It’s been a bumper year for nominations in the NHS Forth Valley Staff Awards. A grand total of 560 were received, up by more than 20 per cent on last year and 2018 has seen a special Chairman’s Platinum Award to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the NHS.
The winner was Kathy O’Neill, General Manager for the Community Services Directorate. Kathy is described as quiet yet assertive in her approach to new ways of working, and is extremely successful at inspiring others to be curious and to test out new ideas.
Colleagues described Kathy as an incredibly supportive manager, consistent in her managerial approach and fair, honest and trustworthy. She puts the needs of the service first, ensuring patient care is never compromised. As well as being an inspiring leader, Kathy was praised for being an unsung hero who supports her staff and encourages professional development and succession planning. She has been a huge part of the many changes in NHS Forth Valley over the years she has worked here including the creation of Community Health Partnerships and, more recently, Health and Social Care Partnerships and Integration Joint Boards. On a personal level, she was applauded for a wide range of qualities including her ability to remain calm, positive and professional, her sense of humour, wisdom and courage to do things differently.
Nominees also wrote that Kathy is a health hero worthy of being acknowledged. Presenting the Award, NHS Forth Valley Chairman, Alex Linkston, said: “Kathy is an incredibly supportive manager and this is a fitting accolade to someone who has dedicated her career to NHS Forth Valley.”
The 2017 Winners Are
Outstanding Care Award
Winner: Linda Boyle, Community Staff Nurse, Bonnybridge Health Centre
One family member said: “This lady is a credit to the name nurse. Her care of my wife when diagnosed with cancer was second to none. She went above and beyond and would often be here after her shift had finished.” Another family member said Linda “always had an ear to listen and a compassionate, friendly demeanour which shows that she loves her job.”
Others said that simply knowing Linda was just a phone call away gave them peace of mind.
1st Runner Up: Intensive Care Unit, Forth Valley Royal Hospital
Nominees said the care had delivered was unbelievable and they were described as being “a truly special team of people, dedicated, effective, professional and caring.”
2nd Runner Up: Alison McBride, Senior Midwife/Team leader, Forth Valley Royal Hospital
Alison was described as being a hero and one nominee commented that the care she provided was something which would stay with her for the rest of her life.
Winner: Julie Macdonald, Senior Clinical Nurse, Cardiology
Julie designed a structured education programme, supervision and competency framework to allow nurse-led insertion of loop readers (also known as cardiac monitors). Patient implants have increased by 143% since the service became nurse-led.
Insertion is no longer carried out in theatres which has freed up valuable theatre time, reduced waiting times and length of stay. The approach has also been shared successfully with other NHS Boards
1st Runner Up: David MacKenzie Specialist Physiotherapist
Dementia Champion David’s idea, enthusiasm, perseverance and dedication to the introduction of red zimmer frames has seen an increase in mobility amongst patients. David was praised for having the courage to explore a new idea.
2nd Runner Up: Dr Joanne Mitchell, Emergency Doctor, Forth Valley Royal Hospital
To improve the care of trauma patients in the Emergency Department, Dr Mitchell created a new triage tool to help identify high risk patient groups with suspected major trauma. This is being considered for adoption by the South East of Scotland Trauma Network.
Winner: Caroline Harrower, Polmont Breastfeeding Group
Caroline, who received more than 50 individual nominations, was described as a ‘powerhouse’ for the incredible job she does to support women to breastfeed.
One Mum said: “Without Caroline my breastfeeding journey would have ended when my little boy was a few weeks old. Caroline sat with me even after the group finished and ensured she helped me latch my little boy on. Her empathy, time and approach left me feeling I could do this.”
Another commented: “Caroline is so passionate about mothers and babies and the care they receive. She is a truly genuine person who cares deeply for others.”
1st Runner Up: David Davies, Children’s Ward
David was described as an excellent example of what a volunteer can achieve and those who nominated him said that they hope he continues to volunteer for a long time as he is irreplaceable.
