Congratulations to October's NBT Hero Award winners

Collage of people

October’s hero awards saw one of our largest cohorts of hero award winners yet – with 57 North Bristol NHS Trust staff members receiving an award. 

Since the Hero Awards started in 2016, year on year, we have seen the number of nominations and winners increase so much that in 2020 we increased the number of awards from 4 times a year to 6 times a year to recognise more of our staff for the contribution they make every day. 

With plenty of individual and team nominations, there were smiles all around as we celebrated and recognised the achievement of our colleagues.

Simon Wood, Director of Estates, Facilities and Capital Planning and Glyn Howells, Chief Finance Officer, who partook in his first hero awards opened the ceremony by welcoming and thanking staff: 

“You may feel like what you’re doing is just part of your job, but someone has clearly noticed that you’ve gone above and beyond and made a real difference to our patients or your colleagues.” 

Read the full nominations of all of October’s winners below.

Amy McCallum, Deborah Finnamore, Celia McGilloway (Functional skills lead and teachers)

nominated by Sally Garbett  (Practice development lead. Leadership and management)

The Functional Skills team teaches English and Maths qualifications to NBT staff - usually, these staff members are undertaking an apprenticeship but not always. This team teaches a variety of different staff members from varying roles. This means the team needs to vary their approach to each individual and the challenges are many and varied: for example, some staff often lack confidence and the fundamentals of grammar, punctuation and conventions of English that have been missed, for some staff English is their second language. With maths, there is frequently an inbuilt "I can't do maths" that the teaching team overcome - the results that learners achieve are amazing. After the course, it is wonderful to see that our colleagues have grown hugely in confidence and now take delight in applying their new found skills.

Covid has meant the team needed to switch to remote learning - this did not phase the Functional Skills team. They developed resources seemingly overnight that aided learning. These had to be innovative as you can't get a learner who needs to develop their English to read a distance learning package when reading is one of the things they must learn!. The teachers used narrated resources, games, videos and activities and ran one to one sessions for learners who needed this approach. We are now back to face to face delivery and the team are working as hard as ever. The entire practice development team would like to nominate our functional skills staff and have them recognised for their amazing and often hidden work.


Helen Kitchen (Upper GI Cancer CNS )

nominated by Tara IIes (Deputy Divisional Director of Nursing)

Helen is an inspirational nurse who has exceptional communication skills and demonstrates her compassion and kindness. There has been a gap in the nursing team recently, and Helen has often found herself lone working. Helen has continued to show real commitment to the service and her patients and is a steady constant and calm. Helen really does deserve to be recognised and we are very proud of her in the division and nursing team. Thank you Helen for all you have done and continue to do.


David Llewellyn (People Team Partner) 

I wanted to nominate Dave and recognise his support and kindness. Dave is a new manager in the Trust, and to me, he demonstrates the NBT values wholeheartedly in everything he does but personally, he showed these when helping me return to work, in what has been quite a difficult time for me. Dave ensured that he obtained occupational health advice for my condition and asked questions about what would help me in my return. He also checked whether there would be any further equipment that would benefit me. He has made himself available to me should I need to speak with him and put weekly 121s in place as recommended by occupational health to help me settle back into the workplace. I would really like Dave to be recognised for his support to me as a member of his team, and what a great example he sets to others around the Trust.


Susan Woolf (Secretary & Waiting List Co-Ordinator)

Nominated by Anita Philip (Advanced Nurse Practitioner)

Sue is the 'go-to' person in our department. I have known Sue for 14 years and every time I have worked with her, she has always been the same pleasing person with a passion for her patients: a problem solver, who is quick thinking on her feet, meticulous attention to detail, flawless in secretarial work (and her banana bread is divine). Sue is extremely organised, and this comes across when dealing with Mr Patel's patients and the service works smoothly. All our patients have wonderful things to say about Sue. Sue is very compassionate, highly flexible and a dedicated person who spends a lot of her personal time getting things done properly. The registrars rotating to the practice have all commented on how well structured the practice is set up. Sue trains new recruits and is a great role model for them for the last 21 years. I am sure the consultants, ANP's and admin staff will understand when I say the department will be lost when Sue retires.


