Celebrating our first Hero Award winners of 2023

Group of NBT staff holding certificates

Every year we recognise and celebrate individuals and teams across our Trust who have been nominated by their colleagues for making a real difference to others.

The first awards of the year took place on Thursday 23 March, when over 20 colleagues from across NBT came together to celebrate their achievement alongside their fellow heroes. 

This month heroes were commended for the way they have truly put our new NBT Cares values into action. Whether that’s going above and beyond their role to bring positive change, providing truly patient centred care or supporting others in difficult times.

At the awards, Glyn Howells, Chief Finance Officer and Sarah Margetts, Deputy Chief People Officer, shared just how important it is to have these awards and gave a heartfelt thank you to all of this month's winners.

Find out why our Heroes were nominated below:  

Jennifer Henshall, PST Team Leader

Nominated by Sharon Andrews, FM Operations Manager

Jennifer is the FM night shift Team Leader managing domestic teams across the Estate in Brunel and Maternity. Her focus is ensuring all theatre/imaging areas are cleaned to high standards to be ready for morning lists. Jen ensures cleaning around emergency cases is thorough and prompt, ensuring a quick turnaround, so the Trust is always ready to receive the next patient. Part of Jenny’s duties are to manage the Rapid Response teams overnight and ensure ED and AMU have clean teams in place, ensuring patient flow is not compromised. A constant juggling act, Jenny liaises closely with the CSM team to ensure FM support is always in the right place. Jen continues to work hard to ensure all night staff feel supported, in terms of wellbeing whilst they are signposted to the next tasks. Jen takes a cool, calm approach with her team supporting them when they are anxious.  The whole night team respect Jenny and work hard for her. We as a management team, thank Jenny and could not be without her.

Ann Souter, Case Manager

Nominated by Kate Mann and the 8a Team 

Ann has recently joined the 8a team and has had an immediate impact on the way we work as a team. Ann recognises the current stresses on the Clinical Teams to manage complex discharges in a timely manner, but she is always there to offer support to the team by helping complete discharge tasks and freeing up nursing time on the ward. Ann attends and supports the physios and occupational therapists following board rounds to delegate tasks and ensure that the discharge process is effective and timely. Ann engages with families and patients to ensure they are notified of discharge plans and supports them. Ann has integrated so well within our team and helps support us all to ensure that we are working well for patients in enabling a smooth transition from hospital to home. We really do appreciate her hard work and dedication on the ward.

Victoria Jane, Upper GI CNS and Macmillan Dietician 

Nominated by Lisa Lillywhite, Upper GI Specialist Nurse

Vicky volunteered to come into work on Monday 19th September to keep our new diagnosis Monday morning clinic open during the Bank holiday for the Queen's funeral. This is just one of many examples where Vicky has prioritised the needs of our cancer patients and offered a truly holistic and responsive service to people and their families who are affected by Upper GI cancer. She really deserves recognition for quietly going about her work and showing what a great person she is.

Kate Miller, Performance and Operational Manager 

Nominated by Andy Clark, Divisional Operations Director

Over the past few months, Kate has gone above and beyond her role to support her department overcome various challenges. When the department admin team was short staffed Kate worked tirelessly with the clinicians and administrators to find alternative solutions to maintaining core services, especially around typing clinical letters. To address staff concerns over the change she has taken the time to meet all affected staff one to one and presented to the consultant body. During recent periods when the department has been without a general manager, Kate has taken on additional responsibilities to help cover this gap. Kate has been a leader for the team in the EPR changeover, engaging with the outpatient and IT departments to ensure the impact of the change is minimised and has taken personal responsibility and action to ensure adverse impacts are resolved quickly. Throughout this busy time, Kate has maintained a professional and positive attitude.

Kirsty Christian, Midwife 

Nominated by Rachel Cox, Supervisory ward sister

Kirsty has been a midwife for many years but unfortunately has encountered some personal health issues. When I first started my role as Sister, she was working in a non-clinical capacity. Helping the ward to run smoothly and supporting the team where she could. She was a great support to me as I started my new role and was able to help me with the admin side of my job. At each turn, Kirsty has returned with a set plan of action in the hope that we could help and support her to return to her clinical role. I am so, so proud to say that, Kirsty has now returned to her clinical role. She now works all her hours as a clinical midwife in a very busy postnatal ward. She is an absolute joy to work with. The care she provides to our postnatal mums and their families is amazing. She is organised, approachable, helpful, friendly and supports all the staff working with her. I have had so many positive feedback comments from the team that I really feel she deserves some recognition for her achievements.  I am bursting with pride and admiration for her. She really is an NBT hero and also my hero.

Caroline Reed, Senior Medical Secretary

Nominated by Sarah Villar, Consultant Rheumatologist

Caroline is our wonderful secretary and deserves huge amounts of thanks and praise for all the hard work that she does. She is the sole secretary for myself but she also completes all the Cossham work for at least 4 other consultants. She manages to carry out her huge workload in an exceptionally organised and efficient manner while maintaining an extremely high standard. She is always friendly, helpful and adaptable to any new scenarios that arise. She looks out for anyone struggling or in need and makes sure she can help in any way that she can. The patients really value how much she does and speak very highly of her. Caroline is worth her weight in gold and is truly one of NBT’s great heroes.

