Staff, volunteers and teams at Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust were celebrated for their achievements at the latest annual staff excellence awards – the CARE Awards.
The CARE Awards aim to celebrate teams, staff and volunteers who have been outstanding in their work: whether it is through providing compassionate care to patients, helping the Trust become more sustainable, or reducing inequalities in healthcare.
This year’s awards were held at Reading Town Hall on Friday 20 May – the first held in person since 2019. Joined by guests from organisations who have supported the Trust during the past two years, the awards were an opportunity to recognise the incredible achievements during the course of the pandemic, and acknowledge the hard work and dedication of colleagues.
More than 650 nominations were received from across the organisation as well as – for the first time ever – members of the public. In total, thirteen winners were chosen across twelve different categories.
Sustainability and Efficiency Award – Guy Kieser
Awarded for his work delivering the Royal Berkshire Hospital de-steaming project which saw the replacement of three kilometres of piping across the site: saving at least 800 tonnes of carbon and £1.3 million in cost each year.
Innovation and Research Award – TARGET Trial
The TARGET Trial – co-designed by Chris Blick and Mark Little – is a first-in the-world study. Funded by the Health Innovation Partnership with the University of Reading, the study uses augmented reality to allow clinicians to interact with 3D images of prostate biopsies.
Excellence in Safety Award – COVID Vaccination Team
Recognised for their outstanding contribution to protecting our colleagues, patients, families and wider communities during one of the most challenging periods in our history: delivering more than 14,000 vaccinations to staff and ensuring that more than 98% of our staff have had at least one vaccine.
Equality Award – Karen O’Leary
Karen has been awarded for her work championing the rights of carers within the Trust. In addition to advocating on behalf of staff and patients who are carers, during the past year she has driven the development of the Carers booklet, charter, passport and staff forum within the organisation.
Compassion in Care Award – Hayley Clark
Hayley was nominated by multiple members of the public who praised her for her excellent care, compassion, patience and respect while supporting bereaved families in our maternity service.
Working in Partnership Award – Berkshire Long COVID Integrated Service
Set up in November 2020 in the space of just two weeks, the Berkshire Long COVID Integrated Service provides support for patients with post-COVID syndrome. Made up of a multi-disciplinary team of psychologists, GPs, pain consultants, physiotherapists and occupational therapists: the service’s success is thanks to collaboration across a variety of organisations from Berkshire West CCG, BOB ICS, and Primary Care Networks.
Making a Difference Award – Karen Kendall
Karen is the Trust’s Voluntary Services Assistant and has been awarded in recognition of her work supporting a team of more than 300 volunteers. During the pandemic, she took on additional challenges of keeping in touch with isolated volunteers, and helping manage the many donations received from members of the public.
Volunteer of the Year – Laurence and Vanessa Forster
This husband and wife team have supported the Trust for many years but stepped up during the pandemic to help anyway they could. During the height of COVID-19 they volunteered five days a week as blood runners, carrying samples and swabs from the Emergency Department to Pathology, supporting our staff wellbeing centre and delivering public donations.
Educator of the Year – Riel De Guzman
Working within his specialty of Cardiology, Riel has provided up-skill training for all staff across the department during the beginning of the pandemic: teaming up with colleagues to mobilise allied health professionals to perform basic nursing skills. Additionally, his work encompasses creating ECG interpretation sessions to nurses, providing CSW study days and improving trust policies around fall prevention, and pressure ulcer prevention.
Leader of the Year – Sarah Stangroom
Sarah Stangroom joined Speech and Language Therapy as their new professional lead in May 2021. Working during a difficult period, she has helped optimise the delivery of the service through staff training, as well as improving staff retention. Her colleagues praised her for being empathetic, innovative, compassionate and supportive.
Team of the Year – Kennet & Loddon Ward
Kennet and Loddon Ward have been at the forefront of the fight against COVID-19. Having to deal with an unprecedented situation, the team demonstrated innovation through upskilling staff and improving equipment, as well as huge levels of compassion towards patients as well as to each other during an emotional and challenging period.
Lifetime Achievement – Barbara Harris and Pandian Jeyakumar
Barbara Harris has been with the Trust for nearly forth years and has been a constant driving force for improvement and clinical excellence. She has played a key role in developing the peritoneal dialysis and home therapies service, and through her leadership has led to them being amongst the best performing in the country.
Pandian Jeyakumar received forty-one nominations from colleagues praising him as an inspiration through his humility, clinical knowledge, and dedication to teaching. His achievements include the introduction of ultrasound in the Emergency Department and its physical move to its current location.
Speaking about the CARE Awards, Steve McManus – Chief Executive Officer for Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust – said: “It was a fantastic evening filled with positivity and celebration for the many achievements of our colleagues over the past year – as well as being joined by partners to thank them for their support and friendship over the past two years. The Trust has been through one of the most challenging periods in its history so it was amazing to get together with staff and volunteers to highlight just some of the outstanding work that happens right across the Trust.”