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Trust honours hospital workers who go beyond the call of duty
AN incredible 11,000 staff and volunteers work across our county’s hospitals – the Churchill, John Radcliffe, Nuffield Ortho-paedic Centre and the Horton General in Banbury.
A handful of them have been nominated by their colleagues who want to share their appreciation of the people behind the scenes, and they were the stars at the second annual staff recognition awards run by the Oxford University Hospitals Trust.
The trust shortlisted candidates – hospital staff and volunteers and services based within the trust – for seven categories: compassion, excellence, improvement to service, leadership, partnership, volunteering and teamwork.
At an awards ceremony held last month in the Orangery at Blenheim Palace, Woodstock, the gold, silver and bronze awards were presented.
Today, in the third of our series on features, Emma Harrison finds out more about the staff and volunteers who were honoured in the leadership and volunteer categories.
Finalists in this category were:
- Ronald Watson, help desk, West Wing
- Elaine Blackie, Oxford Eye Hospital Clinical Trials Unit
- Cardiac Rehabilitation volunteers, Cardiac Rehabilitation, Horton
- Sandra Richards, Cytology
- Kenneth Richards, volunteer guide, John Radcliffe
GOLD AWARD WINNER
RESEARCH volunteer Elaine Blackie has been recognised for going the extra mile.
Ms Blackie, who helps out at the Oxford Eye Hospital Clinical Trials Unit was nominated by colleagues Alexina Fantato, Ross Downes and Anna Rudenko.
- Elaine Blackie receives her award from Andrew Stevens, director for planning and information
Mrs Fantato said: “The team all appreciate Elaine Blackie’s enthusiastic and professional approach to her role as volunteer research assistant in the Eye Hospital, which is supporting a very valuable study for the future management of the visually impaired.
“Elaine is dedicated, always going the extra mile to ensure a thoroughly good job is done.
“Elaine is always cheerful and approachable, especially empathic when working with our poorly sighted patients.
“It is very much thanks to Elaine that our recruitment to the research study is gathering pace towards a successful outcome.”
Ms Blackie also volunteers for the Oxfordshire Association for the Blind, manning their help desk in the Eye Hospital once a week to provide practical information for patients.
Mrs Fantato said: “Elaine is also doing voluntary work for the research department with recruiting patients into a sleep study, spending quality time going through questionnaires, showing compassion and commitment throughout.
“Nothing is too much trouble for Elaine. She is a pleasure to work with and adds real value to the team at the eye hospital.”
SILVER AWARD WINNER
RON Watson’s Wednesday mornings begin at 6.20am when he catches the first number 10 bus out of Blackbird Leys to the John Radcliffe Hospital.
The 76-year-old volunteers as a guide on the helpdesk at the John Radcliffe Hospital’s West Wing and has been a helper at the hospital since 1981.
It is his dedication that has seen him honoured with the silver award.
- Silver Award winner Ron Watson
Mr Watson said: “I was very pleased. It was a great honour, quite a surprise.
“I have been a volunteer since 1981. I have always been interested in hospital work. I find great satisfaction in helping people.”
Once Mr Watson has done his shift at the hospital he volunteers for the Samaritans at their base at Magdalen Road, East Oxford.
When he first started volunteering at the hospital he helped to look after patients in the evenings as a ward visitor. During the day he was an usher at Oxford Crown Court.
Mr Watson, who is also a former Butlins redcoat, said: “It is a question of guiding people, making them feel comfortable and simply pointing them in the right direction.”
He also dresses up as Father Christmas for the hospital, having previously been employed as a Santa at Oxford’s Selfridges.
Christ Church custodian Mr Watson, who is unmarried, was awarded an MBE by the Queen for services to Christ Church and the community in Oxford in 2000.
He was nominated for his hospital award by the voluntary services team.
The nomination read: “His dedication to his role as a volunteer is exemplary. He hardly ever misses a Wednesday and turns out in all weathers. We have known him to walk from his home in the snow. Ron has a wonderful way of dealing with patients, staff and visitors.
