Meet our Patient First STAR Awards 2022 finalists!

  • STAR Awards 2022

Meet our Patient First STAR Awards 2022 finalists!

Patient First Star Awards 2002. Proudly sponsored by BSUH Charity and Love your Hospital

Patient First STAR Awards, 25 May 2022

Our annual award ceremony is for our hardworking staff and volunteers who embody the ideals of our Patient First programme.

Each of this year’s award categories reflects one or more of the qualities behind our Patient First ambition, from kindness and compassion to innovation, commitment and exemplary standards of care on the frontline and within our support services.

The Patient First STAR Awards are proudly funded by Love Your Hospital and BSUH Charity, the dedicated charities of University Hospitals Sussex NHS Foundation Trust. They are also kindly sponsored by Wilmott Dixon Interiors.

We’re pleased to share our finalists who will be in attendance at the ceremony to find out who has been crowned the winner in each category.

Finalists by award category

Mentor of the Year

This award is for team leaders and managers committed to the professional development of their colleagues or who regularly use coaching techniques to empower others.

Susan Grace

Ward Sister, Eartham Ward, Worthing Hospital
Nominated by Jess Lamb, Sruthy Mol Raju and Grace Divina Gracia 

“She has turned the whole ward around. In every way. Sue is an absolute gem, she is just amazing. No words can tell you how much she has done for Eartham. No matter how busy we are she makes sure that we deliver the quality care that our patient’s deserve. Because our priority is our patient!”

“There have been many new members of staff on Eartham and she has shown a real dedication to supporting everyone in equal measure. She has brought the team together and the positive changes are palpable.”

Matthew Halford

Security Supervisor, Security, Royal Sussex County Hospital
Nominated by Anthony Raimondo

“His door is always open for all his staff, whether it be a work or personal issue, he takes the time to listen and to help them as best he can, even if it is just providing a willing ear. If there is anything that he can do, Matt ensures that it is done.”

“Matt is the future of our department and he is doing all he can to ensure that each of his officer’s concerns are listened to and acted upon, that their futures are given every opportunity and resource that they can get.”

Georgie McCourt

Programme Administrator, Bowel Screening, Royal Sussex County Hospital
Nominated by Izobel Oakley

“Georgie would meet weekly and identify ways she could help me improve and see how I am doing in work and my wellbeing. Georgie would go above and beyond to listen to me and meet me weekly. If I needed help or further support, Georgie would always be the first to show me and give up her time to help me. These meetings were so value to me being successfully in my role.”

Environmental Sustainability Champion

This award is for staff helping to ensure the sustainability of the Trust’s quality of care, services, finances, achievements or reputation, and assisting it to adapt to future challenges.

Sharmila Jeyasingh

Consultant Paediatrician, Paediatrics, The Royal Alexander Hospital
Nominated by Cecilia Barry

“Her awareness about the environment and especially the impact medicine has on sustainability, means that she spends time with patients and their parents when talking about medication and encouraging liquids in plastic or glass bottles versus foil sachets which are more difficult to recycle currently.

“Recently our team meetings have had visits from pharmaceutical reps and one of her main questions apart from the efficacy and ease of administration to ensure the best possible compliance for children, Sharmila also questions the recyclability of all packaging and the company’s carbon footprint.”

Danni Mariner

Library Assistant, Library, St Richard’s Hospital
Nominated by Richard Brook

“Danni is one of our department’s Green Ambassadors. As well as keeping us informed about green initiatives within the Trust and forwarding ideas for improvement that we have Danni has initiated two schemes – a ‘seed swap’ and a pen recycling scheme. Danni makes sure green issues are given consideration in our department and takes practical steps to ensure we and the Trust can meet the Trust’s, and society more generally, green targets.”

Pharmacy Green Group

Pharmacy, Worthing and St Richard’s hospitals
Nominated by Amy Hilbert

“They have initiated changes in how we print items, reduction in printing of handovers, and recycling schemes whereby members of the team are bringing rubbish home with them to dispose of in a more eco-friendly way.

“The next level is taking on anaesthetic gases and scavenging devices for these in partnership with the anaesthetic teams.”

