Dedicated individuals and teams who work across Cumbria's NHS have been recognised at a special awards ceremony.

Now in their second year, the Amazing People Recognition Awards are run by the Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (CPFT).

Taking place this week, health workers and support staff from Carlisle, Barrow and west Cumbria were among the winners.

The awards give staff the opportunity to nominate colleagues who they feel deserve to be recognised for going the extra mile.

A panel of judges then shortlist the winners.

All of the winners and those highly commended were invited to an awards ceremony at Newton Rigg College in Penrith this week.

CPFT runs community and mental health services across the county, resulting in a diverse mix of winners and runners up.

Among them was the Diabetes South team, who were one of two winners in the outstanding clinical team of the year category.

Specialist nurses Carol Slater, based at Furness General Hospital in Barrow, and Sarah Gibson, based at Westmorland General Hospital in Kendal, attended the event to collect the award.

Carol said: "It was our manager that nominated us, because she considered us to be a really hard-working team that really goes that extra mile in terms of caring for our patients, to accommodate them and help them as human beings, and treat them with compassion.

"We've both been nursing for 30-plus years. You do the job every day and don't really think about it, but it is nice to get this recognition. We are part of a large team, so are representing everyone."

Also named a winner in the same category was the Diabetes Eye Screening Team, which works across the county, while Stephen Quirk, from the team, won the outstanding leadership award.

Jane Baines, grading and quality lead, said it is a really dedicated team which has led major improvements in the past two years.

That has included getting the uptake rate to over 80 per cent, coming up with lots of new ways to engage with patients.

This has included holding drop-in screening events, using a mobile van, for members of the travelling community in the Carlisle area - work that has been praised by Public Health England.

Stephen said this project was recently highlighted at a national conference as a good example of how to improve screening uptake with people who are often missed by traditional health services.

That project is now being extended to Penrith and Longtown, while they are also working with over 100 pharmacies to try and encourage patients who are already on diabetes medication to attend screening.

Stephen said: "It is brilliant to be recognised like this. Even the individual award that I've got is a reflection on the team."

The community dental service, based at Cleator Moor in west Cumbria but operating countywide, was also a winner.

Natalie Carman, its clinical director, and Emma Hoyles, network manager, attended the ceremony to receive the award for service improvement.

Natalie said the care they provide was rated outstanding by the Care Quality Commission at their latest inspection.

"We won for our service improvement project, which we developed to decrease waiting times and increase skill mix in the team. We also won highly commended in clinical team of the year," she said.

"It just demonstrates the dedication and commitment from the team across the whole county. They are committed to providing patient-centred care and doing the best thing for each patient. We work with some quite vulnerable patients who can't go to a regular dental practice.

"We've had a really challenging three years with lots of changes in leadership but the staff have just carried on and continued to demonstrate those NHS values. I'm very proud of the team."

Carlisle-based podiatrist Gillian Mulvey was awarded the outstanding individual award during the ceremony.

She was recognised for her commitment to podiatry, and for setting up a new North Cumbria diabetic foot team and clinics to improve the care of people with diabetes who develop foot problems.

Robin Talbot, CPFT chairman, said the standard of nominations was very high, and judges had a difficult task in picking out winners.

He added: “We want to acknowledge all the fantastic work our staff do and build recognition into what we do every day. The awards are only one way we show our appreciation and we continue to look at new ways to celebrate staff achievements. This is also an opportunity for me to personally thank all members of our staff for their continued hard work and support throughout the challenges we are faced with.”

It is now a year since the high-profile cyber attack crippled the NHS.

The incident was met with an unprecedented response from IT staff at the Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, ultimately preventing a major catastrophe.

As a result, the local NHS was not as badly affected as many other areas, and there was no impact on patient services.

The e-health team that led the response was singled out by trust chairman Robin Talbot for a special recognition award.

Four staff members - information security officer Michael Heap, Andy Campbell from the IT service desk, applications support officer Andrew Watson and IT support technician Perry Moffat - attended the ceremony on behalf of the 50-strong team to pick up the gong.

Based at Maglona House in Kingstown, Carlisle, the e-health team are responsible for the trust's IT services countywide.

Michael explained how they handled the cyber attack, which threatened to bring the entire NHS to a standstill.

"It hit on the Friday lunchtime but a lot of the team stayed all evening, and over the weekend, working right through," he said.

"By Monday morning we had the majority of services back up and running. It was a real team effort. Everyone helped out."

He said they were also supported by other NHS staff, who stopped by with snacks and provisions to keep them all going.

He said that although the impact could have been severe, they managed to prevent it causing too much damage.

"I think we got through it better than most people because we'd done a lot of pre-planning for this type of incident," he said.

"We'd also heard that something might be happening earlier in the week and had been advised to have certain software, so we'd done that.

"We've recently been through an upgrade plan to get away from the software that was the worst-affected.

"So many of the services we provide are connected through the internet, so it's really important it's all up to scratch. We have all sorts of back ups, but you have to be on the ball."

Mr Talbot explained why he chose them to receive the chairman's award.

"They did some really tremendous work last May in order to prevent things from really breaking down," he said.

"They really helped in a very difficult situation. It these behind the scenes services that are really vital to the NHS, and cyber security is very topical at the moment."

He also gave special recognition awards to the Cumbria dental services team and Memory Matters inpatient team for achieving outstanding care in the trust's recent Care Quality Commission inspection.

Full list of winners

Outstanding Service Improvement


*Cumbria Community Dental Service in Allerdale, Copeland, Carlisle and Eden

Highly commended

*Occupational Therapy/Wellbeing Team, Oakwood Unit, Carlisle and

*Stephen Quirk, Retinal Screening.

Outstanding Team of the Year (non-clinical)


*Children and Families Team, administrative focus group

Highly commended

*Administration Team, Haverigg

Outstanding Team of the Year (clinical)


*Cumbria Diabetes South Team

*Diabetes Eye Screening Team

Highly commended

*Specialist and Special Care Dental Service

*Cumbria and Keswick Community Rehab Team.

Outstanding Leadership


Stephen Quirk, diabetic eye screening programme manager

Highly commended

*Rikki Dawson, ward manager, Ruskin Unit, Carlisle

*Claire Davis, clinical lead physiotherapist, Whitehaven

Outstanding Individual


Gillian Mulvey, clinical lead podiatrist, Carlisle

Highly commended

Kayleigh Fairhurst, statutory and mandatory training co-ordinator

Chairman's Award

*e-Health Team for their outstanding efforts during the international cyber-attack in May 2017.

*Dental services and the Memory Matters inpatient service