James Iddon (Clinical Site Team)

Nominated by Karen Brown (Chief Operating Officer)

I would like to nominate James Iddon for an NBT Hero Award, recognising his extraordinary and exceptional contribution to the Clinical Site team. In one of the most challenging periods of time in the NHS, James has taken everything in his stride: working flexibly, leading and supporting colleagues in a number of areas including the EPPR team. Drawing upon his clinical background in ICU, James supported the repatriation of patients during the pandemic working closely with ICU and receiving Trusts to ensure safe and seamless transfers of care. Most recently, James has supported the early development of both the Flu and Winter plans working tirelessly to deliver work of an exceptionally high standard. James is a valued team member, who has a huge sense of pride in his work and through his actions has selflessly supported his colleagues. Throughout, James has sustained his sense of humour and worked flexibly within the team. He truly is NBT Hero. I feel privileged to nominate him for this award.


Poppy Taylor (Reconstructive Prosthetist)

Nominated by Amy Davey (Reconstructive Prosthetics Laboratory Manager)

Poppy has continually gone the extra mile for our service and patients. Whilst joining NBT in the most difficult times last year, she has quickly taken on heavy workloads and untiringly working through our long waiting lists whilst single-handedly running the laboratory service during other staff's extended leave. The excellent prosthetic skills that Poppy has executed since the beginning are a credit to her hard work: aiding patients' rehabilitation and enabling them to have a high quality of life following trauma and disease, providing superior facial and body prosthetics including artificial eyes, ears, noses, nipples, fingers and many more. Going above and beyond, Poppy ensures our patients have exactly what they need by putting them at ease during appointments, fabricating bespoke prototypes and excellent aesthetic results with final prostheses. In addition, she shares these techniques with our students through teaching and competency assessments. In particular, her perseverance with continuing projects has not gone unnoticed: on top of her usual work, Poppy has facilitated the progression of the service, arranging joint meetings and appointments with UHBW colleagues to provide patients with treatment options not otherwise possible, improving patient outcomes and satisfaction. We are very lucky to have Poppy as part of the Reconstructive Prosthetics team. Thank you, Poppy for all your hard work.


Oswald (Samuel Mensah) (Specialist Biomedical Scientist )

Nominated by Halina Collingbourne (Quality Manager)

Where to begin...everyone needs an Os in their life. He is the most wonderful, kind, helpful, courteous, dependable, likeable, never has a bad word to say about anyone, person you will ever meet - a true NBT hero and always has a smile to brighten everyone's day. He always goes the extra mile to help his colleagues. For example, we were running out of options for cover for our night shift (due to sickness/absence/leave) and with no hesitation he volunteered and cancelled his day's leave, to come into work. My colleagues and I have considered buying him a gift/treat for helping us on this shift, but we already know that Os would rather give this to someone else than take it for himself. For his 'big' birthday (21 again) we arranged donations to charity and his personal gift was a list of good deeds we did "in the name of Os". Os came to the UK from Ghana in the 1990s as a student, voluntarily working to gain experience in the lab whilst also studying. He is now one of our most experienced Biomedical Scientists and more importantly a valued member of our team, 25 years on. It makes me proud to work alongside him. Os - I know you won't like this nomination, but you are Team Haematology beloved hero.


Maxine Norman (Trauma and Orthopaedics Administrator)

Nominated by Emma Wright (NMSK Matron)

Maxine is more than an administrator: she is a friend, confidant, a huge knowledge resource, who is dedicated to her patients and colleagues. She goes above and beyond the role of an administrator but staying within a safe scope of practice. She checks in with staff and highlights when she thinks staff need more support. Her skills keep the wards running and the Senior Sisters rely on her heavily. She looks after 3 wards and the plaster room and she manages to stay on top of all her tasks. I am in awe of her time management and prioritisation skills. I am new to the department and she has supported me by teaching me and keeping me informed of changes. Most recently, she challenged a visitor who was taking photographs of the flow board. She stepped up and explained that this information was not to be shared and insisted on the picture being deleted from their phone. This was achieved in a respectful manner which the visitor understood. When praised on her conduct her answer was 'I need to look after the patients and keep them safe'.


