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Barts Health Heroes - Our time to shine

24 February 2017

_RHX8477Health professionals across east London were celebrated at a special awards ceremony hosted by Barts Health NHS Trust, funded by Barts Charity.

The annual event (on 22 February 2017) saw attendees swap their uniforms for glitz and glamour to enjoy being honoured as those shortlisted for a Barts Health Heroes award. Nominated by patients, family members and colleagues, each team and staff member were chosen for their contribution to care.

Those awarded include:

At The Royal London Hospital:
The paediatric theatre team who treat young patients “like their own children” and Jenny Neil, a cashier who “brightens the day” for patients and received six separate nominations praising her “friendly, helpful” approach.

“I am beyond thrilled. It means so much to get this appreciation and recognition. It is a testament to all the hard work and dedication of the whole team." — Tessa Somerville

At Whipps Cross Hospital:
The trust’s dementia and delirium teams whose “enthusiasm and commitment is palpable” and were congratulated for holding tea parties on wards and consistently meeting a Government target screening for dementia over 90 per cent of patients over 75 years who are admitted to hospital.
A patient also nominated the hospital’s stoma care team saying “I am constantly amazed at their level of drive and determination” adding that staff “really do go the extra mile, willing to drop what they are doing to help”.

At Newham Hospital:
The Barking Community Birth Centre who were nominated for being “like a family, friendly and happy to see mothers day or night”.

"I am proud that we have made great strides over the last year and can be confident in our passion, energy and commitment." — Alwen Williams, Chief Executive

Barts Charity also presented awards in recognition of fundraising, ambassador work and relentless desire to go above and beyond. Those awarded were the trust’s Dementia and Delirium team, Stuart Peters at The Royal London Hospital, St Bartholomew’s Radiotherapy Team and Knut Wilmot, ward manager at Whipps Cross’s Margaret Centre which provides palliative care.

From a total 320 nominations, 13 winning teams and individuals were shortlisted by a select panel of patients, staff and partners to award those who truly embody the trust’s core values including being caring and compassionate and actively listening and responding to patients and colleagues.

Each award was presented by Barts Health NHS Trust Chief Executive, Alwen Williams and Acting Chair, Alastair Camp.

_RHX8447Alwen said: "These awards highlight the extraordinary lengths our staff go to in putting their patients and colleagues at the heart of all they do; each one a hero. I am proud that we have made great strides over the last year and can be confident in our passion, energy and commitment."

Alastair added: “I was delighted to share in celebrating the fantastic work of our staff who go above and beyond to do exceptional things for patients and colleagues. There have been so many wonderful nominations across so many of the services we provide whether in our hospitals or in our community services."

"I'm alive today because of Dr Smith, and thanks to Tessa I was able to keep going whilst putting everything on hold for well over a year whilst I fought for my life.” — Harry, a patient at St Bartholomew's Hospital

Among those celebrated were nursing assistant Theresa (Tessa) Somerville and Dr Matthew Smith at St Bartholomew’s in the City of London.

“I nominated Tessa and Dr Smith because they are both legends," said 27 year old Harry, who has been cared for at the hospital since he was diagnosed in June 2015 with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia.

"I'm alive today because of Dr Smith, and thanks to Tessa I was able to keep going whilst putting everything on hold for well over a year whilst I fought for my life.”

Dr Smith said: “I was really touched to be nominated by Harry. He is a great guy and a treasure to look after. A patient that you look forward to seeing, really willing him on to be well and get back to normal. It’s a complete surprise to be nominated; I was just doing my job and trying to do my best for my patients. That’s why I come in to work each day and it makes me smile when I go home if I succeed.”

Tessa added: “I am beyond thrilled to have received this award.  It means so much to get this appreciation and recognition. It is a testament to all the hard work and dedication of the whole team".

Harry continued: "Having never been to hospital before, I had a 30cm tumour - like a football -removed from my chest and was undergoing daily chemotherapy. I was permanently lying in a bed in an isolation room on my own for months as I had no immune system so even someone coughing nearby could have killed me. Tessa would talk to me about normal things like family and dogs, keeping me going. Many of the hospital staff would come in and sit with me, even after they'd finished their shifts. They're all legends."

Once he was given the good news that the operation had successfully removed his tumour, Harry immediately took himself straight from the hospital to Athens, Greece for a well-earned break. He added: "Dr Smith told me that he and the other consultants had 'jumped up and down' when they got my results. I was buzzing too.

"Dr Smith gave me everything, he threw the kitchen sink at me. It's not just clinical information, he makes you really comfortable to ask personal information too; like a mate.

"Now I'm smashing life. I have my own flat, a car and am running my own business. I'm still on daily chemotherapy until 2018 at least, but I'm back on track."

The nominations for next year’s Barts Health Heroes awards are open. To nominate a team or individual visit: bartshealth.nhs.uk/heroes

- ENDS -


NOTES TO EDITORS

With a turnover of £1.4 billion and a workforce of around 16,000, Barts Health is the largest NHS trust in the country, and one of Britain’s leading healthcare providers. The Trust’s five hospitals – St Bartholomew’s Hospital in the City, including the Barts Heart Centre, The Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel, Newham University Hospital in Plaistow, Whipps Cross University Hospital in Leytonstone and Mile End – deliver high quality compassionate care to the 2.5 million people of East London and beyond.

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