NBT's Annual Staff Awards 2023

Maria Kane presenting at the NBT Annual Staff Awards 2023

On Friday, 13 October, we held our Annual Staff Awards, with over 400 of our wonderful staff and volunteers celebrating together at The Marriott Hotel in Bristol.

The whoLE event was made possible by generous donations from our corporate sponsors; KPI Health, Bouygues and Provelio.

With an amazing 700+ nominations received this year, it was more difficult than ever for our judges to decide on the winners. Congratulations to all those who were shortlisted, and please see more about the winners of our 14 categories below.

NBT Annual Staff Awards 2023


Our Annual Staff Awards 2023 winners!


We make a difference in our community

Winner – Lisa Kirk, Consultant Obstetrician and Lead for Bereavement Care

As Bereavement Lead Consultant, Lisa acts with kindness and compassion to every patient she meets. Sadly not all women and families receive maternity care that is equal and equitable. However, Lisa always ensures that the voices of our most vulnerable patient population are heard. Not only are they heard, but Lisa is determined to improve the unwarranted variation in care by being committed and ambitious to embrace new opportunities. As a result, Lisa is leading the way by setting up health engagement sessions in local communities.

Acting on gaps in current maternity antenatal care, Lisa is determined to improve women's health outcomes from black and minority ethnic groups. In her own time, Lisa has set up focus groups within our communities, exploring black and minority ethnic group women's experiences during antenatal care. Lisa is truly aspirational in her approach, ensuring more women's voices are heard and improvements to maternity care are made. Lisa is leading a new pilot scheme across the local maternity units within BNSSG to pilot and adopt Maternity Champions. She contributes to a wider equality and diversity improvement workstream, Project Smile. Implementing Maternity Champions will ensure different communities have their voices heard and care is more individualised to meet their needs. Thank you, Lisa.

Lisa Kirk, winner of the We make a difference in our community award


Winner – Bristol Centre for Enablement

The Bristol Centre for Enablement (BCE) provides six different but related services that bridge acute and community health with more than 130 passionate staff, many of whom have decades of service and some who have come from community services.  The multi-disciplinary team at BCE are an incredible team of OTs, physios, podiatrists, clinical scientists, speech and language therapists, prosthetists, orthotists, teachers, rehabilitation engineers, counsellors, a Consultant in Rehabilitation medicine, and assistant practitioners all supported by amazing admin staff who underpin all services. The centre provides three specially commissioned services (Prosthetics, Electronic Assistive Technology (EAT), Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) across the whole Southwest peninsula, and three locally commissioned services (wheelchair, wheelchair repairs and maintenance, and orthotics) within the BNSSG ICB area. The EAT and AAC services are entirely delivered in the community so that patients may never be seen in a clinic setting.

The BCE services support adult and paediatric patients and provide specialist equipment, classed as medical devices, that patients’ use daily to maximise active and independent living. The equipment is designed around a patient and their daily goals and is entirely bespoke requiring staff to have a deep understanding of the patients’ lived experience, environment, lifestyle, and accessible support network.  Consequently, staff develop lifelong relationships starting from as early as ante natal guidance for babies with foetal conditions and extending throughout life as circumstances change, to sensitive end of life care support.  These relationships stretch beyond patients and include families, carers, teachers and carers and the support staff offer is both clinical and emotional as they are integral to the maximising the patients’ independence. 

Bristol Centre for Enablement, winner of the We make a difference in our community award


We transform services

Winner – Same Day Emergency Care (SDEC) Team

Same-day emergency care (SDEC) allows specialists to care for patients within the same day of arrival as an alternative to hospital admission, removing delays for patients requiring further investigation and/or treatment. SDEC is an integral part of the urgent and emergency care plan, nationally and at NBT. The medical and surgical SDEC teams created a single unit in April 2022 and since then, have expanded numbers of patients seen and the number of specialties providing the service. This includes gastrointestinal surgery (GI), urology, neurosurgery, renal and orthopaedics for surgery with frailty, cardiology, stroke, neurology, infectious diseases, gastroenterology and diabetes supporting acute medicine. There is close cooperation across the unit and the team help and support each other with workforce and space. They work with the NHS@Home service and with the emergency department, supported by radiology and pharmacy to deliver excellent patient care. This unit did not exist 18 months ago, and now sees more than 50 patients a day (15 directly from ED). By learning from each other, this team has disrupted normal ways of working, changed culture and managed risk differently whilst keeping the patient at the centre of the service.

