'Oscars' honour NHS staff who go the extra mile

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: The winning team of Ward 19 at BRI The winning team of Ward 19 at BRI

Cream cakes will be on the menu for patients on the renal unit at St Luke’s Hospital in Bradford thanks to an ‘Oscar-winning’ member of staff.

Unit administrator Mel Bradley, who was honoured in the Bradford Teaching Hospitals Oscars, said she will spend a slice of her £1,000 winner’s cheque on the treats.

Mrs Bradley, 55, of Oakworth, said: “I promised to get patients cream cakes!”

Mrs Bradley works on ward F8 at St Luke’s. She was nominated for the Oscars by renal unit charge nurse Gary Carlisle and F8 ward clerk Maureen Stirk for going “the extra mile” when booking and organising renal patients’ dialysis for when they go on holiday at home and abroad.

Speaking after she had been presented with her award at Bradford Royal Infirmary’s Sovereign Lecture Theatre, Mrs Bradley said: “I am highly honoured. I was not expecting it.

“I am just doing my job. It was unexpected because what I do is all in a day’s work.”

Mrs Bradley organises trips for patients as part of her job and said she had sent people to places such as Pakistan, the USA, Malta, Tenerife, Lanzarote and Ireland.

She has worked on the renal unit for 11 years, and for Bradford Teaching Hospitals for 12 years.

Fellow winner Lynda Lawton normally produces the certificates for the Oscars, but a colleague joked: “We had to take that job off her this year so she didn’t know she had won!”

Mrs Lawton, 54, of Low Moor, is administration manager of the medical illustration department at Bradford Royal Infirmary. She was nominated by her boss, Carol Fleming, and clinical improvement facilitator, Kay Pagan, for her “brilliant back-up” to the department over 20 years.

Carol Fleming said: “Lynda has learned new skills, set up new systems, worked very long hours, forgone leave and been really dedicated to the task, in order to ensure that wards and departments receive their stationery stocks to maintain business continuity.

“Lynda’s work will never save lives. It is not patient-facing and it’s not very glamorous. Most people will be unaware of the good work that Lynda has done and yet her efforts hugely impact upon patients in an indirect way and are vitally important in ensuring good governance.”

Mrs Lawton was delighted to have won, but also surprised because her job is “behind the scenes”.

She said: “It is absolutely fantastic and I wasn’t expecting it. I’m not a nurse – what I do is behind the scenes. So it’s really nice to know you are appreciated by your colleagues.”

The third Oscar winner was Tracey Whiteley, who works as a cleaning services assistant in the acute elderly admissions unit at BRI. The 45-year-old, who lives in Thornton, said: “I am overwhelmed – I just don’t know what to say.

“I love working for the NHS and on the elderly ward. The team I work with is fantastic – I have done it for them!”

The team of the year award – and a cheque for £5,000 which will be ploughed back into their work – went to the 35-strong plastics and maxillo-facial team which works with patients on ward 19 at BRI.

On average up to 15 patients needing this type of specialist, and often complex care, are admitted and discharged on ward 19 every day.

Part of the team is nurse Sylvia Coleman. In 1985 she was involved in the care of patients involved in the Bradford City fire, working her days off to maintain the service.

The team won the top prize for a campaign which they set up in response to the NHS Chief Nurse, Jane Cummings’ six Cs strategy of care, compassion, competence, communication, courage and commitment, which is designed to set a strong direction for nursing and improve patient care.

Ward manager, Paul Rafferty, and matron Moire Derrick, said that the team’s ‘Proud To Care’ campaign had ensured that “all members of the team feel a shared responsibility for the standards of care during their shift”.

Changes instigated by the staff, thanks to the ‘Proud to Care’ campaign include all patients having individual care plans which are also tailored to their nursing needs, handovers taking place at the patient’s bedside instead of being office-based, daily leadership walk-rounds and all staff members have signed up to a set of core values and behaviours.

“A sign of how successful ‘Proud to Care’ has been is how willingly staff have embraced it,” added Mr Rafferty. “A key achievement for the team is that they have really placed an emphasis on care and compassion and of putting ‘Patients First’ and our feedback from patients has been wonderful with one, long-term patient recently remarking: ‘The care afforded to me was superb’.

“Without a doubt, our ‘Proud to Care’ project has contributed to a high level of service provision by ensuring that the care we deliver on ward 19 is patient-centred.”

Russ Piper, chief executive of awards sponsor Sovereign Health Care, said: “This awards ceremony really showcases the excellent work that goes on at the Foundation Trust.”

He added: “The NHS often gets talked down a lot, but so much goes right that doesn’t get talked about. The opportunity to recognise those people behind the work is important.”

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