2nd Runner Up: Anne Adam, Day Medicine
Nominees praised Anne for being a fantastic volunteer who goes out of her way to make sure everybody is comfortable and provides endless cups of tea and coffee. Patients love to blether with her and she even came into work on her usual Wednesday even though it was her 80th birthday!
Winner: Dr Anna Barton, Doctor in Training, Cardiology
Dr Barton was praised was being an inspiration to junior and senior colleagues of all disciplines. One nurse described her as being ‘one of the best doctors she had worked with in 15 years of nursing’. Her colleagues said she was always aware of how nursing staff were coping and willingly stepped in to help with patients who required assistance. She was also described as “professional but with the most caring attitude to both patients and colleagues.” and “a true team player.” One nominee summed it up by pefectly by saying “It seems right in the 70th year of the NHS to celebrate a doctor in training who lives and models the values of the NHS so clearly.”
1st Runner Up: George Kerr, Principal Podiatrist, Community Services
George was described by those who nominated him as a supportive colleague for whom nothing is too much bother. He is always at the end of a phone for help and if it wasn’t for him the nail and electro surgery services would not run smoothly or have developed as much as they have locally.
2nd Runner Up: Douglas High, Senior Charge Nurse, Ward 11, Forth Valley Royal Hospital
Challenging weather in February 2018 saw Douglas walk from home for over two hours in deep snow to ensure he was at the hospital to support staff who made it to work. He also arranged for a friend with a 4 x 4 vehicle to collect local staff and was praised for bringing a breath of fresh air to the role of Senior Charge Nurse.
Top Team Award
Winner: Ward A11, Forth Valley Royal Hospital
Patients said they had “received the most amazing care from all staff in the ward and that nothing was too much trouble. Others described the team as “gems” who work closely with the dementia team to ensure the best possible care for patients with very complex needs. Evidence of strong leadership was highlighted in many of the nominations.
The team also received also an email from the First Minister for providing excellent patient-centred care. They had assisted a man who was very unwell and took him across the hospital everyday in a wheel chair to see his dying wife. They also supported them to have meals together when they were both were inpatients at different sides of the hospital. The patient’s family were so impressed they contacted the Scottish Government.
1st Runner Up: Day Medicine, Forth Valley Royal Hospital
A family who nominated the team for the care they provided to their father said: “Sadly Dad passed away in November 2017. He referred to his team as John’s Angels. They all made a fuss of him, were never too busy to talk to him and their nursing skills were second to none.”
2nd Runner Up: Ward B31, Forth Valley Royal Hospital
One nominee said: “I work in the care industry and know only too well what commitment to your job means and feel that the team in this case have got it right. Well done and thanks for caring.”
Unsung Hero Award
Winner: Dougie Smith, Nursing Assistant, Hope House (Bellsdyke Hospital)
Dougie was praised for his caring attitude towards patients and the support he provides to colleagues and new members of staff. One patient said: ‘I have been in hospital for l7 years and Dougie Smith is the most caring, approachable, friendly and genuinely nice staff member that has ever nursed me.” A colleague also praised Dougie for always remaining calm and collected, even during periods of intense emotion in what can be a busy and stressful environment. Others commented that he always knows exactly what to say and do to make patients smile and forget their worries for a while and that he has the ability to make all staff and patients feel safe.
1st Runner Up: Caroline Mooney, Domestic, Ward 1, Forth Valley Royal Hospital
Caroline, who is employed by Serco, was described as “Working like a Trojan.” She regularly comes in to work early to complete cleaning jobs and buys treats for patients out of her own pocket. Nothing is too much trouble and she always has a smile and a cheery face.
2nd Runner Up: Maria Giordano, Porter, Forth Valley Royal Hospital
Maria goes above and beyond her role as a porter within the hospital. She offers to make tea and get sandwiches when staff are busy and was described as a lovely person and a pleasure to work beside.