TWO receptionists at Wantage Community Hospital have been highly commended in ‘Exceptional People Awards’.

Sophie Delamore and Tessa Avenell were highly commended in the November round of the awards. The duo had received two nominations.

Podiatrist Sarah McBride praised them. She said: “Tessa and Sophie are so helpful for all the services delivering care at Wantage Community Hospital.

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“They ensure patients are well looked after, and communicate brilliantly between patients and different community services working there.

“They always have smiles on their faces and look after patients before and after appointments. They make our lives so much easier by checking on patients, ensuring they and we are okay and keeping us updated on patients’ needs.”

Oxford University Hospitals Jenna Larke, team lead for Vale Community Midwives who are based at Wantage Maternity Unit at Wantage Community Hospital, said: “The current reception team at Wantage Community Hospital have transformed the experience of attending appointments at Wantage, whilst also ensuring staff members are extremely well supported to carry out their own duties.

“They provide a welcoming and knowledgeable face for the hospital, going above and beyond for patients with extra needs, with everything from helping them with the parking machine or ensuring their transport is suitable to just having a chat.

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“Colleagues always feel well supported. No task is too big for the reception team and their knowledge of the day-to-day workings of the hospital is amazing.

“Patients constantly feel well cared for and happy with their welcoming, friendly, and caring attitude.

“We recently had a patient who was struggling post-birth. The reception team helped her and her baby into the building, ensuring she was comfortable in her seat whilst carrying her baby for her.

“They kept her company and informed the midwives that she looked like she needed some support quickly, helping the midwives to prioritise their workload to care for this woman.

“They made all the difference for this woman, for whom attending appointments could have been very overwhelming.”

Both Ms Delamore and Ms Avenell said they were ‘pleasantly surprised’ about being highly commended.

When speaking together to explain their role at the hospital, they said: “We look after the reception area at Wantage for the Outpatients department.

“However, we also guide patients who arrive for podiatry and maternity, due to our location, and support those departments if needed. 

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“We are the first point of contact for patients, and we maintain the PPE/fire alarms/resus/infection control/stationary stock/problem reporting and anything else that comes up at the site.”


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This story was written by Gee Harland. She joined the team in 2022 as a senior multimedia reporter.

Gee covers Abingdon, Didcot, Wallingford and Wantage.

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