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Heroic frontline NHS staff who treated victims of the recent Manchester and London terror attacks and the Grenfell fire were given special recognition at the Health and Care Innovation Expo today.
Staff including nurses, doctors and paramedics received a standing ovation as the Special Recognition honour was announced by Professor Jane Cummings at the end of this year’s Kate Granger Compassionate Care Awards.
The Chief Nursing Officer for England said: “Compassion has never been more in the spotlight than over the last few months of this year. We’ve had appalling horror – terrorism in London and Manchester, and the Grenfell fire. These tragedies have affected so many people across the country, including NHS staff.
“They highlighted the resilience and the compassion of the NHS staff who time after time responded to victims, who had suffered unimaginable injuries – putting the needs of those people first. This is the NHS at its best. We wanted to recognise those who tended to the victims in both London and Manchester and I’m so glad so many of those involved could join us today – thank you to everyone involved.”
Commenting on his involvement on the night of the Manchester attack, one of the paramedics involved said: “The Manchester attack was a horrible, really difficult night for our service and I am really proud of our efforts to help people. It’s really lovely to be recognised and I’m privileged to receive the award on behalf of our service.”
The Kate Granger Compassionate Care Awards are given to individuals, teams and organisations who demonstrate outstanding care for their patients. Now in their fourth year, the awards were set up by Kate Granger, the terminally ill doctor who worked tirelessly to raise awareness around compassion in the NHS, through her #hellomynameis social media campaign.
Jean McVann was announced as the winner of the Individual Award for her work to support the most vulnerable people in society. Jean is a member of staff at the Gate Surgery in Rotherham, where she has set up a service helping the homeless by providing a healthcare service on the streets for those in need.
Jean said: “I’m honoured to have won the Kate Granger award, this is something that is really meaningful for me as I have been following Kate’s journey from the start. The four little words ‘hello my name is’ mean so much for the NHS and so I’m privileged to be here today.”
Palliative Care, Northumbria was presented with the Team Award for its exceptional support of patients and their families when choosing where they want to receive end of life care. They work alongside patients to determine whether a home, hospital or hospice setting can be accommodated and provide both clinical and emotional support at such a sensitive time for them and their loved ones.
Commenting on their award, the team said: “Only a section of our amazing team are here today but we are very proud to have won this award which recognises everyone’s hard work.”
The Organisation Award went to South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust for their work helping people to overcome health issues. Their projects have included the Kirklees police liaison scheme that involves mental health nurses working alongside officers at Halifax and Huddersfield police stations to recognise the signs of mental illness.
Speaking after the awards ceremony, a group of staff from the Trust said: “It’s absolutely fantastic to receive this award – it is very special for us. There has been lots of interest in our work and it’s great to see our work recognised. We are a really valued based organisation and winning this particular award in Kate Granger’s name means a lot to us – it really plays to our values.”
Kate’s widower, Chris Pointon presented the awards together with Professor Cummings and NHS England Chairman, Sir Malcolm Grant.
Chris said: “My wife Kate epitomised compassion and I was truly humbled and inspired to read these amazing nominations about people who also embody the values that she did.
“The hello my name is Campaign was born in the NHS but we’re now using in 20 countries and counting across the world. It’s an honour that Kate’s contribution is making a difference to healthcare globally.”
It was while undergoing treatment for cancer that Dr Granger started writing about seeing the NHS “through the eyes of a patient”. She launched #hellomynameis campaign to talk about some of her intensely moving experiences.
The campaign reminds health care professionals of the importance of introducing themselves to patients and how a relatively ‘little thing’ can positively affect a patient’s experience of the treatment and care they receive. It is now backed by a significant number of health trusts.
The winners were chosen by a judging panel of NHS England representatives together Chris Pointon and Professor Jane Cummings.
Individual Award Winner: Jean McVann
Jean is a nurse who has worked for the NHS in Rotherham for her entire career. Jean has always worked tirelessly to support the most vulnerable in society, going well above and beyond the call of duty as a nurse in taking a holistic and caring approach to all. Her mantra of ‘looking beyond the label’ and the ends she goes in meeting peoples’ needs to help them, is an inspiration.
She has set up the service she leads from scratch, initially working on a voluntary basis, supporting homeless people on the streets of Rotherham as well as persuading commissioners to fund a dedicated primary care service for the homeless and the vulnerable which she has gradually built up to make the service into what it is today.
Team Award Winner: Palliative Care, Northumbria
Palliative Care Northumbria is an NHS palliative care service which is not limited by boundaries. It supports patients and their families at home, in acute and community hospitals, in care homes, at day hospice and in dedicated NHS specialist palliative care inpatient units, across the huge geographical area of Northumberland and North Tyneside.
The service has been transformed over recent years from multiple small services. It has undergone integration to create a single comprehensive Palliative Care service, alongside community services and social care within one organisation.
Organisation Award Winner: South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust
The success of South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust’s care is down to the fact that they have one shared mission: To help people reach their potential and live well in their community. It’s this vision which unites and drives them forward in caring for the people they support.