Tom Woodward (General manager for Trauma and Orthopaedics)

Nominated by Emma Wright (NMSK Matron)

I have recently worked closely with Tom and he needs recognising, for his passion for improvement in the division and our NHS. He is an approachable member of the team who always has time for every member of staff. He treats all the members of the team with the same respect. He impresses me every day with his problem-solving skills and is always very honest when he wants to understand more. His sense of humour keeps the team in good spirit even through the most difficult times of the pandemic. He has a true understanding and empathy towards the patients waiting for surgery and tireless works to try and improve patient waiting times. Tom needs recognising for his continual work striving for staff satisfaction and patient experience.


Lee Hulcombe (Security Officer)

Nominated by David Arnold (Medical Specialist Registrar)

During a night shift, a patient on the medical wards became profoundly confused as a side effect of his neurology medication. He was very frightened of his surroundings and became quickly aggressive towards the nursing staff. His confusion meant he did not believe he was in the hospital, and we were trying to poison him. Security was called, and Lee was first on the scene. He assessed the situation quickly and talked calmly to the patient. He managed to develop a rapport that the clinical team had been unable to. This allowed him, without force, to move the patient into a side room, reducing the ongoing risk to staff and other patients. He stayed with the patient for over an hour talking with him to keep him calm till a family member could attend. His actions effectively deescalated the situation and calmed the patient in what was a stressful situation for everyone. I have been a doctor for 10 years, and it was the best example of violence avoidance and rapport building I have seen from a security officer.


Charlotte “Lotte” West (Staff Nurse)

Hannah Britton (Advanced Clinical Practitioner)

Lotte has been heavily involved in the care of a palliative patient whose last wish has been to return home. The patient has had a lengthy stay with considerable complications before and during their admission. With a lot of effort from the ward and with partnership working between the ward and the community, a discharge was arranged. However, due to the patients medical complexities, we were asked to supply a trained nurse for transport. Lotte came in, to transfer the patient from the hospital, back to their own home to spend their final short time surrounded by their family. Lotte stayed and reassured the patient and met their family at home to teach them to use the new nebuliser machine in their own environment that the patient had been sent home with, making sure that they felt comfortable. Lotte sacrificed her own time with her family, to come into work and support this patient to reach their preferred place of care, at home, for the end of their life. This has been a very emotional case for all involved but knowing that we were able to get this patient home has provided some comfort. Thank you Lotte for stepping in at the last hour to make sure that this could happen.


Neurosurgical and Musculoskeletal Waiting List Coordinators

Beverley O’Keeffe, Breda Joyce, Emily Manville, Jade Dudbridge, Jane Smith, Marie Griffin, Sarah Cox, Vanessa Price, Katie Ball, Katie Pearce, Kirsty Atwill, Laura Webb, Leanne Malpas, Safina Saddique, Sarah Backholer, Susan Woolf

Nominated by Sue Mallet (Deputy Divisional Director of Nursing)

The Neurosurgery and Orthopaedic waiting list coordinators in NMSK are most definitely unsung heroes. They have maintained contact throughout the pandemic with the patients awaiting surgery. They deal with patients in a calm, caring and collected manner. Their compassion for the patients is clear, and they consistently provide exceptional care to all the patients they communicate with. Waiting List Coordinators go under the radar but make a huge contribution to the patient journey. Their interactions with the patients must prevent a large volume of complaints and maintain a positive relationship with our patients before they arrive in the hospital.


Caroline Bird (Highly Specialist Cardiac Physiologist)

Nominated by Nicola Giles (Highly Specialist Cardiac Physiologist)

I have worked with Caroline for 15 years and she has worked for the Trust for longer. I want her to be recognised as an NBT Hero. I won't say how long she's worked for the Trust, but she still comes in each day motivated to learn and work hard. Caroline consistently puts the patient first and will always take the extra time to put people at ease, even if it adds more pressure to her day. I have learnt so much from her in how to treat patients with respect and dignity. I trust her judgement of clinical situations, and she is always there to offer support and sound advice. Even if things aren't easy for her, Caroline will still think about how she can help others. She is conscientious and just quietly gets on with her job probably without realising the true positive difference she is making to the lives of patients and colleagues around her.


