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Wednesday, 30 July 2014

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Awards put spotlight on Cumbria's health trust staff

The dedication, enthusiasm and outstanding care shown by staff and volunteers in a north Cumbria health trust has been rewarded.

Health awards photo
The Here For You Award winner Emma Hamilton, centre, specialist respiratory physiotherapist at Workington Community Hospital, with interim chief executive Sarah Senior and Andy Crane

Nurses, assistant practitioners, cashiers, and even a prison healthcare team were among the individuals and teams who were recognised at the Spotlight Awards ceremony.

More than 150 people attended the ceremony at Rheged, which was organised by Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust and hosted by former children’s TV presenter Andy Crane. The trust is responsible for running the county’s community and mental health services.

It was the second time Andy has hosted the event. He said: “Of all the awards ceremonies that I do, and I do a lot, this is one of the most fulfilling and uplifting evenings that you can have.

“It’s good for people to feel valued and feel that their bosses recognise what you are doing. But when you are rewarding people that are genuinely changing lives for the better and they don’t really think that they need to be recognised – that’s when it’s really nice.”

Among the winners was Emma Hamilton, from west Cumbria, who is a specialist respiratory nurse.

She was nominated for the Here for You Award by a patient who said Emma has not only given her hope, but a new lease of life.

Emma said: “Getting nominated was as good as winning. The fact that patients think that you are good enough to win and take the time to put pen to paper to nominate you is incredible.

“That the judges thought I should win out of all the entries is very special and very humbling.”

The team award was given to the Macmillan Speech and Language Therapy Head and Neck Team, based in north Cumbria.

Lorna Gamberini, who is one of the team, said: “I love my job so much it almost feels ridiculous to be awarded but we are obviously absolutely delighted.

“I love working with the team and the patients are absolutely brilliant.”

There were more than 200 nomination forms submitted altogether for the various awards.

Other winners included Anne Blenkinsopp, team leader for the Older Adults Mental Health Team in Copeland, for the leadership award and Debra McDowell, assistant practitioner with School Nursing in Whitehaven for the innovation award.

Highly commended were Yvonne Salkeld, head of information governance based in Carlisle, and Thomas Kearney, advance nurse practitioner trainee in Carlisle, for the leadership and innovation awards respectively.

A new award was introduced this year, the Partnership Award, which is given to groups who work alongside the NHS.

It was won by the Speech After Stroke Scheme, a countywide program run by volunteers.

Alison Tams, a speech therapist who coordinates it, said: “I am thrilled to see the volunteers picking up this award; it’s recognition for all volunteers and the huge contribution they make across the services.

“Without these volunteers we simply could not run this service.”

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