Congratulations to April’s NBT Hero Award winners.

College of 9 NBT staff members

On Thursday 7 April, we celebrated the April hero award winners. The winners joined Glyn Howells, Chief Finance Officer and Su Monk, Deputy Chief Nursing Officer for a virtual award ceremony where they were read their nominations and thanked for their extraordinary efforts to make NBT a better place to work and be cared for.

Despite only being 4 months into the year, our heroes have already made a huge positive difference to others. All of the nominations show such dedicated, compassionate individuals who adapt to every challenge and welcome new opportunities, all with a smile, putting patients and colleagues first. 

Read more about our April winners below:

Freya Northbrooke, Nursing Associate

Nominated by Ben Ballisat, Consultant Anaesthetist

Freya is a Nursing Associate who works in the Medirooms caring for patients who are having surgery. Freya demonstrates exactly what NBT is all about. She is incredibly kind and compassionate when looking after patients, quickly recognises and communicates risks with the wider team and deals with uncertainty in an effortless way. Her great work ethic, organisational ability and attention to detail have on countless occasions helped patient lists run smoothly and ensure that patients receive excellent care whilst in the Medirooms. Many of my colleagues have commented on her exceptional level of skill and dedication that she brings to her role, and it is always a pleasure to know that she will be looking after our patients following their operations.


Sarah Kinghan, Sister

Nominated by Lisa Ford, Matron

Sarah recently joined the team on Gate 8b, it has been a challenging time in the recent 24 months, which we have not fully recovered from. The dedication that Sarah brings is outstanding. Sarah has been able to lead and inspire others and is supportive to all her colleagues and those that visit the gate. During the extreme weather that was forecast, Sarah took the decision that she would stay through the night to support the staff as many had not been able to attend. Sarah put the patients’ needs first above her own and showed the utmost care, compassion, courage, communication and commitment. We as a Trust must recognise that without staff going that extra mile, we would not be able to do what we do every day. I am nominating a Nurse who is at the beginning of her calling, and I want to acknowledge the sacrifices made by Sarah, especially during the difficult times of recent years.

Beth Douglass, Senior Physiotherapist

Nominated by Alison Harrington, Therapy Support Worker Community ESD

Beth joined the Early Supportive Stroke Discharge Community Team on the neuro rotation as a Senior Physiotherapist. She has been a huge support to the team, bringing new ideas on how to improve the team and service.  I personally wanted to thank Beth as she has supported me in two difficult situations whilst visiting patients in their homes. She was extremely professional, knowledgeable, kind and most of all calm in stressful situations for our patients and their families She ensured that we received the support once these situations were dealt with, looking after our welfare which sometimes comes in the form of mini cheddars or chocolate biscuits! Beth will move to another team very soon, but I just wanted to a big thank you for all your hard work in ESD Team.


Shani Manoj, Team Leader

Nominated by Michelle Dyer, Matron

Over the past year, Shani has stepped up to take the lead in the absence of a team member within the breast care centre. Shani has led the team through very difficult and challenging times and under immense pressure and scrutiny, yet remains calm and professional at all times. Shani always goes the extra mile for her patients and colleagues, ensuring that all patients feel safe and cared for by all the team in breast care. Shani is an example of the level of commitment and dedication that ensures that patients who may be receiving life-changing news feel safe whilst maintaining a calm environment within the breast care centre. Shani takes on all challenges and does this with professionalism and empathy and without question, in the forefront is her motivation and commitment to the team and the Trust. She is very deserving of a hero award.


Sandro Mangino, Healthcare Support Worker

Nominated by Lisa Hayward, Senior Sister

Sandro is a valued member of the 33b team, his caring and professional approach to his patients and his team is a wonderful thing. He is everyone's 'go to' person when they just can't do something! His ability to think outside of the box is impressive, he always contributes a different perspective and enjoys a good challenge. Sandro is a digital advocate and supports staff with all things tech, he’s the ‘go to’ person and always happy to help. Sandro has a happy go lucky personality and is eager to help wherever he can. An example of patient care that ties in with this is when we had an anxious patient who wanted some much-needed distraction from bad news, Sandro went above and beyond and sourced a working TV for them. It literally made the patient's day and gave them a bit of much-needed normality. This is just one example, there are many more. He literally is one in a million. Everyone needs a Sandro :-)


Prasanna Siriwardena, IT Support Engineer

Nominated by Kathreena Kurian, Professor of Neuropathology

Prasanna is an unsung hero from IT support. He goes above and beyond to respond to emergency requests for IT support despite being under considerable workload pressures. Prasanna deals with all these requests with patience and understanding. He does not give up when faced with a technical problem and has solved many of our standing technical problems coming on several occasions to fix various issues. He is softly spoken and very patient with everyone he interacts with. He is a credit to NBT and a true unsung hero. He has supported our department during periods of crisis during covid when we have moved to online presentations and working. Without his work, our department would not be able to function.


