Winners of the 2023 Cambridge University Hospitals Awards revealed – plus meet all the finalists
The winners of the second CUH Awards – celebrating the care, dedication and skill of staff at Cambridge University Hospitals – have been revealed.
Featuring both individuals and teams, the winners work across a host of departments at Addenbrooke’s and the Rosie.
The Cambridge Independent was proud to support the awards again this year. We asked our readers to nominate to the Public Choice category. This is the one category determined by members of the public and led to a huge array of nominations in which patients and their families told of the amazing care they had received.
All the other categories in the awards were nominated internally.
The winners were unveiled last Thursday night at a ceremony at the Cambridge Corn Exchange, hosted by Mousumi Bakshi.
Editor Paul Brackley said: “Congratulations to all those nominated. We were struck by the extraordinary compassion and care described in the nominations to our Public Choice Award and I would like to thank our readers for sharing their stories.
“These awards are a fantastic celebration of the amazing work that goes on in our hospitals every day – and it is wonderful to be able to say ‘thank you’ to all those responsible.”
Here are all the winners and the finalists – and look out for our five-page celebration, with more pictures from the evening, inside this week’s Cambridge Independent.
The Public Choice Award
Winner: Specialist haemoglobinopathy team
The nominees of this award were put forward by readers of the Cambridge Independent.
We heard how the winning specialist haemoglobinopathy team go above and beyond in providing excellent care and support for the sickle cell community in the East of England. They have created a support network for sickle cell patients across our region, organise monthly sessions covering hot topics, discuss new therapies and treatments, provide the opportunity for patients to meet each other and bring in specialist speakers to help patients manage their condition such as pain management, nutrition, therapy and treatments. CUH is quickly becoming recognised as a centre for excellence in the region and this is thanks to the hard work and dedication this team puts into supporting research, improving care, patient pathways and self-education.
Refractory headache team: This team goes above and beyond to help patients suffering from debilitating chronic migraine, to lead the fullest possible life. One nominator said: “I’m back at work full-time, I met and married my husband, and I’m trying for a baby. All things I’d given up on.”
Palliative care team: A nominator said: “The palliative care team helped me through the very sad death of my mother. Their understanding and kindness cannot be underestimated.”
NICU – Mercy Agoh Dorman, Terri Feary, Fiona Walford, Melanie Collett, Ivy Del La Cruz: In a unit full of hard working, compassionate staff, stories of the care provided by Mercy, Terri, Fiona, Melanie and Ivy are shining examples. “She would care for mine and the other babies as if they were her own,” said one.
Mark Latimer, paediatric orthopaedic surgeon: One nominator said: “He has always gone above and beyond to ensure my daughter’s needs are met. As her condition is so rare, many questions can pop up and Dr Latimer is always happy to help. He deserves to be recognised.”
Katie Bond, Lydia Wiffen and Jordan Ho, physiotherapists: Katie, Lydia and Jordan went above and beyond in their care for a patient following spinal surgery for cauda equina syndrome, which can cause permanent paralysis. The patient and his family shared how much this meant to them.
Jaikirty Rawal, orthopaedic consultant: One nominator said: “My mother was admitted to Addenbrooke’s following a fall. She was in uncontrollable pain. Mr Rawal discerned that the problem was multiple fractures of the lower spine and proposed an operation. The transformation was extraordinary.”
Linda Underwood, nurse: One nominator said: “Linda is such a thoughtful nurse who goes above and beyond. She’s a lovely person, kind to all. She stays well after her shifts and never moans about anything.”
Kate Nolan, GI oncology nurse: A patient said: “Kate has always responded to queries with good humour and a professional knowledge. She has started a session for cancer patients to share experiences and tips.”
Together – promoting teamwork, collaboration and inclusion
Winner: Cancer Assessment Unit
The Cancer Assessment Unit (CAU) has demonstrated continued collaborative working throughout the last year, under incredibly difficult circumstances.
They have worked hard to ensure that the care they give is not impacted by the limitations of their surroundings, such as taking patients to the ward daily to ensure they can have showers and working with the catering team to find new ways to ensure patient nutritional needs are catered to.
They work collaboratively with the emergency department to deliver care needs for the patients there when CAU is full.
