The achievements of community healthcare staff have been applauded at the annual Bridgewater NHS ‘Thank You’ awards.
The event saw colleagues such as nurses, clinical support workers, dentists and back-office teams recognised for their efforts over the past 12-months.
Marking the contributions of those who have gone the extra mile in yet another year unlike any other for the NHS locally and nationally, proved to be a hugely heartfelt experience for recipients of the awards.
Bridgewater Community Healthcare, which provides high-quality community services in Warrington, Halton and St Helens; as well as dental services in many areas of Greater Manchester, Cheshire and Merseyside, paid tribute to its clinicians and corporate staff who have supported the delivery of frontline services in health centres, clinics and patients own homes and the individuals and teams who have helped them to do so.
The full list of winners included:
Clinical Employee of the Year
Helen Wakefield – Widnes Urgent Treatment Centre Clinical Lead
By developing new clinical pathways within the Widnes Urgent Treatment Centre (UTC), it has given staff the guidance on how to treat patients without sending them to hospital. One such example is a fracture pathway by allowing staff to place a fractured ankle or foot into a walking boot allowing the patient to be treated at the UTC and to avoid a trip to the local A&E. Helen is currently completing an overarching manual for other clinical pathways and is doing this alongside her teaching and assisting of new staff to become independent practitioners.
Non-Clinical Employee of the Year
Joint winners: Chris Boydell – IT Support Officer and Katie Whitehead – IT Asset and Configuration Officer
Chris is often called the backbone to the service he supports and has been key to its delivery for the past 15 years. He will often take trickier IT tasks as a personal challenge to complete. The last year has seen Chris take on a huge software project to move all computer devices to the Microsoft Office 365 platform. This was no easy implementation.
Katie’s colleagues call her a hardworking individual that offers immense support to the whole IT department. She is always happy to assist with any query and will follow it through to resolution. Her position may be seen as a behind the scenes roll that not many know about, but without her knowledge, the organisation would be a loss without her.
Clinical Team of the Year
Wheelchair and Specialist Seating Service
This team has been through some very tough times over the past 12-months due to national stock and supply challenges but have come out stronger than ever. Demand on the service remains exceptionally high and they are doing everything possible to reduce wait times for equipment. The aim of this service is to maximise the mobility, independence and quality of life for service users (and carers) through assessment, provision and maintenance of equipment. The service works with adults and children, many of which have life-limiting illnesses.
Non-Clinical Team of the Year
Communications and Engagement Team
Like all corporate support teams, emerging from Covid-19 and resetting the organisation back to pre-pandemic levels has been no mean feat for this important service. What has felt like one almighty marathon for this team recently with Covid-19, has now turned into a final sprint. As Covid-19 shifts to more day-to-day working, the new focus for this service is business-as-usual operations that are currently in overdrive. This team continues to be ambitious, forward-thinking and creative.
Innovation and Excellence Award
Jilly Wallis – Allied Health Professional Lead
Supporting her Allied Health Professional (AHP) workforce is key to Jilly. Whether it is work around career conversations, support groups or staff networks, she is always looking for opportunity to showcase the organisation externally at events and universities. Jilly will often support innovative ideas to address staffing challenges within the AHP workforce and continues to make a huge contribution to workforce planning. Patient care however will always be at the heart of any discussion Jilly has.
Partnership and Collaboration Award
Padgate House and Infection, Prevention and Control Team
Padgate House is a service delivered between Bridgewater and the Local Authority. It plays a key role in supporting patient and system flow in the Warrington area. The Covid-19 pandemic continues to be felt throughout this important partnership. Infection prevention and control (IPC) measures are quickly enforced when confirmed episodes of Covid-19 are confirmed. Collaboration is key in such situations as Padgate House can often accommodate frail and elderly patients. As a partnership, each team has the best interest of their patients and staff at the heart of what they do.
Kindness and Compassion Award
Joint winners: Rebecca Emery – Clinical Specialist for Paediatric Physiotherapy and Jackie Lawson – Therapy Assistant
Rebecca continues to be an outstanding leader for the service. She has guided her colleagues through Covid-19 redeployment as well as recruitment challenges the service has faced of late. Her devotion to the service continues to shine despite the everchanging demand the service faces. Compassion and kindness is key to Rebecca. Her personalised approach to service delivery is often praised by her patients and colleagues.
Jackie will always ensure therapists are looked after and their wellbeing is ok. She will always put the patient, colleague and others first before herself. Her mantra is to treat those around her as to how she would want to be treated herself. A kind, compassionate heart is how colleagues describe Jackie.
In this special award, the team’s tenacity, determination and compassion was praised after working tirelessly to produce a children’s study that will impact on dental healthcare for generations to come. Earlier this year, dental colleagues covering Oldham, Bury and Rochdale were asked to produce an epidemiology study on behalf of the Public Health England (now the UK Health Security Agency). Visiting schools across Greater Manchester, the results of their work have contributed to a study that will impact on the dental health and wellbeing of young children in some of the most deprived boroughs.
As well as the annual ‘Thank you’ Awards, the day also celebrated those colleagues that had achieved at least 25 years’ NHS service. In total, around 200 Bridgewater colleagues received an NHS long service certificate this year of which about 50 had them handed personally on the day of the event.
Speaking about the whole celebration, Colin Scales, Bridgewater Chief Executive said:
“After what has been another tough year for the NHS, the Bridgewater ‘Thank You’ Awards is a chance for us to celebrate our colleagues and thank them for the unstinting dedication they give.
“With so many worthy winners this year, it made judging the nominations one of the most difficult we’ve had. I’ve been truly inspired by the achievements of our colleagues over the past 12-months who continue to go above and beyond to ensure we provide the best possible community care and support to our patients.
“Our 2022 event was also a chance for us to recognise those colleagues that have given at least 25 years’ service to the NHS. We cannot shy away from the challenges the health service faces around recruitment, so recognising NHS long service is hugely important. We thank these colleagues, each of which have given at least a quarter of a century, for their amazing commitment in such a rewarding career.”
The annual Bridgewater ‘Thank You’ Awards and NHS long service recognition were held this year face-to-face at Haydock Park Racecourse as well as virtually online via Microsoft Teams. The event is only possible thanks to the kind support of its sponsors, who included: Weightmans, Allocate, CRP Group, GRI, Lenovo, Softcat and Catalyst.
For further information about our ‘Thank You’ awards as well as further photographs from the event, please visit the Trust’s website via www.bridgewater.nhs.uk.