Multiple members of staff from ED, W&CH and ASCR

Fiona Scriven, Jodie Clement, Nicola Chinnock, Sonia Barnfield, Stephanie Withers, Deborah Haarer, Katie Thornhill, Katherine Birchenall, Mohamed Elhodaiby, Corrine Smith, Rhys Rhidian, Anna Bell, Nicola Morgan, James Cameron, Daniel Wattley, Charlotte Riley, Lisa Haines (ED), Natalie Wright Kirsty Clarke, Michelle Willis, Lauren Hague, Juliette Hughes, Charlotte Chylewski and Amy Hudd.

Nominated by Nicola Morgan (Consultant in Emergency Medicine))

The teams from the Emergency Department, Obstetrics, Anaesthetics, Midwifery, Theatres and NICU all came together to deliver exemplary care for a pregnant mother and her baby in the most difficult of circumstances. This woman was suffering from Eclampsia and life-threatening seizures which led to the baby’s heartbeat going dangerously low, and at one point we were concerned that both the mother and the baby might not survive. Practitioners from multiple specialties arrived promptly, understood their roles expertly, knew what each other needed to do and worked together brilliantly. We anaesthetised the mother to stop the seizures, performed an emergency category 1 caesarean section in the resus cubicle and rapidly delivered the baby to a team of NICU practitioners for the baby to be resuscitated. The mother was transferred to the theatre to complete her operation and the ED team provided care and support for the whole family. Later that day, the mother was sitting up and talking and the baby was requiring minimal interventions in NICU.

This is a once-in-a-career event, and so often, you hear stories about when things haven’t been as good as they could have been. I am so proud that here at NBT, we dealt with this emergency so well. I am always proud of the patient care that we deliver here at NBT, but on this occasion, I am truly honoured to be part of this team, and I would like to thank each member of the team involved for their care, compassion, teamwork and excellence.


Iris Jallorina (Sister – Elgar House)

Nominated by Gemma Quijote (Staff Nurse)

Iris is one of the sisters in Elgar. During the time that she has been in this position, the ward has unfortunately suffered staff shortages, but Iris has been there on every occasion to help organise the ward and ensure it is run safely. Iris is well skilled, calm and confident in an emergency. She is always available to help other team members and is a compassionate leader who makes us feel secure when she is in charge. Iris will always go the extra mile and is incredibly hardworking - one moment she is taking charge of an emergency, and the next moment she is helping our housekeepers. If this wasn't enough, her clinical knowledge is excellent - on-call Doctors can rely on Iris to be there and do all the interventions before coming to the ward. I believe the team in Elgar will agree with me nominating Iris; she is a hero to all of us. She has done so much it is difficult to put it all down in words.


Nancy Francis (Cardiac Physiologist)

Nominated by Ana Carneiro (Cardiac Physiologist) and Emma Woodman (Coordinator)

Nancy is the most recent BSE accredited echocardiographer from the Cardiac Testing team. She has been tirelessly working hard to meet the demands of our very busy echo department - both inpatient and outpatients. As a current echo trainee, I know I can always ask for help, and I know she will always support me and teach me in every way she can, even when she is busy. She is also supportive of other trainees and medical registrars that are currently undertaking BSE accreditation. As if this wasn't enough, she always does this with a smile on her face.

I would like to nominate Nancy - she has gone above and beyond this past week by continuing to run our training lists while dealing with staff shortages. So far this week, she has single handily completed the inpatient echo's, as well as assisting with the outpatient training lists, all with a big smile on her face as always.


Josh Griffiths (Physicians Associate)

Nominated by Karen Brown (Chief Operating Officer)

I would like to nominate Josh for an NBT Hero Award for his outstanding contribution over the last two weeks. During a busy period for the Trust, Josh rapidly became the constant link for 7B in the daily cross-divisional meetings as the allocation of resources were reviewed to ensure a safe service was in place. By supporting doctors in the management of patients, Josh ensured that queries were quickly acted upon, links with specialities were maintained to support the progression of care and ultimately discharge of patients, all of which was communicated clearly to the Ward Sisters. I have met Josh as the executive link for board rounds on 32a. He is exceptionally diligent and clearly an invaluable member of the team, who during a period of intense pressure has demonstrated through his actions the values of the Trust. Thank you Josh.


Congratulations to all our winners