Innovator of the Year

This award is for staff initiating or leading positive change, including new techniques, systems and partnerships, in line with the vision ‘where better never stops’.

Didi Craze

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Social Media Midwife, Maternity, Royal Sussex County Hospital
Nominated by Katherine Fraser

“Didi spent hours creating social media content to reassure women at home, to give them accurate and up to date guidance on how and where to attend the department, on all of the covid information released from rcog and rcm. She set up live streams for q&a with staff members, created superb visual content with clear advice. She created and shared videos of the dept for women who were no longer able have a tour of the unit. She created a safe place for women to access care when they otherwise may have felt isolated and anxious about their pregnancies in lockdown and isolation.”

Mike Tarzi

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Clinical Immunologist, Immunology, Royal Sussex County Hospital
Nominated by Samantha Lippett

“Mike rapidly volunteered to run designated vaccine allergy clinics as early as January 2021 which are still operational today. He has dedicated at least one Saturday a month to this service which is in addition to his usual work. It didn’t stop here though; there was clearly a need for this service across the whole of Sussex and not just for NHS staff.”

Andrea Yeboah

Pelvic Health Physiotherapist, Physiotherapy, Worthing Hospital
Nominated by Georgina Carroll

“Andrea has been working on developing a free online digital programme for Obstetric patients called WEPP (Well-being and Exercise Programme in Pregnancy). This programme has also now been embedded in a national project the Trust is involved in and is going to be available to all pregnant people across the whole of Sussex.

“Andrea is so passionate about providing the best level of care for our patients and has worked tirelessly to make this project a success.”

Clinical Team of the Year

This award is for a team that has triumphed in the face of adversity, or pulled together to maintain care, quality or performance in defiance of extraordinary pressures.

Bluefin Ward, Worthing Hospital

Received 19 nominations:

“I’ve been absolutely blown away by the level of dedication towards the patients and families in a way I’ve never seen or experienced before.”

“Over the past year the acuity of mental health patients has significantly escalated on Bluefin. Every member of the team has worked tirelessly to keep these children and young people safe and supported during their admissions.”

“Many staff have gone above and beyond the call of duty to ensure colleagues are supported and that patients receive the care they deserve, the team have received many plaudits from parents and carers despite the very difficult circumstances they have found themselves dealing with.”

Beacon Ward, Worthing Hospital

Received 8 nominations

“During a very challenging winter and in the midst of the pandemic this team went over and above to at very short notice established/introduction of a new service supporting some of our most vulnerable patients.

“They have delivered acute care, levels previously unseen on a general ward in our professional lives but also end of life care to so many.”

IPC, all sites

Nominated by Ann Gibbins, Pat Cattini and Julie Thomas:

“The Infection Prevention and control team at UH Sussex have been the backbone of the COVID-19 pandemic response. They have supported colleagues across the Trust in all aspects of care to keep patients and staff as safe as possible at this most challenging of times.”

“They have played a key role in supporting the operational day to day management of inpatient beds to ensure staff and patients receive the best experience possible.”

“They have stepped up to cover weekends/evenings when needed to ensure IPC support is always available and in many cases have sacrificed their own family time and personal lives to support the Trust, staff and patients.”

Support Service of the Year

This award recognises a team whose work plays a key role in supporting the trust to deliver outstanding care and service to patients, staff and visitors.

IT, all sites

Nominated by Gilbert Visperas and Sharif Ismail:

“The IT team delivers the most vital services in the Trust in all aspects, may it be major technical, medical, research or just a little trouble in communication matter. They are the most neglected or sometimes forgotten team in hospital settings but actually contributes the most significant and important roles. Without this team, all of us could not perform our own individual tasks properly and brilliantly especially in these modern times. With them around, life is easier and make us safe and connected.

On every single occasion, all Information Technology colleagues helped far and above expectation”

Security, Worthing Hospital

Received 13 nominations:

“The team continue to respond to emergency situations where they are faced with highly challenging, violent and abusive situations, and required to place themselves in the firing line to prevent harm to staff, patients and others.”