Same Day Emergency Care, winner of the We transform services


We provide high quality, safe patient care

Winner – Neonatal ICU team

Southmead NICU provides sophisticated, high quality, evidence-based care for babies born from 22 weeks onwards – care that starts even before the baby is born. NICU have highly skilled staff from many different backgrounds, and they provide continuance of education of and provide the most appropriate developmental care. I believe the NICU team does not leave any stone unturned to provide the best possible care for the babies and their parents  with a holistic approach.

There's so much to been done to care for these little ones to provide not only a caring atmosphere but also safe environment. The ‘FINE’ course is one of the best examples of how much these babies are cared for and ensuring that staff attend the course, the PD team ensures a smooth transition of staff from whichever experiences they have come from. The caring attitude is not only for babies and their parents, but for the staff too.

At the end of 2022 triplets born at 22 weeks gestation and cared for by NBT NICU received two Guinness World Records for most premature surviving triplets  and the lightest combined birth weight of triplets. This along with the very positive feedback we frequently receive is something for the team to be proud of. 

Neonatal ICU team, winner of the We provide high quality, safe patient care award


We support NBT (Volunteer or Fundraiser)

Winner - Purple Butterfly Volunteers

We could not have foreseen the positive impact that our volunteers have had upon the care and support given to patients in their final days of life, and the families of those who receive end of life care here at NBT. The feedback we have received from both staff and relatives is very positive, with one example here; “The little details of care that you provided over the last few days – like giving mouthcare, applying Vaseline to his lips, providing cups of tea, sorting out parking passes and canteen passes, just your presence in being there for chats and to laugh with, have meant the absolute WORLD to us.” Since May 2022, the number of purple butterfly volunteers has grown steadily and now total 15, they have provided support to a total of 1,600 patients and their families with a total of 1,340 hours of their free time. They have become an integral part of the palliative care team, who brighten our office with their cheerful banter and smiling faces. Winning this award would be the perfect way to say ‘Thank you’ for helping us to improve the care and compassion shown to both dying patients and their families here at NBT. 

Purple Butterfly Volunteers, winner of the We support NBT (Volunteer of Fundraiser) award


We carry out research and innovation

Winner - Rachel Evans, Practice Educator in Critical Care

In 2023, Research and Development launched a new scheme to provide funding to NBT staff, with no previous experience of research, to enable them to develop a clinically driven research idea. This scheme is aimed at non-medical staff who do not have protected research time within their job plan. Applicants are invited to submit ideas for research based on their day-to day observations of how clinical services/patient outcomes could be improved. Rachel Evans, ICU staff nurse, was the first applicant to this scheme; from her clinical observations Rachel had identified a research project to explore home based palliative-based care for ICU patients, and was awarded funding to work with R&D to develop this research idea and start to explore her research ambitions. Since obtaining the funding from R&D, Rachel has shown great aptitude for research and was recently successful in obtaining a research internship with University of West of England. These internships are prestigious, nationally funded, awards and involve completing an application form and being interviewed, which can be very daunting when completely new to research. However, Rachel did an amazing job in selling her potential and that of her research idea and she will now be funded through the internship to continue her development as a researcher, alongside her clinical role. It is such a fantastic achievement for Rachel and will, I’m sure, provide inspiration to other staff members to make the step into research and make real change in the NHS. Well done Rachel! 

Rachel Evans, winner of the We carry out research and innovation award


We make improvements to our patients’ experience

Highly Commended - Learning Disability and Autism Liaison Team

There is evidence to suggest that Patients with Learning Disability and those who are Autistic suffer many health inequalities nationally. This is the reason why I think the Learning Disability and Autism Liaison team (LDALT) should be nominated for an award as the work they do enables the Trust to improve health outcomes for patients in this category. The LDALT are the linchpin to improving this picture within NBT. They continue to support patients who are hospital and medical procedure phobic to have reasonable adjustments in order to undertake treatments that could likely increase mortality rates for this group of patients. The team have recently developed training to ensure staff understand how best to support patients with learning disability (LD) and those who are Autistic. They have developed resources across all divisions and wards to ensure patients with LD and autistic patients have access to healthcare in a person centred way. During the pandemic when families and carers were restricted from inpatient units, the team represented the voice of the patients and daily advocated for their needs relentlessly working closely with the safeguarding team to raise concerns when needed. Year on year they creatively plan Learning Disability and Autism week with such creative passion that gets the whole hospital excited about caring for patients with Learning Disability or Autistic people. In May 2023, they supported the recruitment of a patient with lived experience of learning disability to support the team’s work on improving the hospital passport. The Learning Disability and Autism Liaison team were the first to have alert subscription on CareFlow when it launched, and this was through the tireless effort working with the EPR team to ensure the alerts work when a patient with LD attend our services. Now the team are even alerted when patients arrive in an ambulance, so they don’t miss the opportunity to provide the support required. Following this success, they have progressed to ensure all patients who are autistic also have the alerts and can be identified once they come into the hospital. This has gone a long way to ensure patients who are autistic and those with learning disability are rightly supported in a timely way  by the team and they remain on their radar while in hospital thus helping bridge the health inequality gap faced by  these group of wonderful patients who need the right support in hospital. They provide 7 day a week service for patients with LD/A and this is working toward providing outstanding patient experience as a Trust priority in a caring, supportive, respectful and ambitious way. The care they provide LD/A patients in NBT is simply excellent and must be recognised as an excellent collaboration to improve the experience of patients.

