Hospital Heroes honoured
05 October 2015
The third annual Southend University Hospital Heroes awards has seen this year’s great and good of the hospital recognised for their achievements across eight categories celebrating dedicated staff.
Categories featured were innovation, quality care, unsung hero,
outstanding leadership, outstanding achievement, team of the year,
employee of the year and the patients; choice award, the latter
supported by the Echo and voted for by members of the public and
The awards took place in front of peers, fellow nominees and the
Mayors of Southend and Castle Point and the Chairman of Rochford
District Council and the Chairman of Rayleigh Town Council.
Sue Hardy, chief executive, said: "Our award categories reflect
so many triumphs - whether it's developing skills and knowledge to
be the best you can be, making each patient experience truly
special, developing new clinical advances, or leading a significant
service change that benefits everyone."
Alan Tobias OBE, chairman of the hospital, added: "These awards
are made extra special by the fact it's our staff who nominate the
colleagues they feel best embody the trust's values, taking pride
in working alongside them."
The hotly contested patients' choice award saw an incredible
10,500 votes cast across the Echo website, hospital website and
social media, that's four times as many people who voted last
With over 50% of the vote it was an ecstatic Neptune ward staff
who were named as this year's winners. They were described as
consistently polite, cheerful, helpful, informative, knowledgeable,
willing, trustworthy and reassuring. They went out of their way to
make an extremely difficult situation bearable for a family whose
daughter has had repeated prolonged visits to the hospital with a
very complex condition.
The nominators, the Neale family, said: "We are able to leave
our daughter in their care and know, without any doubt that she is
not only safe and cared for but she is also happy and comfortable
in their care. Everyone on the ward cares so passionately about
what they do and how they do it."
A large group of staff from the ward were there to collect the
ward on the evening, including jubilant ward manager Claire Scott.
She said: "To be just nominated by the patients is a real honour so
it's a massive thanks to the Neale family. We wouldn't have been
nominated if it wasn't for the dedication, team work and the
passion that every member of Neptune staff shows. And that is what
it is about, it's not about one person it's everyone from the top
to the bottom."
The award will now be working its way round the team's mantle
pieces at home before a suitable place is found for it to go
proudly on display on the ward.
Finally, of the awards evening and the triumphant Southend
University Hospital members of staff, Alan concluded: "Each and
every person at Southend plays a vital part in the patient journey
regardless of where they work, and they should feel proud that they
are making a difference every day. Thank you for your passion,
commitment, dedication and innovation."
View images from the awards on the Southend Hospital Facebook
Winners on the evening were:
Quality care award
Lynn Coley, modern matron
Lynn has worked tirelessly over the past nine months to ensure a
smooth transition of the Acute Medical Service as part of the
trust's transformation programme. In the words of her
nominator she is 'the perfect example of a leader who is fully
committed to her patients, wards and colleagues'.
Sandra Steeples, patient admission and discharge manager
Sandra's leadership of the discharge services has led to a
national reputation for the excellent work she does, bringing
recognition for quality and excellence to Southend Hospital.
Recently, of note, she has been recognised by the East of England
Emergency Care Intensive Support Team who have shared her
achievements with several other hospitals and services and
referenced her work regularly.
Team of the year
Musculoskeletal (MSK) early rehab and nursing team (ERAN)
This team created a new service that aims to reduce patient
length of stay, they visit patients in their own home either on the
day of discharge or the day after discharge, and they continue to
support the patient and their carers with their recovery from
Employee of the year
Paul Hepworth, emergency planning officer
Paul plays such an important, often behind the scenes role. He
demonstrated once again his commitment and unwavering
professionalism to the job when, last year, he gave up his free
time at home to come into work and support the hospital's A&E
department during the flooding that occurred. This is just one of
countless examples of how our winner demonstrates his commitment to
the hospital and goes way beyond the call of duty
Dr Masood Ali and the cardiac and medical day stay (CMDS)
The team have introduced an innovative service for lung cancer
patients to have the fluid that builds up in their lungs drained
without the need for regular hospital admissions. The service means
patients can be managed as outpatients and reduces the risk of
infection and the inconvenience of multiple hospital
Craig Brown, radiotherapy porter
When interacting with patients, Craig always goes beyond the
call of duty to ensure patients receive highest quality care,
dignity, comfort and wellbeing. A colleague who has worked at five
other trusts said that Paul is the "the most dedicated, energetic,
and enthusiastic porter I have ever met."
Outstanding achievement award
Yvonne Garcia-Nino, operational service manager
Our recruitment of Spanish nurses has helped many teams to
support better patient care, and Yvonne is someone who has gone
above and beyond to ensure those nurses are themselves
Coming to work in a foreign country is a massive step and Yvonne
has taken the time and trouble outside of her own role and in her
own time to ensure our Spanish nurses have settled here at
Yvonne has also hosted evening sessions for the nurses to help
them learn more about the area and ensure they want to remain
valuable members of the team here.
Lifetime achievement award
There was also a special lifetime achievement award for Ron
Kennedy, who has had a close association with the hospital for many
Ron was heavily involved with the fundraising campaign for the
hospital's leukaemia unit between 1998 and 2000, accepting the role
of a non-executive director. Then in 2009 he was elected as a
governor, becoming a much valued member of the hospital's council
of governors until May this year when he retired.
Alan Tobias OBE, said: "Ron is incredibly passionate about
health care and has given many valuable years of care and guidance
to our hospital. We're humbled and immensely grateful to Ron for
the time and dedication he had given to the hospital and its staff