“I have witnessed countless situations, where officers have had to deal with incidents where patients have self harmed, this includes patients of all ages including children. On many of these occasions, Officers have been able to use their skills in de-escalating situations, and as a last resort use physical intervention to ensure that the patient does not self harm, abscond or harm others, despite the risk of being harmed or have been harmed themselves in the process.”

Workforce Hub, all sites

Nominated by Jessica Mills and Chloe Smith:

“The hub came about in response to Covid-19 as a means of coordinating staff absence due to Covid and providing information and resources for all staff and their well-being. Since then, the workforce hub has tirelessly committed their time and energy to maintain this vital support for the Trust’s workforce. It is easily accessible and available across the 7-day week. Through the consistent organisation and efforts of the team they have facilitated the workforce through the pandemic and provided necessary wellbeing support.”

Compassionate Care

This award is for staff who go beyond normal expectations to care for patients with exceptional kindness, dignity and respect, epitomising the Trust’s vision.

Lisa Neeson, Nurse, Royal Sussex County Hospital

Nominated by Yolanda Jorge-Harman and Alison Ous:

“Lisa has gone above and beyond her role as a nurse, not only during her shifts but she has come in on her day off to ensure that a patient can go to his wife’s funeral, she passed 5 days before his admission and it was important to him and to the staff on the ward he was able to attend. Lisa come in a couple of hours before the funeral, and sat with the patient and chaplain, helped him get into his suit and shoes, made him look very smart, he was sharing stories about his wife.

I think as nurses we should never lose that empathy, and also show compassion to our patients and I believe this is what Lisa has shown by doing this!”

Zoe Campbell, Consultant, ITU, Royal Sussex County Hospital

Nominated by Jack Roberts:

“Zoe continuously shows compassionate care. One example includes a time as the on-call consultant from home on a night shift that I was working. She had stayed late on the unit which was short of a junior doctor colleague that night to ensure things were stable before leaving, only to return at 4am to support a grieving family whose daughter was critically unwell. After extensive support and communication with the relatives, a decision had been reached to withdraw life prolonging interventions as it was clear the patient was coming to the end of their life.

Zoe returned without question to sit with the family until the early hours while their relative passed away, offering support and answering questions. I know these actions made a big difference to the family.”

Birdham Ward, St Richard’s Hospital

Nominated by Julie Thomas:

“Birdham ward team looked after a young lady patient with severe eating disorder. The patient no longer really needed to remain in ITU for her main care which was continuing feeding via nasogastric tube but this was going to be difficult for the ward to manage in view of staffing levels and lack of RMN support. However, with meetings held with the consultant psychiatrist and the Sister Fran Britten, matron and ITU team, there was an agreement to try to support this lady on the ward.

Without their support and compassionate care this young lady might have had an extended stay in ITU, sedated etc to support the required outcome. Truly amazing.”

ITU, Worthing, St Richard’s, Royal Sussex County and Princess Royal hospitals

Nominated by Ros Foulds and Julie Carr:

“The amazingly dedicated ITU teams

have provided incredibly compassionate and respectful care to the sickest of patients throughout the worst of the pandemic when they were stretched beyond the point they thought they could manage and the risks to themselves were unclear. They kept going when every shift was deeply traumatic and they felt out of their depth and afraid.

Every patient was a person and every person mattered and they have felt the impact of every loss when the scale of that loss has been unprecedented. When the relentless trauma has undermined their resilience their collegiate spirit has driven them although at times this has been at great personal cost.

When the families were not allowed to be with them they have been there holding the hands of the hands of the dying and enabling the ‘FaceTime’ goodbyes with their loved ones.

“They are a truly astonishing and impressive team of professionals who deserve to be recognised as such.”

Volunteer of the Year

This award is for volunteers who have made a major difference to a patient, relative, colleague or team through their community-spirited commitment to serving their local hospital.

David ‘Rocky’ Rochester, Volunteer, Princess Royal Hospital

Nominated by Kate Custis and Paula Lade:

“David has been a volunteer at the Trust for 11 years now, and he is as proud and dedicated to his role on the ward as they are at having him. He absolutely loves helping on the ward and this shines through in all that he does for the patients there. He goes above and beyond what is expected of him as a volunteer to help out in any way that he can.

