First NBT Hero Awards of 2021

As is now the 'new normal', the first NBT Heroes of the year came together virtually to hear why their colleagues had put them forward for an award.

There was a real sense of team spirit at the virtual award ceremony, as Chief Executive Evelyn Barker and Director of Facilities Simon Wood read through the list of nominations and congratulated staff for their heroic efforts in not only keeping NBT running, but keeping it compassionate, kind and a great place to work.

More than once upon hearing their nomination read out, our heroes shouted out their team for pulling together and making sure that everyone was supported during these challenging times, which was lovely to hear as we come to the end of Thank You Week 2021.

Read the full nominations below!


Lauren Roberts (Support Manager, Women and Children’s)

nominated by Heidi Lambert (Colposcopy Co-ordinator)

Over the past few months Lauren has been so supportive of me, both on a professional level and a personal level, and has gone above and beyond her role. She has encouraged and supported me in obtaining a higher banding within my role, guiding me through every step, and knowing that she "has my back" has enabled me to achieve my goals. On a personal level, at the end of last year I received some difficult news while I was at work. Lauren was by my side from the start, from offering to drive me home to calling and messaging me out of hours to ensure I was okay and didn't need anything. She guided me in the direction of the counselling service, and even to this day, if I have a bad day she is by my side. She allowed me to take the time I needed and showed care, support and empathy when I needed it most. If Lauren hadn’t been there to support me with care and understanding I'm not sure how I would have coped. She has made my grieving process just that little bit easier!


Julie Chaibi (Practice Development Teacher, Apprenticeship Centre)

nominated by Jonathan Hall (Apprenticeship Lead Delivery Manager)

Julie works within the NBT Apprenticeship Centre as a Practice Development Teacher. She has a caseload of 40 Healthcare Support Workers that she is supporting to complete their apprenticeship. Julie operates in a way that is truly selfless and thrives on the development of others. Julie is a trained Mental Health First Aider and has given support to individuals at their time in need.

Some feedback from Julie’s apprentices: “I’m not sure I would have got to the finish without the awesome Julie Chaibi who believed in my capabilities throughout, who was so encouraging, supportive and always at the end of an email.”

“She is an absolute legend, she helped me through in a way that is so admirable and she has the patience of a saint. Now my only thought and wish is that Julie will be by my side for by Band 3 apprenticeship too. I am determined to become a Registered Nurse, and Julie is the person to help me succeed as she knows what to do and how to do it.”

These are just two of the many apprentices that Julie has supported, but this really does ring true for all of the apprentices that she supports. On behalf of the team and all of your learners, I would like to say a massive thank you to Julie.


Akram Al-Rabahi (Registrar, Gastroenterology)

nominated by Anna Gordon (FY1, Gastroenterology)

Akram went absolutely above and beyond to support us as newly starting juniors at Southmead in our first rotation. When we first started, the ward was struggling with staffing issues and as new F1s without any SHOs or IMTs, initially we felt scared and exposed. Akram was kind, reassuring and went above and beyond to help and support us, while handling the duty of being on-call reg. He made huge efforts to be present on the ward, supported us with complaints and was kind and encouraging as he taught us. There was no job he considered himself above helping us with. Akram was also willing to answer his phone to us multiple times out of hours to help us when we struggled on the ward in twilight or night shifts. I felt very safe working under him, and he brought the team together with a great sense of camaraderie. I think his work went largely unnoticed by consultants or anyone except us because he keeps a low profile - but he held the whole team together. He recently left NBT to go into GP training but I'd like to nominate him for this prize retrospectively.


Judith French (Assistant Director of Operations)

nominated by Christopher Ashworth (Clinical Flow Matron, CSM)

Jude works tirelessly to maintain the safe running of the Trust all year round. Jude leads the clinical site management team with her team of Matrons to an outstandingly high level. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the job of maintaining site safety and patient flow has been particularly challenging. Jude has maintained a strong presence throughout and provided strong leadership in very uncertain times. She has given the Clinical Site Management Team the support to continue providing site safety and patient flow across the hospital. Messaging for COVID-19 has changed continuously and rapidly, but Jude has always been at the forefront, making sure the correct information and messaging is rolled out trust wide - starting with the CSMT. I feel that Jude needs recognition for her tremendous commitment to the CSMT and NBT. Jude remains dedicated even outside of her hours to maintaining the level of support and high standards that NBT require from the CSMT. Jude NEVER fails to deliver!