“He certainly puts patients and visitors at ease to make them feel less anxious about their visit.”
BRONZE AWARD WINNER
BIOMEDICAL scientist Sandra Richards received the bronze award for her work educating the public about the role of healthcare science.
- Sandra Richards collects her award
Ms Richards, who works in cellular pathology, was nominated by Sarah Holman of the Institute of Biomedical Science.
Ms Holman said: “Sandra consistently goes the extra mile to educate people about the role of healthcare science and the importance of screening.
“As well as giving a great deal of her free time to work as an NHS Healthcare Science Ambassador and encouraging young people into careers in science, Sandra does a great deal of outreach work around sexual health and screening.
“Sandra uses her outreach work to educate the public about cervical cancer, sexual health and the importance of screening programmes.
“One person Sandra encouraged to attend cervical screening was found to have invasive squamous cell carchinoma of the cervix which was then successfully treated with surgery.
“This potentially saved this women’s life and enabled her to retain her fertility and have sons.”
FINALISTS in this category were:
- Dr Sudhir Singh, clinical lead for medicine, Acute General Medicine
- Rebecca Black, consultant obstetrician, Women's Centre, John Radcliffe
- Sarah Kidd-May, divisional nurse, Musculoskeletal and Rehabilitation, Nuffield Orthopaedic
- Dr Angela Kannan, orthogeriatrician, Horton General Hospital
- Matt Holdaway, matron, Critical Care and Theatres
GOLD AWARD WINNER
SENIOR project nurse Sarah Kidd-May has been praised for her excellent leadership managing a team of about 300 nurses.
Ms Kidd-May, who has worked at the Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre for more than 30 years, received the gold award for her role as divisional nurse, musculoskeletal and rehabilitation, which she left in November.
- Sarah Kidd-May, winner of the Leadership section at the annual awards
Ms Kidd-May said: “I am honoured, privileged and humbled to be nominated. It means a huge amount. I am thrilled.
“I have always loved working at the Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre.
“The whole culture is very supportive. It is a fantastic place to work.”
Colleague Jo Lewis-Wood said: “Sarah is the most outstanding leader I have ever had the pleasure of working for.
“She is the ultimate professional as she treats everyone with respect and gives them support to perform their role successfully.”
Colleague Eniola Dada said: “She has supported me as clinical leader/ward sister and encourages you to use your initiative.
“She models the leadership style that listens that is inclusive and fosters team spirit which improves effectiveness and productivity.
“Sarah positively influences nursing and nurses at the Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre with her leadership helping us live the values of the trust.”
Ms Kidd-May plans to retire in February.
SILVER AWARD WINNER
MATT Holdaway won the silver award in recognition of the work he has done across the Critical Care Theatres and Anaesthetic Directorate.
Mr Holdaway is the matron for Critical Care and Theatres and was nominated by Amanda Middleton, general manager for Clinical Support Services.
- Matt Holdaway, fifth from left, and colleagues
She said: “Matt is always professional and always acts as an advocate for patients.
“He is always the first to challenge and question the team and makes us step back, reflect and put the patient first.
“Matt has been working at an increased level over the last year, going above and beyond and this I believe deserves to be recognised.
“He always has the patients at the centre of the work he does.
“He gets on well with all members of the team and adds sparkle and a sense of humour. Matt is a great advocate for nursing within the division and also the trust.”
BRONZE AWARD WINNER
CONSULTANT obstetrician Rebecca Black has been honoured as a “perfect role model.”
Ms Black, who works in the Women’s Centre at the John Radcliffe Hospital, was nominated by Professor Stephen Kennedy.
- Consultant obstetrician Rebecca Black
He said: “Rebecca Black excels in everything she does and always leads by example.
“She is a wonderful doctor, teacher and manager who is admired and respected by everyone.
“She is a perfect role model for trainees, particularly women.
“However Rebecca is a very humble and self-effacing person who does not seek praise or commendation.
“As a consultant obstetrician, Rebecca provides excellent, compassionate care and leads a cohesive team of clinicians.”
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