the list could go on and on.”

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