Leaning Disability and Autism Liaison Team, Highly Commended of the We make improvements to our patients' experience award


Winner - Annie Reilly, Macmillan colorectal specialist nurse

Annie is a Colorectal Cancer Specialist Nurse who supports patients diagnosed with colorectal cancer and has worked at NBT for many years.  I am nominating Annie because firstly, Annie does her job really well. She acts as a support to patients at their greatest time of need and helps them navigate the cancer journey. Secondly, Annie has always been open to adopt new ways of working and innovation. We implemented nurse lead remote follow-up many years ago and during COVID, Annie led a research project to try remote blood testing for our cancer patients. Thirdly, over the last year, the senior colorectal nurse moved into another role and Annie has had to lead and train a new team.  Under Annie’s leadership, supported by her senior colleague, we have a team of caring nurses who make sure that the cancer patient is at the heart of our service.  I feel Annie has gone above and beyond her core role over the last year and deserves recognition for her many years of patient care.

Annie Reilly, winner of the We make improvements to our patients' experience award


We respect our environment

Winner - Emma Carver

Dr Emma Carver is an Emergency Medicine Consultant who has been pivotal in driving sustainability improvements within ED and has educated and inspired junior doctors that have come through Southmead Hospitals doors. Emma helped develop the new Green ED framework and achieved a bronze award for her efforts when implementing the old scheme. Emma has reduced single use plastics within the ED, championed the use of reusable aprons and has taken action to reduce medical gas waste within ED which contributes to 3% of NBT’s carbon footprint. Emma has also organised and lead sustainability training sessions with junior doctors completing their placements in ED, inspiring the next generation of healthcare professionals.

Emma Carver, winner of the We respect our environment award


We are rising stars (clinical)

Winner - Megan Cottle, Nursing Associate

Megan is a well-respected and valued member of the AMU Team and one of our outstanding Nursing Associates here at NBT. Megan is extremely caring to the patients under her care and strives to deliver exemplary care even under challenging circumstances. Great ambition is demonstrated by Megan as she Ambassadors the Nursing Associate role to those considering a career in nursing at NBT. Megan’s respectful nature makes her not only approachable to colleagues but also to patients under her care. Megan is supportive to her patients, colleagues and those embarking on a career in nursing via the apprenticeship route.

Megan is being nominated for her ambition as a rising star because she is so passionate about her role as a Nursing Associate. She encourages and empowers our Trainee Nursing Associates at NBT from the start of their programme and throughout, this is demonstrated through her clinical practice on the ward and speaking to NBT’s aspiring future nursing workforce such as our Nursing students, work experience students and Trainee Nursing Associates commencing and during their programme at NBT.    


We are rising stars (corporate)

Highly commended - Kane Sullivan, Deputy Divisional Operations Director, ASCR

Kane has been the AGM for surgery for only 18 months and during this time he has made significant improvements to the service and has grown as a manager. Kane is caring and wants to make a positive difference to patient care. He is ambitious and his achievements include managing elective recovery to reduce patients waiting for surgery, recovering cancer performance, supporting Surgical SDEC and the appointment of an emergency general surgeon.  You might consider that this is Kane’s job, however I think Kane looks at things with a fresh outlook.  He wants to present data differently and really understands data for improvement.  He wants to transform services by re designing how we look at performance and how we present this to teams.  Service transformation not easy in a department of surgeons who are not always amenable to change. Despite his young age, Kane has negotiated difficult personalities and is adheres to the NBT quality of respect for different opinions.  Kane is supportive and works well with engaged clinicians.  He understands that his role is key to patient care and genuinely wants to improve things for patients and staff.