The success of the CAU team comes from a strong sense of teamwork made up of a combination of hard work, passion for the speciality and patients, kindness and a healthy amount of fun!
Open Minds Network: The Open Minds Network is committed to raising awareness of and reducing stigma towards mental health challenges. At a time where CUH is seeing increasing mental health challenges among colleagues this work has never been more important. Activities have included a very successful collaboration with the arts team with an open session in the concourse and a meal over the Christmas period, with huge attention to detail taken to make it as inclusive and welcoming as possible.
Ward 4NE team: The teams at CUH and Royal Papworth Hospital have worked closely together to open and close ward 4NE, which provided vital temporary additional capacity. This has been a monumental achievement. The multidisciplinary teams worked tirelessly to address many obstacles and continued to deliver with optimism and a can-do attitude. This project has helped to build strong relationships and paved the way for future collaborations. The team received excellent feedback from our patients.
Stroke / Lewin Ward multidisciplinary team: The Lewin Ward is a hidden gem at CUH. Rehabilitation on the Lewin Ward is not about data but about people and giving people back the best opportunity to continue living productive lives. Recently, a young male patient was discharged after spending six months in the Lewin Ward for rehabilitation. They had a young family and wanted to go home to be with family. The team worked diligently to get the patient to the optimum level of functioning and went the extra mile in accompanying the family home when ambulances were not available to ensure a safe discharge.
Michelle Harrison, junior sister: Michelle set up an appreciation fund to help recognise big life events for members of the team. Everyone on the unit pays £1 a month into an account dedicated to appreciating members of staff and Michelle buys the gifts/cards and organises the presentation and delivery of these gifts in her own time. Michelle goes above and beyond to create a ‘family’ atmosphere on the unit. This fund brings the team together and makes members of staff feel important, valued and part of a team.
Safe – outstanding contribution to patient and staff safety
Winner: Diabetes in pregnancy multidisciplinary team
The diabetes in pregnancy multidisciplinary team delivers an extraordinary level of care. Pregnancy can be a difficult time, but is made very challenging for those with type 1 or type 2 diabetes.
The physiological dynamics of managing a pregnancy changes constantly throughout each trimester, and without the constant attention to blood glucose management could leave these patients at high risk of adverse complications.
The team is in constant dialogue with their patients, seeing them face to face, but also utilising remote reviews of data downloads to keep in touch, make adjustments to medication regimens and reduce unnecessary trips to the hospital.
Emilie Carey, midwife: Emilie has been proactive and determined in providing safe antenatal care to the women living at the refugee and asylum welcome centre in Bar Hill. She understands the need to ensure all of these women receive safe care and has been determined to provide this. It is not easy work – the women all speak different languages, the hotel is busy and noisy. Because of Emilie these vulnerable women are receiving safe, kind, excellent and comprehensive care.
Blood and Marrow Transplant clinical nurse specialists: The fantastic team of Blood and Marrow Transplant nurses have had a very challenging year, having to tell patients on a daily basis that CUH was having to delay their treatment for blood cancer due to capacity or more urgent patients. In December 2022, the team also took on the challenge of working with a new lab 280 miles away in Plymouth. Clinical nurse specialists have taken on additional responsibilities and work to ensure patients whose cells are sent to Plymouth still receive the same high level of care they always have.
Violeta Voyvodova, domestic assistant: Violeta manages to outperform herself day after day. As the sole Medirest cleaner responsible for the cleanliness and hygiene on N2, her attitude, attention to detail and enthusiasm is an example for us all. Nothing is too much work. In a ward comprising solely of side rooms, with a high turnover of patients with infections and the need for a fast turnaround of rooms, that is no mean feat.
Outpatient Centralised Nursing Team: The team has taken a number of actions to make improvements to managing acutely ill patients in the centralised outpatient setting. There is now a standardised outpatient admission prompt sheet, a formalised admissions process including out of hours transfers, sepsis trollies, representation at the deteriorating patient forum, training and support , increased staff groups who are trained in ILS 7 and admissions data presented at quality meetings. Staff are more confident in dealing with the acutely unwell patient and CUH has recorded a reduction in significant delays in the admission pathway.
Kind – committed to care and compassion
Winner: Helen Ward, mortuary and paediatric histology service lead
Helen makes every day in the mortuary a better place. Helen leads with kindness, empathy and compassion – in every situation.