“He deserves to be recognised for all the help that gave at the height of the pandemic alone, which was, as we know the most awful time for a lot of people, but in his humble way, he quietly came in and got on with whatever help was needed at that time. I know that this was hugely appreciated by many; staff visitors and patients.”

St Johns Ambulance, Royal Sussex County Hospital

Nominated by Luke Tester:

“When times are challenging and waiting times are long, they are a constant source of reassurance and assistance for patients. They have been proactive at giving information, measuring vital signs, escalating concerns and identifying problems which are then communicated effectively. They are positive, selfless and kind, and often talk about how proud they are to be supporting the A&E team.

“More so, they are always prompt, smartly uniformed, well trained and have a good understanding of the environment and challenges in which they work.”

Colin West, Volunteer, St Richard’s Hospital

Nominated by Katie Butler and Carol Curme:

“Colin is willing to do anything asked of him and is always eager to learn new skills, so he can put them to use to ensure all patients receive the best possible service.

“He works above and beyond our expectations – he always has a very sunny outlook and a smile for everyone.

“Colin has extended his shift and offered additional help at short notice during extremely busy periods to prevent anyone having to wait for equipment longer than necessary. He even chose to work his regular Monday morning shift on both of the recent Monday Bank Holidays, offering much appreciated support and assistance.”

Hospital Hero

This award is for staff who are the jewel in their team, whose drive, enthusiasm or good sense of humour inspires those around them, especially at times of difficulty or stress.

Rehna Rajan, Mammographer, Breast Screening, Worthing Hospital

Nominated by Hazel Arnold, Ana Soares and Clara Carvalho:

“Despite the pandemic, Rehna never showed any weakness. As the breast screening stopped for about 3 months, Rehna offered to be trained in main radiology in order to assist with their shortage of staff, assisted our surgeons in the symptomatic clinics, assisted radiologists and advanced practitioners performing biopsies and still managed to assist her colleagues with mammography, many times without having lunch breaks or a quick break for coffee. Rehna consistently demonstrates the Trust’s values. She consistently strives for excellence to ensure that our patients have the best possible experience and the highest level of compassionate care.”

Rebecca Penberthy, A&E Receptionist, Royal Sussex County Hospital

Nominated by Sharon Todd:

“As a receptionist, Rebecca is often the first point of contact for both patients and relatives to the area and therefore the impression made at this point is so important at enhancing the patient experience and promoting Trust values.

In her own time Rebecca has learnt sign language which promotes our ideals of inclusion, equality and diversity. Her improved communication ability and personal desire to promote excellent quality care make her an excellent representative of how important our patients’ satisfaction is to us.”

Terrie Whiteside, Deputy Sister, Buckingham Ward

Nominated by Sophie Lloyd:

“Through the uncertainty of COVID, our ward becoming red, then green and then red again she has been the constant that has kept us going. When we found out that our ward was to become red the team’s morale understandably dipped. Terrie pulled us through. Terrie remained calm, collected and a constant source of humour and laughs. She inspired us to keep going and to support each other.

Over Christmas she decorated the ward with 50 Santa stockings, one for each staff member, with their name glittered on and chocolate inside.

When a patient was in the final weeks of their life she organised a wedding on Buckingham ward so they could get married. Another patient who had been in the RAF and had become agitated, she ensured he had his beret and played him old films until he was calm. She cares in ways above and beyond all expectations. This extends to her staff as well.”

Vaccination Hub Team

Nominated by Dominic Clarke and Lyn Camps:

“The dedication, professionalism and can do attitude of the team was unlike anything I have ever been involved in. Every member went the extra mile as they knew that approx every 150 jabs would save a life.

“Over the first few months of 2021, the vaccination teams vaccinated over 50,000 staff with both jabs. In my view, this is one of the greatest success stories in recent years for both legacy organisations and now UHSussex.”