Winner - Aga Batko, Senior Research Grants Officer

Aga is a rising star who has made a big impact on the quality of the systems and processes used to manage the huge portfolio of research grants across NBT. Aga has been in the role of Senior Research Grants Officer for two years and during this time she has demonstrated a real drive for quality improvement, initiating new projects and training programmes, off her own back and in addition to her day-to-day role. An example would be a training programme that Aga developed for staff across R&D, when she realised there was inconsistency and lack of understanding around GDPR and data agreements needed for research projects. Aga, not being an expert in this area, spent time developing her understanding, absorbing GDPR and HRA guidelines to a point where she could develop a training session for the department as well as more targeted workshops for certain teams that needs a more in depth/practical knowledge. This training has been really critical to streamlining the process for setting up data agreements. Aga has also developed new metrics for the grants team to be able to track progress with setting up grant contracts and identify issues early on; set up a new method for tracking income and forecasting income for future years as well as devising SOPs to cover the activities of the development and grants team. Aga doesn’t need to be asked to undertake these projects, she identifies issues and then seeks to improve our processes in a proactive manner.  This year, as part of her day-to-day role, Aga has overseen the set-up of one of the most complex research grants we have dealt with in R&D and she did so with an unfailingly positive, supportive, can-do attitude, using her influencing, negotiating and problem-solving skills to navigate the many (unchartered) hurdles. This is so impressive and highlights why Aga is a rising star, a leader in the making!  

Aga Batko, winner of the We are rising stars (corporate) award


We are rising stars (facilities)

Winner - Karlene Bewry, PST Team Leader

When Karlene first joined she was rather quiet but even then there was a warmth and humility about her that radiated from her. She has a sunny disposition and has the most incredible smile that makes everyone who she comes into contact with feel instantly reassured. Karlene has taken the opportunities to develop herself and she applied to join the Facilities Services apprenticeship last Autumn. Karlene is thriving in a learning environment and as a result she continually reflects on this and how she can broaden and deepen her understanding of whatever subject being taught. Karlene role models the Trust values in her work and as a result she seeks to deliver excellence, seeing tasks through, and helping, supporting and developing others to deliver their roles too. She understands how effective teamwork makes a difference, noticing when people need extra support. Within the role of auditor, Karlene works independently and can be relied upon at all times to get the job done without cutting corners. In this role, Karlene is very professional and as such gives clinical staff the assurance of a job well done. Karlene’s ‘can do’ attitude is formidable. I could not think of a more worthy winner of the Rising Star award - the sky really is the limit for her.

Karlene Bewry, winner of the We are rising stars (facilities) award


Winner - Charlotte Bowtell, Senior Early Years Practitioner

I'm nominating Charlotte as a rising star as she's been working at the Trust for 18 months and within this time she has gone above and beyond her role, acting up as deputy manager of the nursery for six months and being part of our latest Ofsted inspection where she helped the team secure a "Good" Ofsted rating. Charlotte is a passionate member of staff that is dedicated to support the children in her care, their parents and her colleagues she works with.  Charlotte has a positive attitude that she shares with staff, inspiring them and modelling best practice. Charlotte was part of writing a new curriculum for the nursery which sets out outcomes for all children and is what we believe as a setting is important for us to teach the children i.e. build resilience, positive sense of self, to celebrate differences and respect diversity and much more. The curriculum has also helped reduce staff work load, including unnecessary paperwork so that staff can spend quality time with the children teaching them and building positive outcomes. The curriculum played a large part to the success of our Ofsted inspection in which Charlotte should feel very proud about. Charlotte is continually looking at improving her practice and knowledge through CPD and is currently in the process of becoming an Autism Champion for the nursery this involves attending monthly training where Charlotte learns strategies which she can share with colleagues at the nursery, she also networks with other professionals sharing best practice. To qualify Charlotte will need to put together a portfolio of evidence on how her practice has benefited children within the nursery with autism and do a presentation at the end of the course on what she has learnt. Charlotte is beyond a doubt a rising star and an exemplary member of staff who should be recognised for her ongoing work and dedication to both the nursery and NBT.