She provides exceptional support to her team and service on a daily basis. Helen coaches and mentors the team to think about the person or the patient in everything they do. She encourages teamwork and support for each other throughout routine and difficult days. Helen sends cards to teams they work closely with, buys breakfast treats to give the team a boost, or a bunch of flowers when someone is having a tough time. These things make a big difference.
Not only is Helen excellent at her job, leading a busy and demanding department, but she does this with a kindness and compassion to which every manager should aspire.
Anthony Gill, lead chaplain: Anthony has always been fantastic at supporting patients in the cancer directorate. Little did CUH know that in 2022 it would need Anthony’s support quite so much, and this time not just for patients – but for staff. The year started with the sad news that CUH’s lead cancer nurse would unfortunately not survive her cancer diagnosis. Anthony was there for her, her family and her colleagues. In early 2023, Anthony’s support was needed again when another member of the nursing team sadly lost a fight with cancer. CUH is a better place for having Anthony as part of the team.
Hena Salam, consultant paediatrician: Hena brings joy and happiness into people’s lives every day. She notices if they are having a hard time and will leave a little note or gift to bring encouragement. She keeps a log of birthdays and ensures they are celebrated. She asks new junior doctors what Disney character they like and then provides them with a name badge, which she makes herself. Her heart and compassion keep going even when times are difficult. Her kindness is spreading, with others joining in and doing small acts that bring joy and resilience to the team.
Ian Dixon, engineering manager: Ian is the Purple Network Long Covid Champion. Ian suffers from long Covid and has established a staff support group – devoting as much time as he can to helping others. Ian’s nominator attended a group session and found it amazingly cathartic, saying:. “I am immensely grateful to Ian for providing a compassionate ear, when I needed it most, and letting me know that I am not alone.”
Elizabeth Atkins, deputy dispensary manager: Lizzie works in the pressurised environment of the inpatient pharmacy but always takes the time to help her colleagues. Recently one of Lizzie’s long- standing team members, Yin, passed away due to cancer. Yin had wanted to continue working despite her illness as she loved her job. Lizzie did all she could to adapt the work so it was safe for Yin. When Yin died, Lizzie helped to make arrangements for the funeral and memorial, as well as supporting her team.
Excellent – delivering improvement for patients and each other
Winners: Umme Ali, dietitian, and Carolynne Betts, medical secretary
Umme is dedicated to excellent service delivery. Her time as an adult dietitian fighting to ensure patients were receiving the nutritional intervention they needed is a testament to her passion for helping others. Umme’s involvement with the equality, diversity and inclusion team demonstrates her commitment to creating an inclusive workplace that values diversity and respects all individuals.
Umme’s compassionate and patient-centred approach has made a significant impact on the lives of many families. Her ability to explain complex nutritional concepts in a way that is easy for children and their families to understand has been particularly valuable.
Carrie’s nominator described her as “one of the best colleagues I’ve ever had the pleasure to work alongside”, adding: “She is an excellent administrator, with a keen eye for detail and the level of care that is at the core of the administrative role here at CUH. She’s incredibly kind and considerate, with an unbeatable positive work ethic.”
The team has been striving to optimise admin in the allergy referral service by identifying issues, formulating solutions and improving communication,
Carrie’s nominator noted: “This progress and improvement could not have happened without Carrie’s dedicated help and support, adapting to our new administrative processes and excelling in patient care and communication alongside these. Carrie is an admin hero, and a loved and much valued member of the allergy team.”
Hannah Donald, lead nurse, Adult Critical Care Transfer Service: Hannah truly deserves the recognition for the difference she has made to her team and to the patients who are transferred. Hannah has worked tirelessly as lead nurse establishing the service and creating a workplace culture that is inclusive and supportive. Hannah has developed the sub-specialty of transfer medicine through collaborating nationally with other transfer services, ensuring that critically ill patients are transferred safely and to the highest standard. The future of this sub-specialty has been advanced thanks to Hannah.
Nicola Parr, senior pharmacist - education and training: Nicola deserves recognition for her efforts to support rotational band 6 pharmacists. This can be a challenging time as they transition from being trainees to qualified pharmacists. Nicola has made significant improvements to smooth this transition including; delivering new teaching sessions, adapting induction training and being responsive to feedback. Nicola has a strong focus on staff wellbeing and she has been key to implementing a number of measures to support the wellbeing of this staff group. Nicola is a key contributor to the successful recruitment and retention of this staff group.