“Who knew the “gift” for 2021/22 would be a vaccination. The team who orchestrated the vaccination hubs were phenomenal. The task was huge and pulled together at the most incredible speed. A huge amount of detail was required, not only in creating training for vaccinators, support for pharmacists and support staff, in managing a new system, which included appointments and vaccination details.

“This really was teamwork at its finest and a huge credit to everyone involved.”

Charities’ champions

This award is for staff and volunteers that have supported the charities, Love you Hospital and BSUH Charity, with their time, resource and expertise as well as fundraising to raise money for our hospitals.

Tessa Brai, Decon Manager, Endoscopy, St Richard’s Hospital

Nominated by Andrew Dale and Love Your Hospital:

“Tessa Brai didn’t just choose to take on one running challenge, nor did she find taking on two sufficient either. Instead, the Endoscopy Decontamination Services Manager, decided to sign up to four half marathons and two full marathons over a six month period covering a total distance 104.8 miles!”

David Hill, Chaplain, Worthing Hospital

Nominated by Jo Yearsley and Love Your Hospital

“Reverend David Hill, Worthing Hospital’s chaplain, has always been a real champion of Love Your Hospital, getting involved with fundraising initiatives and supporting events. In 2020, David and his wife Sandra, donated more than £100,000 and commissioned the redesign and creation of the amazing new Serenity garden at Worthing in loving memory of their sons, Jason and Stuart.”

Annie Shotton, Paediatric Nurse, Paediatrics, The Royal Alexander Hospital

Nominated by Emilie Linnard, Lynne Mould and BSUH Charity:

“In addition to 15 years of dedicated service to the children of the Alex, last year Annie braved tankers, jellyfish, hypothermia and exhaustion, and swam the English Channel, raising over £17,000 for BSUH Charity.

“Annie dedicated so much of her personal time and effort to the physical and mental training required to undertake the challenge of swimming the channel, and she showed so much commitment to keep going despite the disruptions of bad weather and covid-19.”

Star of the Year

The Star of the Year award is selected from those named as Star of the Month and provides an opportunity for any member of staff, bank worker or volunteer across the organisation, in all areas to be recognised for their efforts.

Bronwyn Powell, HCA, MDCU, Worthing Hospital

Star of the Month winner, September 2021

“Bronwyn noticed a patient visibly upset. She managed to get the patient chatting and asked the patient if a change of scenery would help in any way, which the patient said it would… Bronwyn then appeared shortly after with a wheelchair and took the patient outside… on their return the patient low in mood was smiling and chatting away to Bronwyn and told Bronwyn what a difference she had just made.

“My husband and I, both said if there were more Bronwyn’s in the world, it would be a happier place, she was remarkable with going above and beyond her duty of care.”

Fran Humberstone, Midwife
St Richard’s Hospital

Star of the Month winner, October 2021

“Fran is a person with pure heart and should be a role model for anyone in healthcare. She swapped her rota after my daughters still birth to be able to care for me in the hospital. She came and visited me during lunch break after she found out my daughter had died.

“And although she changed her role, she still took me under her wing (at my request) as a midwife during my current pregnancy to give me a continuation of care. She is simply the most caring health care provider I have ever experienced.”

Claire Manser, Nurse, Bluefin Ward, Worthing Hospital

Star of the Month winner, November 2021

“Claire was exceptionally proactive in ensuring that the voice of this young person was effectively heard & was an excellent advocate for them at a very difficult time. 

“Claire showed a huge amount of compassion towards this young person & her excellent handling of this situation ensured that a difficult situation was made much easier for them. She showed no hesitation in staying late at the end of a busy shift & it was clear her priority was putting the patient first.”

Lisa Belcher, HCA, Donald Wilson House, St Richard’s Hospital

Star of the Month winner, December 2021

Healthcare assistant went above and beyond for a patient when the ward washing machine was being repaired she took a patients washing home and at the end of her shift and returned them clean and dry the next day.

“Lisa really put “Patient First” into practice in a quiet, respectful and compassionate way using her own facilities and time to help a patient in a very sensitive manner. Lisa is the embodiment of the trust’s values of “We Care” and both myself and my mother really feel that she truly is The Star of the Month!”