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Healthcare Heroes Celebrated at National Awards

Eight individuals, teams and organisations from across the UK have received national recognition for their outstanding contribution to the health service at the 2019 Our Health Heroes award ceremony.


Among the winners are teams from University Hospital Southampton and Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.


More than 200 guests, including Baroness Dido Harding and Prerana Issar (Chief People Officer at NHS England & NHS Improvement), gathered for the fourth annual Our Health Heroes awards at London’s Science Museum.


University Hospital Southampton won the Staff Wellbeing and Retention Employer of the Year Award for its progressive staff wellbeing programme.  This was devised and delivered by a partnership of multi-disciplinary teams at the hospital as the Live Well programme.


Activities include health checks, mental health training and support, fitness opportunities and support to stop smoking for staff across the hospital. HR and staff worked together to revise a number of polices including equality, anti-bullying and harassment and flexible working.


Launched in 2016, the programme was introduced to improve staff health and wellbeing and has already had a positive impact on reducing sickness rates (currently at 3.3%) while increasing retention, engagement and inclusivity.


The programme has also led to higher quality patient care – one of the Trust’s main values – and enhanced awareness of the important role of staff in influencing healthy behaviours in patients and the local community.


The Flexible Workforce Team at Bradford Teaching Hospitals won the Workforce Planning Team of the Year Award. This team is made up of nurse bank, e-rostering and the locum booking teams who are responsible for managing the temporary workforce across the Trust – from cover for bank and agency doctors through to paying invoices. 


The 10-strong team understand the importance of filling every shift to ensure that patient care is consistent and safe, and by increasing the internal nurse bank by 30% they have significantly reduced the need for agency staff in just six months.


In 2016, the team were challenged to reduce agency spend by £6 million. Over the last three years they have already saved £9.4 million, having worked together to challenge agency use and negotiate hourly rates daily.


The full list of winners is:

• Apprentice of the Year (sponsored by UNISON): Patrick Onyema, a trainee nursing associate at North East London NHS Foundation Trust (NELFT)


• Operational Services Support Worker of the Year (sponsored by UNISON): Pauline Symington, a service assistant at Ulster Hospital, Northern Ireland


• Integrated Team of The Year: the End of Life Urgent Care Team at St Luke’s Hospice, Plymouth


• Learning and Development Project of the Year (sponsored by Kissing it Better): the Clinical Development Team - Nick Worth and Alison Day – at Ascenti


• Workforce Planning Team of The Year (sponsored by Locum’s Nest): the Flexible Workforce Team at Bradford Teaching Hospitals


• Staff Wellbeing and Retention Employer of the Year: University Hospital Southampton


• Outstanding Contribution (sponsored by NHS Employers): Christina Ginsburg-Appleby, a palliative care discharge coordinator at Mountbatten Hospice on the Isle of Wight


Over 880 nominations were submitted by healthcare professionals and members of the public ,which were whittled down by the judges to four team winners and a shortlist of 30 for the four individual categories.


In the regional awards, the 12 finalists in each of the Operational Services and Clinical Support Worker categories along with three finalists in each of the Apprentice and Outstanding Contribution categories faced the public vote, during which more than 6,300 votes were cast.


John Rogers, Chief Executive at Skills for Health, says: “For the fourth year running I’ve been stunned by the quality of the nominations we have received for the Our Health Heroes awards. Congratulations to all of our winners; these awards are a testament to your hard work and commitment to healthcare across the UK.”


The Our Health Heroes Awards are organised by Skills for Health and headline sponsor Health Education England.