Neonatal Intensive Care Unit: The Neonatal Intensive Care Unit’s SEED project focuses on improving the wellbeing of everyone involved in the unit – staff and families. The team in NICU work tirelessly to ensure that parents are treated as equal partners in their babies’ care and the SEED project includes initiatives such as the #CallMe name stickers, promoting delivery room cuddles and the development of a rolling parent education programme. All of this aims to improve parental wellbeing and participation in their babies’ care. The SEED project also includes projects aimed at supporting the staff on NICU. The NICU team describe themselves as a family, and when you’re on the unit you can feel the camaraderie. Despite the intensive and high-stress work involved, the staff create an atmosphere for all which is supportive, calming and warm.
You Made a Difference – the Chair’s award
Winner: Charles Arthur, portering supervisor
Charlie started with CUH in August 2014 as a day porter and progressed to become a team leader within the emergency department in August 2017.
In June 2020 Charlie took up the role of a supervisor within portering. The supervisor role involves dealing with patients and visitors on a daily basis, as well as managing a team. Charlie was nominated for this award for recovering a patient’s phone.
“Charlie went absolutely above and beyond today for us on the ward. He went out of his way to recover a phone that was accidentally placed in the linen chute. By co-operating with the ward, with excellent communication with the patient, and teamwork, Charlie recovered priceless memories.
“We cannot thank him enough. This was a very kind and excellent behaviour that should be highlighted.”
Emma Nash, healthcare support worker – “Her intervention has potentially prevented the patient returning to hospital with a further flare up of their cellulitis.”
Ally Perkins, deputy operations manager – “A bright, shining example who makes patient-listening a priority.”
Louise Boden, phlebotomist – “This cheerful smiling lady told me exactly what to do in a very polite and accurate way.”
Sandra Kent, sister – “So professional, kind, sympathetic, supportive and I’ve never met a nurse so willing to go above and beyond to help a patient before.”
Alin Ionut Salcianu, nurse apprentice and healthcare assistant – “I have witnessed his incredible empathy and kindness for each and every patient he works alongside.”
Carmen Jimenez, senior sister – “Carmen goes beyond the boundaries and confinement of the hospital walls.”
Danuta Fabiszczuzak, domestic assistant – “Our daughter arrived at Ward C2 scared and unsure. Danuta cheered her up every day.”
Kate Baldwin, senior project manager – “With great enthusiasm Kate has mapped out the patient pathway from referral to discharge.”
Manjumol Aji, specialist nurse – “Manju understands my fears and she listens so well, always putting me at ease.”
Pinelopi Papanastasiou, staff nurse, Teenage Cancer Trust – “She consoled me and calmed me down; everything felt a little bit lighter. This is a moment that I will remember for the rest of my life.”
Clare O’Riordan, ward manager G4 – ” Clare has worked incredibly hard to prevent and reduce pressure ulcers on her ward.”
Samantha Pavis, ward clerk F6 - “Some of our elderly patients often can’t leave the ward. Sam always offers to give them a haircut!”
Sue Mulcock, procurement – “Sue is not only knowledgeable, but also understands what her role means for patient care.”
Ged McHale, chaplain – “Ged has demonstrated a drive for excellence, leading to 15 new chaplaincy volunteers.”
Joanna Barnett, contact centre shift leader – “Jo made a huge difference to one of our well-loved colleagues who has been living and dealing with cancer.”
George Phillips, healthcare support worker – “George did not hesitate to sit down, spend time and listen to the patient, to support them through their crisis.”
Ann Taylor, radiographer – “Ann has gone out of her way to help people joining us far from home..”
Rachel Caulkett, interventional pulmonology service administrator – “The trust is lucky to have someone like Rachel who goes above and beyond.”
Cheryl Moore, healthcare support worker – “Cheryl has collected items over the years to make homely areas for patients, visitors and staff.”
Clinic 21 – ”They have taken their time, given me their knowledge, advice and have taken care of me.”
Capital, Estates and Facilities Management Team - “Keeping us all safe during the snowy weather.”