Michael Whitmore, Theatres Programme Manager 

Nominated by Emily, Dawn and Vicky, Theatre Management Team

Michael is often known for being the data man! His modelling of theatre capacity has been instrumental in ensuring the theatres team and all surgical specialties have been able to respond to the Covid waves in a logical, evidenced based and controlled way - always putting patients at the centre of our services. He often produces models for different capacity or demand scenarios in very short timescales, usually a matter of hours. Thanks to him and his skills we've been able to plan ahead when reducing or increasing theatre activity to make sure we're treating as many patients as we're able, whilst avoiding cancellations wherever possible. And now, he has turned his talents and planning skills to elective recovery and supporting the organisation and our patients to reduce waiting lists and increase productivity. He also has a wealth of knowledge about theatres and the organisation that the team draw on frequently. Michael is an essential part of the theatre team, without whom we would be lost!


Jennie Speedie, Senior Sister

Nominated by Holly Walters, Sister

Jennie is a supportive senior sister. She always makes time for the staff on 27A. Jennie is a good listener and always willing to help. She is kind, compassionate and understanding. Jennie goes above and beyond to look after the welfare of staff members an example of this is she organises a bake off for the ward on regular occasions. She encourages staff to take part and it brings the ward together. It is fun, engaging and creates great memories. Many staff members take part in this activity and it makes it to the 27A newsletter. Her positivity ripples throughout the ward and nothing is ever too much trouble.


Marcia Dawkins, Theatre Coordinator

Nominated by Kathreena Kurian, Professor of Neuropathology

Marcia Dawkins is a fearless advocate for justice in our organisation and is definitely an unsung hero, being unafraid to speak truth to power. She has a very challenging clinical role in theatres, but also supports NBT staff through her Union work and is an integral part of the BAME network. She is a cultural ambassador who can support and stand up for BAME and other minorities colleagues and/or patients. This is done with a sense of humour and humility. Her mother was a strong black women with Jamaican heritage and Marcia has carried on that tradition to the benefit of NBT. Marcia is proud to have a daughter also studying healthcare of whom she is extremely proud. North Bristol Trust NBT is lucky to have Marcia and she thoroughly deserves an award.


Paul Scrivener, Frailty Team Therapy Tech 

Nominated by Lucy Dale, Frailty Team Practitioner

Paul joined our frailty team in the summer of 2020. Since he joined the frailty team & 32a, our patient experience has been transformed by his care and expertise. He is a shining example of best practice. His main strength is his ability to build rapport with patients, who can be very challenging and he really understands their needs. Paul is able to problem solve well and think creatively to support patients, particularly those with advanced dementia to engage them appropriately in therapy sessions. Paul will always go above and beyond his practice and follow up patients with their therapy needs and ensure there is continuation to help reduce any risk of deconditioning with our frail patients. Paul is very proactive in his approach to his work and does not need to wait for direction from his colleagues. He is always willing to teach and take his time with patients and members of the team to support with their knowledge, skills and experience within the team. Your hard work does not go unnoticed! And this is only a small token we can offer to say how much we appreciate you!


Raquel Ferreira Torres De Menezes, Manager Radiographer 

Nominated by Kate Miller,  Performance and Operations Manager

Rachel and I have been supporting one of our patients who is anxious about having a radiology appointment following an aborted appointment. Raquel has been nothing short of absolutely amazing from the get-go. Raquel has been on hand to support at every opportunity, responding quickly & sending information that was easy to interpret for our patient. Raquel has gone above and beyond communicating with the wider teams to identify a solution for our patient and then communicated this efficiently - meaning our patient felt listened to throughout and much less anxious given that they weren't waiting for updates. Raquel & the team were able to identify a new date for the scan and Raquel is trying to attend clinically to ensure that our patient continues to be as supported as possible. Raquel has also provided contact details for the patient to call directly on if they feel anxious. This has helped the patient enormously. I feel that Raquel has a real patient focus and has encouraged collaborative working across the Trust to ensure that our patients' experience is more positive & their care remains outstanding. I am so very grateful for Raquel's support & from our patients feedback I know they are too!


