14 February 2019

Photograph: Winner of the Unsung Hero Award,  Jayne Adams with Non-Executive Director Ken Batty and Director of Performance and Planning, Mason Fitzgerald. 

The Trust’s 2019 Staff Awards Ceremony took place on 12 February at The Barbican. The event aims to acknowledge staff who go the extra mile to make things run more smoothly for service users and colleagues. And who support individuals and families in a range of person ways. Nominations are submitted in the four preceding months to be reviewed by a judging panel made up of service users, directors and partner organisation representatives.

This years event attracted 900 staff from all corners of the Trust.

A Definite Scottish Flavour
From the moment Compere and Chief Medical Officer Paul Gilluley waltzed onto the stage wearing a kilt to the rousing sound of bagpipes playing Scotland the Brave, the audience was clapping along and cheering which was a lovely introduction to the #ELFTin1Voice choir who opened the event by singing 'Because I Knew You, I've Been Changed' from the musical Wicked, to a background montage of a year of ELFT in pictures. See more

“Luckiest Chief Executive in the NHS”
Chief Executive Dr Navina Evans welcomed everyone to the Staff Awards ceremony and highlighted key achievements since the last Staff Awards. She said that the ELFT family had grown with the addition of Bedfordshire Community Health Services, City and Hackney Integrated Learning Disability Services and Tower Hamlets Talking Therapies.

She noted that the NHS had passed its 70th anniversary last year and paid tribute to ELFT staff who continue the legacy of the NHS each and every day. She spoke about the launch of the Trust’s new strategy which made this an exciting time to work in health and social care. And she acknowledged that Chair Marie Gabriel had be awarded a CBE, which triggered a round of applause. She concluded by saying that she was inordinately proud of the staff in ELFT and felt she was the ‘”luckiest Chief Executive in the NHS.”

Thank You to Professor Alan Simpson
Before moving to the award presentations, Paul paid tribute to Professor Alan Simpson who was in the audience, lately of City University, who has had a long collaboration with ELFT. Professor Simpson has just moved to become Professor of Mental Health Nursing at Kings College and will be working with South London and Maudsley NHS Trust.

Acknowledgement of Staff Response in Following Bedford Fire
Next, compere Paul asked Kathy Giles, Julia Mead and Dr Kate Corlett to stand up. He reminded the audience of a serious fire that happened in a disused building in Bedford Health Village on the evening of 3 January. Dr Corlett was the director on call who initiated the Trust’s response. Kathy and Julia went straight to the site to assess the situation and support staff and patients while the fire service tackled the fire. The Trust and local services plan for such untoward incidents but it was a credit to these three and all staff on duty that night that services continued as usual during this difficult event.

Well Done to Barts Health on CQC Assessment
Paul also acknowledged that neighbouring trust, Barts Health, had just heard earlier in the day, that they have come out of special measures for quality in their recent CQC assessment. Great news for their staff who have worked hard to address this, and for local people.

Award Winners

Then it was on with the show. The award winners are listed below. All were shocked and humble in their response. Shock and joy were the main emotions of the night!

Improvement to Quality of Service Award
Abigail Beddows. Community Children’s Nursing Team. The audience heard that Abigail has played a principle role in developing national guidelines on weaning babies and children off oxygen therapy onto air following a prolonged period in an incubator or supported breathing. This was an area of great need as no national guidance existed resulting in many different practices and local approaches.

Support Services Award
Curtis Reece, Clozapine Clinic, Forensic services is regarded as a role model for other nurses. He is credited with promoting an interest in physical health among colleagues more accustomed to focusing on mental health needs.

Service User Award - is an award voted for by people who have used ELFT services.
Adrian Sabo, Wardown CMHT was described as … a breath of fresh air. Compassionate, understanding and determined to find the right solution to support those in his care.

Inclusion Award
Safia Raga,
Life Skills Recovery Worker, Bevan Ward in City and Hackney, was described as never complacent, continually thinking about ways to help services users feel integrated into their community, with the long term aim of reducing readmission. 

Employee of the Year Award
Emma Furlong, Forensic Services, was described as hard working, efficient, professional and regularly goes above and beyond the call of duty. She has been a leading light on a steering group to tackle Sexual Aggression and Violence to address the under reporting of sexual violence by staff at work.

Dr Robert Dolan Leadership Award - Two joint winners
The audience heard that Patrick Grove, Service Manager and Clinical Psychologist, Deancross in Tower Hamlets provides outstanding leadership at a clinical, service and teaching and level and exemplifies the best in public sector working in health.

Jo Meehan, Service Manager, Bedfordshire CAMHS, was the second winner of the Robert Dolan Leadership Award described as one of the most busy people in the Trust who always has their finger on the pulse and a smile on their face. Energetic, passionate - a great role model.

Team of the Year Award
The City & Hackney Street Triage Team 
have worked tirelessly with the police to work in a different and new environment which can be volatile and unpredictable. They have brought the two big organisations together to work with efficiency, professionalism and above all to provide a better service to vulnerable and people in crisis.

Unsung Hero Award
Jayne Adams
, Occupational Therapist Assistant for Older People on Columbia Ward, Tower Hamlets. The audience heard that Jayne has the unique power of empathy for the people with dementia that she works with. She quickly wins their trust and has a lovely reassuring way about her. As well as encouraging a wide variety of activities on the wards, she makes time to be with people and encourage them to relive their memories.

Working in Partnership Award
The Bedfordshire and Luton Adult Community Eating Disorders Service
have formed a collaborative joint working partnership with a voluntary organisation, service users and staff to develop a stepped- care model for people with an eating disorder.  Their work has been recognised as an example of best practice by the NHS England East of England Eating Disorders Clinical Network.

Apprentice of the Year Award
Katie Close is described as hungry to learn and not only masters new skills, but takes it to the next level. The presenter said that the NHS and ELFT is lucky to have been the launch pad for this talented youngster.

Commissioning Award
Lola Kehinde, Continence Lead Nurse. The audience heard that Lola doesn’t just go the extra mile, she goes the extra 10 miles!  She knows that where there is a physical illness or recently acquired disability, there will be a person behind the diagnosis trying to adapt, to adjust, perhaps despairing of ever being back in control, and grieving for their previous life.

Chief Executive Award
Rayhana Umariji, Senior Administrator, Newham Community Health Services. Navina said, "Rayhana is a special member of staff who offers so much to so many people in different ways – they have been described as the ‘go to’ person and the ‘oracle’ of the team for their excellent work skills, reliability and contribution to the team."

Chair’s Award
Mr Jitu Patel, Receptionist and Administrator at the Newham Assessment and Brief Therapy team. Reading out the citation, Marie Gabriel said Jitu "always has a smile on his face no matter how much pressure he is under, and is a strong believer that a cup of tea will solve most issues."