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Northumbria NHS ‘heroes’ celebrated at awards

Friday, 15 September, 2017
Northumbria NHS ‘heroes’ celebrated at awards

Dedicated NHS ‘heroes’ have been celebrated for their commitment to deliver high quality patient care in Northumberland and North Tyneside.

Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, which runs hospital and community health services in the areas, held its 2017 Building a Caring Future staff awards on Friday 8 September.

This year – despite increasing demand on services – has been yet another successful one for Northumbria with the trust once again being recognised for delivering high standards of care and a top quality patient experience.

The sponsored annual awards, held for the fifth time this year, attracted more than 220 nominations with 12 awards presented on the night.

The categories, which included patients first, safe and high quality care and respect and compassion, represent the breadth and quality of services provided by the trust.

David Evans, chief executive of Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, presented the awards.

He said: “It is with a great sense of pride that I present this year’s staff awards and celebrate the fantastic efforts of our dedicated staff.

“To hear the many examples of our staff going above and beyond to provide the best care for our patients in a variety of settings across Northumberland and North Tyneside is immensely humbling.

“In these challenging times for the NHS, it is so important that we take time to reflect and pay tribute to our wonderful staff.

“I’d like to thank everyone who took the time to nominate colleagues, all the nominees and all the winners. I’d also like to thank all the sponsors for their generous support – without it, this event would not have happened.”

The award winners are as follows:

Patients first award – Melanie Jewitt

The first award of the evening was presented to Melanie Jewitt, an activities and wellbeing co-ordinator at Hexham General Hospital, for ‘going out of her way’ to organise events to keep patients’ spirits up.

Safe and high quality care award – Anna Robinson

Pharmacist Anna Robinson was the recipient of this award. Described as a ‘great ambassador’ for the profession, she works as part of the ‘vanguard’ team which helps ensures patients are taking the most appropriate medicines in hospital and the community.

Innovation and quality improvement award – respiratory services team

This award was given to the respiratory services team for setting up a ‘hospital at home’ service which enables patients with COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) experiencing sudden worsening symptoms to have specialist care, traditionally delivered in hospital, at home.

Partnership working award – bed management team

The team which ensures that patients who need to be admitted to one of the trust’s hospitals are cared for in the most appropriate place was the winner of the partnership working award. Liaising closely with teams across the trust and other organisations such as councils, GPs, and the ambulance service, the team plays a key role in patient flow.

Everyone’s contribution counts – emergency preparedness team

This award went to the emergency preparedness team which supports teams across the trust to be prepared and respond to a range of disruptions and emergencies.

Personal development – Rebecca Morton

Rebecca Morton’s ‘desire for further learning’ led to her winning the personal development award. Rebecca, who works as an administration assistant at Berwick Infirmary, has completed a foundation degree and is now studying for a BA honours degree. She was involved in setting up Berwick Bookers which helps to enable local people have their appointments locally.

Volunteer of the year award – Belinda Basford

This award went to Belinda Basford who supports patients recovering from the effects of alcohol. Having overcome problems of her own, Belinda uses her experiences to put patients at ease with a few kind words and gives them the time they need to talk.

Respect and compassion award – Philomena Hollinghurst

Specialist nurse practitioner Philomena Hollinghurst won this award for her work helping elderly patients in the frailty assessment service at The Northumbria hospital. Described as a ‘vital cog’ in the team, she always treats patients with respect and demonstrates positivity and compassion in all that she does. 

Unsung hero – Nicky Asbury

This award was given to the late Nicky Asbury, consultant clinical psychologist, who was the founder member of the cancer health psychology team. Nicky, who died last year following a brief illness, was an ‘exceptional person’ and ‘natural leader’ and was dedicated to improving the emotional support provided to patients who had been diagnosed with breast cancer.

Rosemary Stephenson nurse, midwife or nursing assistant of the year award – Jan Meechan

Specialist HIV nurse Jan Meechan was the recipient of this award – in honour of the trust’s former director of nursing. Jan provides care in clinics and in people’s own homes for this potentially vulnerable group of patients, supporting them to manage their condition and empowering them to live well. 

Inspiring wellbeing – Roy Young

Roy Young won the inspiring wellbeing award for setting up, leading and encouraging a staff running group at County Hall, Morpeth. The group has led to improved fitness and wellbeing, weight loss and reduced stress.

Chief executive making a difference award – Paul Brayson

The final award of the evening was presented to Paul Brayson for many years’ work in estates leading new hospital builds. This has helped Northumbria Healthcare to be at the forefront of the NHS, most notably with the country’s first hospital dedicated to emergency care – The Northumbria – which opened in 2015.

The awards were the last presented by David Evans before he retires in the autumn. Jim Mackey, currently on secondment as chief executive of NHS Improvement, will return as chief executive of Northumbria Healthcare in November.

The main sponsor for the event was Proton Partners International which is due to open a cancer centre in Northumberland next summer, known as The Rutherford Cancer Centre North East. There were 12 others sponsors.  


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