Premlata Telgote, junior sister – “Prem is highly skilled in surgical pre-assessment, lumbar puncture, and neurology infusions.”
Physicians assistants – “The physicians’ assistants cover all the medical wards at CUH so the team is always busy.”
Medical records – “The work they do really makes a huge difference to patient care and makes for a ‘seamless’ service.”
The Addenbrooke’s Charitable Trust Award
Winner: Annie West, midwife
In May 2023, 30 staff from across the Rosie Hospital climbed Mount Snowdon, the highest mountain in Wales and raised a magnificent sum of money for the charity. Setting off at 1.30am, they reached the summit at sunrise.
Annie co-ordinated this fundraiser and has been a dedicated supporter of ACT, raising thousands of pounds for the Rosie Hospital through organising several charity fundraisers. Annie has organised successive Rosie Rudolph runs including moving this to a virtual format during Covid. Annie constantly advocates fundraising with new parents in the Rosie.
Rachael Boreham, senior sister: Rachael has worked at CUH since she qualified as a children’s nurse in 2009, and is now working as a senior sister. Over the years, Rachael has seen how fundraising has helped to improve the services provided when patients need it the most and is proud to be able to help continuing to make our hospitals even better. Over the last two years, Rachael has seen both of her parents need surgery for cancer and this year, Rachael ran the Great North Run for ACT.
Jonathan Littlewood, physiotherapist: Having recently returned to the UK and started working for CUH, Jonathan thought there was no better way to raise money whilst also doing something that he loves for ACT, running. Jonathan signed up to the 2023 TTP Cambridge Half as he’d always wanted to do the event and it made it even better to fundraise for the charity associated with his workplace.
Geeta Woodworth, medical secretary: Geeta sees the difference support for ACT makes at our hospitals. In December 2022, Geeta sold bouquets of locally grown Mistletoe to raise funds, with the help of Camhome and Interflora, both on Milton Road, and friends, family and colleagues who kindly donated or purchased bouquets. Geeta fundraises for ACT annually and over the years has helped to raise money to make Addenbrooke’s and the Rosie hospitals even better.
Lindsey Brecken, specialist nurse: Lindsey has worked at CUH for more than 10 years and has seen the positive impact fundraising has in developing and improving the services that patients receive. This includes supportive psychological and emotional services, which Lindsey uses regularly to support patients within her care. In April 2023, Lindsey ran the TSC London Marathon in loving memory of her father.
Special recognition: The CEO’s Award
Winner: Cambridge Surgical Movement Hub
Roland Sinker, CEO of Cambridge Univeristy Hospitals, said: “We look after a lot of people. Patient E spending 7 weeks on our Paediatric Intensive Care Unit over the summer, with her parents living in Acorn House while her sisters start new schools. Or patient M in our discharge lounge after a fall in her bungalow, confused as to whether she’d really been with us for four weeks and which village her nursing home would be in.
“A lot of people are also waiting to be looked after, longer than we would like, in many parts of our hospitals. Patient A needs his knee joint to be replaced. He is in some discomfort. It hurts when he wakes up in the morning. He is 75 and has been waiting for surgery for a year and a half – a year and a half!
“This year’s CEO Award is for an extraordinary range of people from across all of Cambridge University Hospitals and our partners in the University of Cambridge and the Integrated Care System who have come together to deliver the Cambridge Movement Surgical Hub, a 40-bedded unit with three theatres, imaging and therapy rooms.
“This is a dedicated facility providing planned elective surgery for orthopaedics and spinal patients.
“It is difficult to think of a part of the hospital that has not been involved – medical, nursing and therapies teams across orthopaedics and neurosurgery designing how care will be delivered; finance and major projects colleagues achieving approval for the build and associated funding, clinical engineering and procurement teams sourcing the equipment; digital teams designing new solutions; workforce being innovative in recruiting; operations and project teams ensuring effective mobilisation of the facility and of course capital, estates and facilities and their partners achieving planning approval and managing the build within a relatively short timeframe of 12 months.
“This didn’t just happen. The facility could have sat empty and mothballed. But it won’t. From October 5 this year, 70 patients will have their care provided in this new facility every week. Thank you.”
You can read about the 2022 winners here.
And don’t miss more from the 2023 awards in our celebratory supplement, inside this week’s Cambridge Independent (out from October 4).