Popstar Katrina Leskanich, lead singer in Katrina and the Waves, paid tribute to hospital workers at a special event to celebrate their compassion, hard work and achievements.
The singer, famed for her 1983 hit ‘Walking on Sunshine’, recorded a video message which was played at the annual staff recognition awards of the Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.
The trust – which runs Worthing, St Richard’s and Southlands hospitals – first came to the attention of Katrina when staff used her hit single as the backing track to a fun film they produced to celebrate their ‘outstanding’ CQC rating, awarded in April.
Speaking from USA, she said: “I want to congratulate you on your wonderful award and for all the work you have done as a fantastic team. We’re all very proud of you and I was very proud of your
Walking on Sunshine video which was almost as good as the one I made with the Waves back in 1983! Keep up the work, have a fantastic time tonight and know that we all thank you so much for your gracious hard work.”
The message was a total surprise to the audience and was extremely well received by all the shortlisted nominees and guests waiting to find out who this year’s winners were.
The trust’s Patient First STAR Awards, sponsored by charity Love Your Hospital and homecare provider Comfort Keepers, recognises hospital staff and volunteers who make an exceptional contribution to patient care.
Winners this year included consultant paediatrician Dr Asma Shah at St Richard’s who cares for children with life-limiting illnesses and site practitioner Phillip Morris who fulfilled a patient’s dying wish by arranging for them to wed in Worthing Hospital.
The trust’s former lead governor Margaret Bamford OBE was honoured for her work helping more isolated patients receive Welcome Home Packs after staying in hospital and shared the Volunteer of the Year award with chairman of the organ donation and transplant committee Angela Fisher, who tirelessly campaigns for those waiting on the organ donation list, drawing strength from her own personal loss.
Overall, there were 13 winners, including the trust’s End of Life Care service, which trust chairman Mike Viggers commended in special recognition of the proactive approach staff take to help patients die where they wish to, most often at home.
In a fitting finale to the evening, the trust’s staff Ambassadors – who organised and produced the uplifting ‘Walking on Sunshine’ CQC celebration video – won the Governors’ Award for their unstinting commitment to continuously improving patient experience.
Chief executive Marianne Griffiths who hosted the evening alongside the chairman, said: “These awards are the most uplifting event of the year for me and I feel so fortunate to work with such wonderful colleagues, who with such passion and vigour do their utmost to put our patients first, every day.
“The past 12 months have been another record year for Western Sussex, during which we cared for more people than ever before and so it was only right that we received a record number of nominations as well, especially from members of the public and our patients.
“In April, the Care Quality Commission formerly recognised the ‘outstanding’ quality of all our 6.500 members of staff and our award winners are the very best of them - they are without exception the most inspirational people to work with and our heartfelt congratulations go each and every one of them.”
FULL LIST OF 2016 WINNERS
Patient’s Friend – Tim Hutson, general manager for cancer services, for the ‘tremendous hard work he puts in every week and for consistent dedication to ensuring the best for cancer patients’.
Mentor of the Year – Netce Sia, overseas practice development nurse, ‘friend, confidant, mentor and advisor’ helped new nurses from abroad settle to new life in West Sussex.
Care for the Future – Dr David Secchi, care of the elderly consultant, ‘is the next generation of medical consultant and he will change the practice in the future by being so thoroughly holistic’.
Innovator of the Year – Acute Stroke Unit, Botolphs Ward, a national top-performing specialist unit about which a patient commented ‘they are clearly all professionals working tirelessly patients but I was most touched by their humanity’.
Extra Mile – Phillip Morris, site practitioner, helped a couple’s dream of marrying each other become a reality on the Emergency Floor, arranging the chaplain, flowers and donations from Waitrose and staff and food for the family’s reception.
Team of the Year – Barrow Ward, Worthing, have had an extraordinary year, doubling in size at the beginning of winter pressures and taking on new ways of working, priding themselves on the quality of end of life care they provide.
Compassionate Care (sponsored by Comfort Keepers) – Dr Asma Shah, consultant paediatrician, goes beyond her job description to provide personalised out of hours care to children with cancer and their families enabling the youngsters to die at home as their families wished.
Award for Excellence – Jackie Dominick, matron medicine division, ‘leads by example, role modelling care, compassion and excellence to all the nurses who work with her, always with respect and encouragement’.
Volunteer of the Year – (joint winners) former lead governor Margaret Bamford OBE, played an instrumental role in the development of the trust at the helm of the Council of Governors for three years and Angela Fisher, chairman of the organ donation and transplant committee, campaigns tirelessly as an advocate for those people who are on the organ donation waiting list’.
Hospital Hero – Elizabeth Berry, intensive care technician, is the ‘jewel in her team’ and ‘nothing is ever too much trouble and she will solve any problem no matter how big or how small’ – ‘she hasdelivered some of the best patient care I have seen’.
Employee of the Year – Sarah Griffin and team, Antenatal Clinic, St Richard’s for ‘displaying exceptional leadership which resolved a difficult situation with speed and efficiency’.
Governors’ Award – Ambassadors, who are employees of the trust from across all divisions, departments and teams with a remit to create positive experiences for the people they meet, wherever they are, whether it’s patients, visitors, members of the public or colleagues.
Chairman’s Award – End of Life Care award honours many staff groups and volunteers who truly go above and beyond and make a significant difference to a patient at the end of their life, whether that be ensuring patient transport arrives early so they can spend extra time at home or going to the shop to buy something special a patient suddenly really fancies to eat.
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