Charlotte Bowtell, winner of the We are rising stars (facilities) award


We work as a team

Winner - Integrated Discharge Team

Every member of the Integrated Discharge Team is an absolute inspiration in their dedication to ensure that all patients leave the hospital in a timely manner and on the right pathway, ensuring that they receive the appropriate care to continue their recovery. After an incredibly challenging Winter period for all, they have emerged stronger and more resilient and ready to face the ever- changing landscape that enhancing hospital flow entails. They bring with them extensive experience in supporting discharges and interact with colleagues in a supportive and empathetic way to secure discharges. At times, they need to have a steely determination to ensure people have the best discharge experience and they often have very difficult conversations to facilitate these transfers. They approach this with focus and drive and at times can be very direct with their words but do this with compassion and empathy. Without their intervention, our patients with the most complicated needs would not have been discharged in a timely manner and would have been at a risk of potential harm had they remained in an acute bed. A focus on ensuring the wellbeing of the team has been embraced by all and they go the extra mile to ensure that colleagues are given any support they need. They have been pivotal in raising the profile of discharge and flow within the hospital and across the system. They champion the timely discharge of all patients both within and external to the hospital and are role models for colleagues when reviewing ‘what excellence looks like’ in Board Rounds and with Managing Expectations conversations. They have actively embraced the new ways of working that the Transfer of Care Hub will bring and have been able to clearly articulate the positive benefits of this new delivery model. Their solution-focused ways of working are really beginning to have positive effect on other members of the ward multidisciplinary teams and other partners and we are experiencing true collaborative working to support discharge. Just a fabulous team, doing fabulous work with their focus always on the patient- I’m very proud of each and every one of them! 

Integrated Discharge Team, winner of the We work as a team award


We are happiness heroes

Winner - Julie Owen, Clinical Apprenticeship Team Leader

Julie has worked for NBT for nearly 15 years, starting as an HCA and eventually joining the Apprenticeship Team with Learning & Development. Julie's passion for education is second only to her caring and compassionate nature which makes her a fantastic educator. Her first thoughts when approaching her work are always about people and how to create a positive environment for our apprentices. Be that making classrooms a safe and positive space for learning or encouraging and supporting colleagues through the ever-changing landscape of apprenticeship delivery. When we were looking for a Safeguarding Lead to support and develop our well-being initiatives, Julie jumped at the opportunity and played a major part in helping us to achieve such glowing reviews from OFSTED during our first monitoring inspection last October. This has been largely due to her embracing of new systems and technologies to help identify, tack and support our learners' concerns, be it exam nerves, work-life balance, or other concerns, she approaches each with the same care, compassion, and willingness to listen, and understand that we all admire so much about her.

Julie Owen, winner of the We are happiness heroes award


We are inspirational leaders

Winner - Angelo Micciche, Research Infrastructure Manager

Angelo is a true inspirational leader to everyone around him. Angelo chaired the Disabled staff group singlehandedly for over seven years, and the group now includes Neurodiverse staff too which has extended the remit considerably. This is over and above his day job as a Research Infrastructure Manager and is entirely voluntary. The work he has carried out has improved the rights and opportunities to support and services for Disabled people, both staff and patients. His vision and leadership contribute massively towards transforming our services, raising awareness, reducing stigma and fear. He promotes the Social Model of Disability which recognises that barriers are not due to people being Disabled but to the environment, which can prevent their ability to carry out a day-to-day job, reduce the chances for career progression, miss out on training and development opportunities and reduce access to our services and processes. He has worked closely and been very supportive of the EDI team working with us to develop and promote the Disability Reasonable Adjustment passport, establishing the Neurodiverse Project which created the NBT directory and tool kit, and set up the Buddy system for staff. He has promoted initiatives to support the recruitment and career development of Disabled staff, to provide appropriate access and training opportunities and to promote the types of services NBT has on offer to remove the barriers faced. The main focus of the group is on staff, while any best practice increases the sense of belonging for them, this also impacts on how they deliver services to our patients. However, he has also taken up issues like those raised by our Deaf Champion to improve access for deaf patients who were struggling to access our services. Angelo really is truly inspirational to all.  

Angelo Micciche, winner of the We are inspirational leaders award


NBTCares Team of the Year

Winner - NBT Domestic Team

The Domestic Team is a huge team over 300 whole time equivalents - that's around 400 faces across the estate. The team are front line with our patients daily and are often that face who take a few moments just to have a little chat and bring a ray of sunshine to their day. Without their continued dedication we would not be able to deliver high cleaning standards preventing the daily challenge of reducing infection in the environment through good practice. 

The ICU Domestic Team have been particularly commended for being passionate about standards and supporting and helping each other with discharges and deep cleans.  They are aware that the patients in ICU are very poorly and need extra attention, this includes family and friends of the patient.  They are always happy and welcoming however much pressure they are under.

The ED Domestic Team have also been highlighted for covering such a busy area 24 hours a day 7 days a week and making sure patient areas and kept clean all the time so this does not effect the flow, and movement of patients within the department. The Domestic team come into work everyday with a great attitude towards their work, and take great pride in the contribution they made towards the smooth running of the busiest department in the hospital.

NBT Domestic Team, winner of the NBTCares Team of the Year award