Tim Wreford-Bush (Lead Biomedical Scientist, Blood Transfusion)

nominated by Grace van der Mee (Lead Biomedical Scientist, Haematology)

Tim has worked for the Trust for quite a number of years as a Blood Transfusion Lead. He caught the COVID-19 virus quite early on in this pandemic. Despite having to remain at home while he recovered from the virus, he has kept in touch with his staff to help set-up the Nightingale Hospital. After his recovery, he has signed himself up to donate his plasma for the convalescent plasma trial to help treat those who are seriously ill in hospital with the virus. I believe this selfless act goes over and beyond his duty as a Blood Transfusion Manager at Southmead. He is passionate about helping others and keeping everyone safe in the workplace. I believe he deserves this recognition.


Pepper Rogers (HCA, Cossham Outpatients)

nominated by Naomi Bolt (Sister, Cossham Outpatients)

Pepper has worked for the trust for many years; she started off in the wards at Frenchay Hospital and now works at Cossham. She is an invaluable member of the team who has a great demeanour with her patients. She's professional but also so caring and loving. She always goes that extra mile to make sure patients are well cared for, to the point that many come in and ask for her by name. Not only is Pepper great with her patients but colleagues too, she's supportive and has great attitude with all that she does. As an HCA Pepper is exceptional and I know as her manager that I can always rely on her for the answers to pretty much anything. When we are short staffed, she will move her shifts around to help. She also supports new staff and is an excellent mentor. She has just an amazing attitude and the ability to raise morale within her team when the mood is low. She is an absolute hero and I feel she should be recognised.


Jess Simms (Neuro Specialist Physiotherapist)

and Leanne Foukes (Senior Nurse, 7A)

nominated by Bernice Hayles (Physiotherapy Clinical Lead, Neurosciences)

and Natalie Wood (Senior Sister, 7A)


Both Jess and Leanne worked extremely hard in facilitating the management and discharge of a patient with complex neuro and respiratory needs. They led the management of a complex tracheostomy wean and ultimately long term tracheostomy plan, Jess with her expert neuro and respiratory skills and Leanne with her experience in community management of tracheostomies. They both used their previous experience and initiative to deliver fantastic patient care. They were able to liaise with specialist services at NBT and across the South West network to ensure excellent patient care and training for family and support services in order to provide a complex community care plan. They led on weekly inpatient and cross site/service MDT meetings to ensure all bases were covered for an efficient and effective discharge. They were even involved in sourcing, ordering and training of staff and family on specialist equipment. As key workers, they were integral in keeping the MDT and family involved and up to date at each stage of patient care from admission to discharge. They are a great example of multidisciplinary working between nurses and therapists.


We recently had a very complex discharge to facilitate on gate 7A, regarding discharging a patient with severe learning difficulties home with a new long term tracheostomy in situ. This is the first time in my neuro career of 15 years that we have had to do this and it seemed a huge challenge. Both Jess and Leanne worked extremely hard in facilitating this discharge and went above and beyond to ensure it was went safely and smoothly. They took on the challenge willingly and used great initiative leading the management of this discharge using their expert neuro and respiratory skills. They also built a great rapport with the patient’s mum and primary carer. They faced numerous challenges as a result of the COVID pandemic but were innovative in their approach - providing training over MS teams for example. There was even a period when mum couldn't visit due to self-isolation but they kept her involved, informed and up to date and she couldn't have been more complimentary of the care her daughter received. Excellent display of multidisciplinary working between nurses and therapists and I think they thoroughly deserve to be recognised.


Cheryl Bishop (Clerical Worker, 25A)

nominated by Jessica Cole (Occupational Therapist)

I've discussed this nomination with lots of the other staff on 25A and everyone is in agreement how much Cheryl deserves this award. No task is too big for her. When the world seems like it is falling apart, she always has a smile, will go out of her way to help, and when you walk onto the ward in the morning and see her behind the desk your spirits lift a little as you know today will be a good day. She multi-tasks, answers the phones and doors with a smile, sorts out our paperwork, orders equipment, supplies, even helps out on other wards who are struggling, and we never run out of patient name stickers when she is around! When the nurses have several discharges planned and everything is happening all at once, Cheryl steps in to provide order to the chaos and somehow manages to figure things out so that everyone gets home safely and on time. Thank you Cheryl for being our 25A hero.


Erika Norris (System Implementation Lead, Bluespier)

and Adryana Kusyk (Project Manager, Bluespier)

nominated by Nick Preston (Consultant Anaesthetist)

Erika and Adryana are two outstanding individuals working in IM&T that consistently go above and beyond the call of duty for NBT.  The trust recently successfully deployed the Bluespier Theatre Management software in a record 5 months during COVID.  Not only have they worked incredibly hard during the past year, alongside their normal workload, but they both came in at incredibly short notice to support urgent last minute overnight work for the Bluespier roll-out. This meant that patients did not lose out on theatre capacity and the project was successful for the trust. They both exemplify the true benefit of partnership working between clinical and non-clinical staff.   