Gina George, Staff Nurse

Nominated by Tania Taveira, Ward Sister

Gina is an essential member of our team. She is experienced, has all the knowledge and she is always happy to support the team. She is will always do anything possible to ensure that the team will not struggle. I can always count on Gina to support the team when we, the band 6's, are not around. At the moment we are treating patients from all over the hospital and they can sometimes be out of her scope of expertise. But this has not phased Gina she goes above and beyond her job role to make sure all of her patients are happy and well looked after. We couldn't be the team we are without her. We are really grateful.


Chloe Challenger and Mia Vokins, Receptionists

Nominated by Elizabeth Davis, Receptionist

I would like to nominate both Chloe and Mia in our team. They both have not been with us long but in the short period of time, they have proved themselves to be wonderful assets to our caring services. Things have been hard for receptionists in the last month - shortage of staff, sickness and annual leave has put a lot of pressure on all staff within outpatients but as always when the going gets tough the tough get going and for Chloe and Mia this is no different. They have had to learn every gate in the Brunel building, all the outlying clinics and they have both learnt this at an impressive speed and whilst doing this they have shown nothing but kindness care and empathy towards patients. Thank you both, you hard work is truly appreciated.


David Edwards, Clerical Officer

Nominated by Elizabeth Davis, Receptionist

David is the most agreeable person in the hospital.  He always brings a smile with him and nothing is too much trouble. He knows everyone's name, which is very impressive considering how many staff we have at NBT. He delivers the notes and takes the notes - no matter how many, he will squeeze them in. Come rain or shine he is out there delivering and collecting notes.  He has arrived at our gate several times drenched but still has a smile on his face. Thank you, David.


Kim Steadman, Receptionist

Nominated by Elizabeth Davis, Receptionist

I have had the pleasure to work with Kim and I feel she is one of our unsung heroes. In a very busy outpatient environment, she covers most gates, not only that, before she appears on the desk you will find her in the print room starting things off there. Her day is busy from start to end. But with all this going on, she still finds the time to help any patient who comes her way. This could be someone lost needing direction or even a patient coming to the gate she is not working on. She always shows the greatest of care, understanding and empathy towards not only patients but the staff she works with. I feel blessed to work with her.


Michelle Down, Ward Sister

Nominated by Ben Ford, Matron Mental Health Liaison Team

Michelle worked intensively on a case where a patient was very anxious to leave hospital and had been resident in the hospital for some time. There were significant challenges and barriers to cross to facilitate the process and every step of the way Michelle was present supporting her staff, supporting the process and most importantly supporting the patient. The patient had behaviours that challenged and Michelle absorbed these and continued to focus on the patients well being and reducing their anxiety and displayed nothing but unconditional positive regard towards them and a constant acknowledgement of their needs. Michelle supported her team and led by example on constantly positively engaging the patient. This is a clear example of parity of esteem, great clinical leadership and unconditional positive regard for the welfare of her patient.  It is so important to recognize that even in the most stressful of incidents and times when all wards are experiencing high acuity Michelle is role modelling empathy and personal care and focusing on the individual. All of this without question makes Michelle an NBT Hero


Patricia Ahmed, Senior Ultrasonographer

Nominated by Alireza Vosough, Consultant Radiologist

Patti Ahmed is the ultrasound modality lead at NBT. Under her leadership, the status of ultrasound service has noticeably enhanced. She navigated the service smoothly during the different stages of the pandemic and has improved the efficiency of the service by re-organising scanning slots and has updated the ultrasound protocols. Despite the heavy demands of her job, she has arranged training lists with appropriate sonographer trainers to train our junior radiology trainees. She does induction at the beginning of their rotation and provides support throughout their attachment to NBT. With her help, we managed to utilise Cossham Hospital ultrasound for training our trainees, which has been very popular with them. Patti is a positive person who is always available to help. She is very supportive and encouraging in introducing innovative and new techniques in NBT ultrasound practice. On behalf of our junior radiology trainees in the past two years and myself, I nominate Patti for an NBT hero award, a nomination she undoubtedly deserves.