Dawn Hird, Theatres Matron

Nominated by Mike Whitmore, Project Manager

As Theatre Matron, Dawn provides compassionate, inclusive leadership and ensures that theatres deliver the very best patient care in a safe and dignified manner. But what makes Dawn an NBT hero is that she does not forget that patients are individuals. I am nominating Dawn for going the extra mile with an extremely anxious patient. The patient was convinced that they were not going to wake up from their surgery. Arrangements were made to get the patient to Southmead, where Dawn met the patient in medirooms and stayed with them on the journey into theatre and as the anaesthetic took effect - reassuring the patient all the time. During the operation, Dawn then looked after the patient’s partner who was naturally very stressed throughout the admission. Theatres are a challenging environment, but Dawn never forgets patients need to be treated with dignity and have individual needs.

Nuno Cruz, E-Rostering Facilitator 

Nominated by Emma Gendall, Research Matron

I would like to nominate Nuno as our NBT Hero as he has recently set up our research department on e-rostering. Due to our complex work systems, many staff appear on multiple budgets and our team leaders have had to embrace this change to our work. Nuno has provided excellent support during this transition period, always going above and beyond to make staff feel supported when they have queries on the system and taking the time to meet with staff on a one-to-one basis to offer support and guidance with the system. For me, as a manager, he has been invaluable in supporting us to find solutions to booking staff for overtime against alternative cost centres to try and reduce the amount of recharging that we have to ask our finance department to do. Nuno is always approachable and encouraging in his support to staff in using this new system, making our staff feel that nothing is too much trouble. He really is our NBT hero.

Nida Digma, Practice Development Nurse 

Nominated by Charlie Howard, Advanced Stroke Nurse Practitioner, Charlie Munden, ANP and Spyros Petsas, Stroke Nurse Practitioner

“Since starting her role as a practice development nurse Nida has highlighted how vital educational roles are within nursing. Not only from a learning perspective but also increasing engagement, helping with staff retention and making everyone feel valued. She has gone above and beyond organising multiple study days for the stroke & neurology service. Her enthusiasm is infectious, everything is done with a huge smile and most importantly she cares wholeheartedly to deliver superb education and enhance practice for all members of staff within stroke and neurology.”

“Nida has embraced her new role and is providing much-needed support and training on the wards to staff. Nida is always very cheerful and willing to help and has a great attitude to work and the new challenges that come with a busy acute service.”

Harry Thomas, Porter

Trudi Meredith, Patient Transport Liaison Officer

The transport office would like to nominate Harry for his hard work and dedication to his role and for always putting the patient first. Harry is one of the ambulance porters who transports inpatients to and from the Brunel Building to Elgar House for transfers or appointments. He is always smiling, polite and extremely hard-working. Even when working alone and under pressure, we have never heard him complain. Nothing is too much trouble, he doesn’t wait for a call with a new job he always comes looking. His cheerful personality always brings a smile to staff and patients. Being transferred can be quite scary, particularly for some of the elderly patients, but he always introduces himself to the patients and makes them feel at ease. Harry definitely deserves an award and recognition for his hard work and dedication to patients.

Derek Farley, Move Maker Volunteer

Nominated by Chris Lindop, Volunteer

Visitors have observed to me that in other hospitals they have struggled to find a wheelchair, but they are grateful for the good supply of them here at Southmead. How does this happen? Well before the rest of the Monday morning Move Maker team arrives, Derek is hard at work tracking down wheelchairs. He travels the length and breadth of the Brunel building, hunting down errant wheelchairs. Derek sees that all wheelchairs are returned to their rightful parking place and that any damage is reported so that repairs can be made. And he doesn’t confine himself to the atrium wheelchairs – any wheelchairs from other areas that he encounters on his travels are also returned to base. In a recent major exercise, new, upgraded wheelchairs were brought into the site, and some of the existing ones were redistributed to other areas for their use. This involved a huge amount of organisation and Derek was very much involved in this, working many extra hours and covering some 30 miles on foot in the process of moving the wheelchairs around the hospital.

Aminata Kamara, Domestic

Nominated by Lotty West, Sister

Aminata is undoubtedly an individual who goes above and beyond in her role as a domestic, ensuring everywhere is cleaned to an exceptionally high standard. One occasion where Aminata really went the extra mile was during a challenging day on the ward. Aminata was in the bay doing her cleaning duties and she could see that the HCA was struggling to feed multiple patients. Aminata went above and beyond in helping the HCA and patients. Her actions showed kindness, putting the patient first and working as part of a team. Thank you, Aminata your kindness and hard work is really appreciated by all the team.