They should be incredibly proud to be able to reflect the highest standards and values the trust embodies - true NBT Heroes. 


Hollie Stockham (Staff Nurse, 8B)

nominated by Josey Smith (Receptionist, 8B)

Whilst working in pressured circumstances, Hollie went above and beyond for a Purple Butterfly patient, she was an absolute angel not only to the patient but also for his wife and family. Hollie even offered to pay for a taxi from Bath to Southmead to make sure his wife was by her husband's side.

Despite this patient requiring a lot of Hollie’s time to ensure their needs were met, she still managed to look after her other patients as well – truly a remarkable feat.

After a fraught shift, Hollie was back again the next day and working with other patients on the ward when she was told that sadly her patient had passed away that morning. This was obviously upsetting news for Hollie, but she still managed to put on a brave face and did a sterling job looking after the other patients under her care and remaining professional throughout.

Hollie hasn't long been qualified as a staff nurse, but this example just goes to show the amazing compassion this young nurse has.


Charlie Austin (Ward Sister, 8A)

nominated by Megan Crook (Specialist Mental Health Nurse)

Throughout the year, all the staff on ward 8A have worked exceptionally in supporting those with mental health needs in a collaborative, caring and compassionate manner. They have delivered lifesaving care in the face of adversity, complexity, staffing troubles and stress, and continue to provide high quality care to their service users. I wanted to particularly highlight Charlie's hard work throughout the year, especially in regards to her work with patients with complex mental health needs. Although all staff are brilliant, I have noted that Charlie gives her all to making sure those with serious mental health issues are listened to, supported and they are safely discharged as smoothly as possible. I have noted she also works hard to support the morale in the ward and ensures staff feel able to deliver consistent care. Charlie gives the time, patience and compassion to the role, and we as a team want to thank you personally from the bottom of our hearts, for taking the time to save lives. Well done Charlie and team 8A!


Sarah Wheatley (Senior Nurse, Infection Control)

nominated by Su Monk (Deputy Director of Nursing & Quality)

In Wave 2 of the pandemic Sarah answered a call for help and joined the Infection Control Team to provide leadership as a critical time. The team had experienced staff turnover with 2 of our long standing infection control senior nurses leaving the trust for new opportunities and Sarah didn't hesitate in offering her support to the team and was released from her IMT role to do so. Sarah had recently started a new role with IMT as a clinical lead for the digital transformation programme, but she readily answered our call for help and her leadership has been critical in managing COVID in the trust and supporting clinical divisional teams in managing outbreaks and staff infections. Sarah has been a blessing in these challenging times and her efforts have been very much appreciated by us all. Sarah has gone above and beyond and really is an NBT Hero, and alongside leading the team in this difficult time she has made significant progress in supporting the roll out of CareFlow Connect in IPC and Tissue Viability teams which will support the teams in communicating with ward teams and in reducing time spent updating multiple records and releasing time for the team to focus on patient care and supporting clinical decision making.


Sue Miller (PACS/RIS Manager, Imaging)

nominated by Adam Williams (Consultant Neurosurgeon)

Sue is an incredible point of contact that seems to single-handedly keep the imaging exchange between our network intact. She is always willing to go over and above to help, is positive and welcoming no matter the time of day or night and incredibly proactive. Despite me calling her first thing on Christmas morning with a major IT issue that could reasonably have been solved earlier in the week, she showed no hint of frustration where many would, and simply went about her work with the same positivity and vigour I have witnessed from her before. To be honest I was delighted when I called the "on call PACS IT" number and heard that it was Sue. Suddenly, everything thereafter felt manageable.


Ellie Harris (Waiting List Co-ordinator, Neurosurgery)

nominated by Emma Newland (Performance & Operations Manager, Neurosurgery)

Ellie originally started working in Neurosurgery as a secretary and was new to the hospital environment. She completely turned around 2 consultant practices with such ease, resulting in a flurry of compliments from both patients and colleagues. Ellie later progressed to a Waiting List Coordinator role and during her time in this role she has had to cover long term sickness within her team, which resulted in her managing the surgical waiting lists of 15 consultants. Despite this, Ellie has stayed calm and managed all the changes with theatre cancellations, continual changes with patient shielding, changes with pre-op assessment, arranging COVID swabs and results, as well as managing the clinical priority of patients by working with the consultant team throughout COVID this year. Ellie is a reliable member of staff who always goes above and beyond for patients, colleagues and management. She has been an outstanding member of our team during this tough time and regularly works many additional hours to ensure the job is done. I would like to nominate her for this award to say thank you for all her hard work and dedication during 2020.


