A Croydon Health Services midwife has been crowned Croydon Health Services Star of the Year following the support she gave a family following the premature birth of their baby.
Rachel Martin was presented with the award after being nominated by a Croydon couple, whose daughter was born at 18 weeks after being diagnosed with Alpha Thalessemia Major, a genetic condition which often results in unborn babies dying before delivery or shortly after birth.
Rachel, a midwife at Croydon Health Services maternity unit, was assigned as their midwife to support them through the emotional delivery and in the immediate hours after.
The couple, who attended the ceremony to see Rachel receive the accolade, explained their reasons behind Rachel nomination: “She was amazing. As you can imagine it was a very sad and difficult time for my husband and I, but Rachel showed us so much compassion and care.
“When our daughter was born she treated her with such respect and love. We know as a midwife being assigned to deliver a premature baby, that everyone knows will not survive, must be very hard. Rachel made us feel very cared for, supported and safe and we knew our daughter was in safe hands with her.
“Being here tonight has shown us the huge amount of good work that goes on at the Trust. It’s been amazing to see and along with Rachel, everyone was well deserving of their awards. We’re sure that for every winner tonight there are a least 100 others who deserve awards too.”
Following an emotional audience reaction to her win Rachel, who was stunned at her win said: “I’m so grateful that Ayse and Vas took the time to nominate me, because it was a privilege for me to be part of their journey.
“Although my job is challenging at times, the women and the families that I care for are going through life changing events and I’m fortunate that I get to be part of these emotional experiences. Being their advocate is the best part of my job.”
The CHS Star of the Year was part of the Trust’s annual Croydon Stars staff awards.
The annual awards ceremony, held at the home of Crystal Palace Football Club, gives the Trust the opportunity to say thank you to their staff that provide outstanding care in the community, clinics, people’s homes and their hospitals. The Trust’s volunteers are also celebrated for giving up their own time to perform a number of different roles across the Trust.
The Trust welcomed back former Crystal Palace and England striker Mark Bright who presented the winners with their awards, along with Trust interim Chief Executive Matthew Kershaw.
This year saw the highest ever number of nominations, with over 300 submitted by CHS staff highlighting the hard work of their colleagues.
Other winners on the evening included:
- Fleur Mosley, who was recognized in the Amazing Achievement category, for the instrumental role she played in the set up and opening of the Trust’s new Emergency Department last year;
- The Croydon Community Learning Disabilities team who have helped over 1300 individuals and families in Croydon and won the Tremendous Teamwork accolade;
- Caroline Walker, who triumphed in the Landmark Leadership category, following her tireless promotion of dementia awareness across the Trust.
The Volunteer of the Year award was presented to the volunteer led exercise group for stroke patients, who introduced the activity to a Croydon University hospital ward to increase physical and emotional well-being amongst stroke sufferers.
The nearly 100 strong crowd also applauded as staff who had reached the 30-year landmark in the NHS were celebrated.
The sixth Croydon Stars event saw Matthew Kershaw, interim Chief Executive at Croydon Health Services, enjoy the celebration for the first time. He said:
“I’d like to congratulate all of the Croydon Stars nominees and winners. They truly encompass what it means to work at Croydon Health Services – we have seen fantastic examples of compassion, commitment and even an element of friendly competition!
“It’s always a joy to see colleagues come together and celebrate their achievements, and it’s something we will be doing more and more across the Trust.
“The number and quality of nominations this year is evidence of what I’ve seen since I started in October – great work at all levels across the Trust that has a positive impact on our patients and community.
“I’ve witnessed the dedication of our staff to provide high quality care and to support each other and Croydon Stars event has been a fantastic opportunity to be proud of our accomplishments across CHS and our wider partners.”
Croydon Stars 2019 – full winners list
Fleur was nominated for her hard work and commitment in the lead up to the opening of the two phases of the new Emergency Department. Fleur worked tirelessly in her own time to plan the new ED store ensure the new storage areas were stocked and streamlined for the opening. As part of the orientation programme before the new department opened she made short videos of key areas so that staff could orientate themselves with the areas. Fleur is one of the unsung heroes of not only the Emergency Department but the Trust in general.
Croydon Community Learning Disabilities Team
The Croydon Community Learning Disability Team is a multidisciplinary team which interfaces with a vast number of other agencies from health, social care, private and voluntary sectors, education, families, carers and those with a learning disability. Working with people with learning disabilities is a particularly challenging area and since its start 1300 individuals and their families/carers have seen, assessed and supported excellently by the team.
INCREDIBLE CUSTOMER SERVICE
Apollo was nominated for his professionalism and caring manner during his role as a radiographer for In Health at Croydon Health Services. Facing essential MRI scans can be daunting for many, due to the size and noise of the machine. However, Apollo quickly builds close relationships with his patients, often being the calming voice when people are anxious and often terrified about the claustrophobic nature of the scan procedure. He clearly discusses the benefits of MRI and is cheerful, kind and patient. He is also gathering support for his Lego Ideas project – for an MRI scan Lego model, which has secured the support of more than 1300 people, to further ease patient’s anxieties.
Caroline is an amazing manager who puts both her staff and patients at the forefront of her doing. She is a true inspiration and puts everything and more into her vision for the Enhanced Care team to make sure everything is running as it should. Caroline tirelessly promotes her dementia work, works hard to train members of staff in dementia, and champions dementia events across Croydon, all with incredible energy. One nomination said, “We are so proud to have her as the CUH lead at the Croydon Dementia Action Alliance - it's an enormous privilege to be working with her”.
Integrated Discharge Team
The Integrated Discharge Team worked tirelessly for the past six months with CCG colleagues to project manage and stream line their vision to ensure that the model of collaborative discharge planning and work, is the right one for Croydon, patients, Trust and staff. The teams (Health, Social Care, Voluntary services and the Housing teams) have reduced and managed the discharge of many patients who have been in Trust beds for extended lengths of time. They have worked across health and social care boundaries as well as CCG and LA boundaries. This team continues to work to find solutions and to do the best for the patients and the Trust and look forward to enhancing the service that they bring to the Trust.
Clair has rebuilt this team and made the simulation training on offer innovative and a leader within London and further afield. Her great management and leadership skills have transformed the offerings to not only staff within the Trust but also to people outside thus generating income. The training has been nationally recognized and the team have won national awards for what the excellent service they provide. Clair’s role in this has been pivotal and she is well deserving of the recognition a Croydon Star affords.
Tessa is a Breast MDT Co-ordinator in Cancer Services and has been a dedicated, valuable employee of Croydon University Hospital for over 10 years. She is retiring in April and she has shown patients, her colleagues and other members of staff the value of this trust. Not only does she do above and beyond to ensure patient always come first but she does it with a cheerful attitude.
She has always adapted with the ever changing working practices during her whole working life in the NHS, which spans many years and her contributions have led to the success of the daily operation and continuous improvements of her department.
Tessa is retiring in April and she has shown patients, her colleagues and other members of staff the value of the Trust.
VOLUNTEER OF THE YEAR
The volunteer led Exercise Group for Stroke Patients
In September the group started a weekend exercise group on Heathfield 1 Stroke Ward. A group of three/four volunteers take around 6 patients into the activity room and carry out some simple chair exercises with the patients. The aim is to improve activity levels during the weekend, for stroke patients through a group exercise programme, to improve and encourage independence following a stroke, to improve mood and well-being. This is done using small gym equipment e.g. balls, bean bags etc. Feedback from the staff and patients has been brilliant. Patients report that they have felt stronger and happier after the group, it helps take away the boredom at the weekends, it is fun and enjoyable. Patients actually ask to go to the group and look forward to it.