Jade Venning, Deputy Speciality Manager

Nominated by Susan Bessant, Senior Staff Nurse

During one of the strikes, Jade came to gate 31 to support and help out wherever she could. We could not have had a more helpful member of staff come and assist us. Nothing was too much trouble, and she was proactive in finding things to do, which made our lives on the unit so much better. I believe she should have left at 4 pm, but she agreed to stay until the evening meals were given out to the patients and before she went home, she ensured all the patients had what they needed. Jade was an absolute pleasure to work with - such a kind, considerate professional person, who truly demonstrates our NBT Cares values.

Helene Everard, FM Central Admin Team

Nominated by Sharon Andrews, FM Operations Manager

Our FM team have been extremely short-staffed of late. Helene has taken on manning the helpdesk very early before her regular shift, taking on multiple roles throughout the day and then staying on shift supporting colleagues when needed. No matter how busy she is, Helene is always helpful, cheery, kind, honest and is never phased. Helene's daily role managing the very large domestic roster and all that goes with that is a challenge in itself, with 5 Duty managers sending requests to update or modify. Helene is an absolute star and deserves to be recognised for all her efforts. Thank you!

Kathryn Lane, Assistant Genetic Technologist 

Nominated by Sarah Burton-Jones, Clinical Scientist

Katie is a hidden gem of the laboratory Genetics department. Her experience and knowledge is trusted and respected by her colleagues. She can be relied upon to show initiative, good judgement and a calm pragmatic approach, even in very pressurised situations. On more than one occasion recently when the team was short-staffed, Katie has rearranged her workload to assist with urgent prenatal cases requiring specialist sample preparation, This is typical of Katie; always accommodating, willing to help, and finding solutions to support others and make things happen. We would like Katie to know how much she is valued by the Genetics team but also to highlight the difference that her dedication has made to patients, in particular anxious pregnant couples, without them ever knowing the role she has played in their genetic testing journey.

Dominika Kruszynska, Research Administrator 

Nominated by Sam Harding, Research Fellow

Dominika joined our team last February when our previous administrator of 25 years retired. As you might guess the team were anxious about how a new person would fit into a close-knit team with most of us working together for more than 10 years. Well, we need not have worried! Dom has stepped up to the challenge of learning new skills and knowledge relating to speech and language therapy, as well as continuing her professional development as a research administrator. The research team could not have had such a successful year applying and delivering on grants, as well as writing and publishing peer review journal articles, without Dom. But it is not only the work-based skills and tasks that make her a Hero, it is her positive attitude especially during challenging times, as well as the smile and general checking that every member of the team is 'OK' on a day-to-day basis. My days, and I am sure I speak for the enter team, are made more productive and happier having Dom in the team.

Claire Foster, Deputy Safeguarding Lead Nurse 

Nominated by Juliette Hughes, Deputy Chief Nursing Officer

Claire does some outstanding work to raise the profile of the children and the transitional side of safeguarding. She is always calm, compassionate, supportive and knowledgeable and is greatly appreciated by her team and staff in wider teams. Recently Claire has developed a piece of academic work with Cambridgeshire ICB about Transitional Safeguarding, which has received a lot of national attention and continues to do so. She has presented it at the national children and safeguarding conference and has been asked to record it for the Safeguarding Adults National Network (SANN) and NHSE to use as a national resource. The Association of Child Protection Professionals have requested to use it at a lunch and learn webinar session. This work is hugely contributing to the wider safeguarding agenda and yet she has been very modest about celebrating her great success! I really feel that Claire's approach, personality and contribution to NBT and the wider system is more than worthy of a true NBT hero. Thank you Claire for everything you are doing. We really do appreciate you.

Ayshea Ware, Deputy Manager, Health and Safety Services 

Nominated by Tim Johnston, Operational Health and Safety Manager

The health and safety team have been through a difficult time personality in the past year. Ayshea has maintained excellence in her work, and supported colleagues in the team, sharing the pain of grief and promoting a change in team ethos, prioritising care and compassion throughout the work family. Ayshea has driven, thrived and excelled as our team has evolved. Ayshea lives the new NBT values and particularly deserves recognition for this exceptional, amazing feat. NBT, our staff, patients are safer and better off thanks to Ayshea Ware.

Angelo Micciche, Research Infrastructure Manager 

Nominated by Lesley Mansell, Equality and Diversity Manager

Angelo Micciche has chaired the Disabled staff group for over 7 years, which now incorporates Neurodiverse staff too. This is over and above his day job. He has been an amazing and consistent champion for Disabled people, never wavering from the long term goal to increase access for all. He chairs the quarterly meetings and raises concerns on behalf of Disabled staff. He invited the Chief Executive to attend meetings so she could hear about the issues faced by Disabled staff. He also supported the NBT Disability Champion. He is key to the work on Disability History Month, now being celebrated at NBT in its eleventh year! He has encouraged more staff to join and personally welcomes new members. He has been keen to promote any initiative to support the recruitment and career development of disabled staff and to provide appropriate access and training opportunities for them and to promote the types of services NBT has on offer to remove the barriers faced by Disabled people.