Sandra Mentel (Clerical Officer, Pre-operative Assessment)

nominated by Gabor Csorba (Patient Flow Navigator, CSM)

When it comes to finalising the ASCR elective list on weekends Sandra has done her job to high standards, with attention to detail and great communication skills when liaising with both patients and colleagues. On various occasions she has been asked if she could help out with other divisions’ elective lists whenever a team member needed support and she has never hesitated to offer assistance. Sandra is a perfect example of someone who demonstrates OneNBT values in everything that she does. Thank you Sandra for all your help and keep up all the good work, you are a hero!


Dr Shailendra Deep (Consultant, Anaesthetics)

nominated by Subhabrata Halder (Consultant, Anaesthetics)

Dr Deep is caring, compassionate and has a heart of gold. He looks after all his patients with dedication and professionalism, and when anyone needs help and attention he goes the extra million miles. During the first wave of the pandemic, when he noticed that healthcare workers were being affected by the virus, he linked in with a local charity and raised £10,000 for disbursement to the next-of-kin of the NHS heroes in the South-West who passed away in line of duty. Though he has personal health conditions and is at high risk, he ran 10K back to back for 10 days to help raise money and highlight the cause. Due to his initiative, the charity were able to help 4 bereaved families with the initial financial support. I am reassured that with so much good will and kindness, humanity is in a better realm. I consider him an NBT hero and would recommend him for this recognition.


Alexandra Pickerell (Sister, Infection Control)

nominated by Su Monk (Deputy Director of Nursing & Quality)

In Wave 2 of the pandemic, when Infection Control had recently lost 2 senior members for greener pastures, Alex answered the call for help and joined the team. She did this without hesitation, which is admirable considering the role she was stepping into. Alex is Sister and Emergency Nurse Practitioner in the Emergency Department, and has gone above and beyond, joining and leading the infection control team with confidence, providing expert advice and communication with all areas of the organisation ensuring we are ready and able to respond to patient needs and incidents of COVID.


Morwenna Maddock (Sister, ICU)

nominated by Izzy Martin (Senior Sister, ICU)

Mo is the lead nurse for well-being here on ICU. This is a huge role which has been made even more challenging during the current pandemic. Mo is a passionate leader and is continuously seeking new initiatives to improve and sustain well-being across the ICU team. She works incredibly hard to motivate and inspire others, going above and beyond to help and support her colleagues. I would like to nominate Mo for an NBT Hero award to acknowledge all of her hard work and commitment to ensuring the team here in ICU continue to feel cared for, listened to and appreciated.


Emma Gendall (Senior Research Nurse, Acute Care)

nominated by Liz Goff (Administrator, Acute Care Research)

This year has been a very different year in terms of research, working environment, lifestyle and personal circumstances. Emma along with her acute care team have adapted to every change that came along during the pandemic. Emma has continued to guide and encourage not only her team but wider team members to reach their full ability. She is thoughtful and understanding regarding personal and work circumstances and wants to make sure her team members feel validated and listened to about what works for them, and what could work better. This was especially important when two of our team members were re-deployed to ICU, and with the passing of our dear colleague Robert Healey. Emma has always volunteered her time and has taken on the role of Co-ordinator many times throughout the pandemic. I would like to suggest Emma for this award for helping to keep her team going and working well together.


Joanna Kalek (Domestic Auditor)

nominated by Debra Penketh (Duty Manager)

Joanna is a kind and extremely helpful member of the domestic audit team, always going out of her way to help others, even if it is not part of her job description. Joanna always brings a smile to the office, and never complains about her work load even when she has a lot to do. She will talk to Domestics about the audit corrections, and will even help them carrying out the work that needs doing. Joanna has so much to offer the trust, and is always giving support and guidance to others, a real example of OneNBT. It’s such a pleasure working with someone that brightens the day of the many staff that she comes across in her role.


Rosemary Martineau-Brown (Site Nurse Practitioner, Hospital at Night)

nominated by Suzanne Crew (Site Nurse Practitioner, Hospital at Night)

During the whole of the COVID pandemic to date, Rose has volunteered to work literally hundreds of extra shifts, despite having retired earlier this year, covering not only any sickness within our own team, but also medical shortages overnight. Despite all the challenges we have been through, having family dependent on her at home, and falling and breaking her back, she has managed to keep everyone's spirits up with her constant good humour and unfailing willingness to work. We could not have got though this without her I am sure, so she is definitely my hero.