Doncaster nurses, health care assistants and wider primary care staff were recognised at an awards ceremony for their care and dedication to help improve the lives of patients and members of the public.
Almost 60 nominations were made this year by staff, patients and members of the public, breaking last year’s record.
Following the success of last year’s first ever nursing awards ceremony, this years had a twist; introducing a new category to recognise an outstanding individual or team in primary care that goes the extra mile.
From a range of different nursing specialities, more than 12 nurses and health care assistants received awards in the following categories:
- Recognising Leadership in Primary Care (GPN)
- Recognising support and mentorship (GPN)
- Commitment to General Practice Nursing (GPN)
- Recognising Compassionate and Caring Practice Team (Team)
- Rising Star
- Inspirational Health Care Assistant (Health Care Assistant)
The recognising leadership in primary care award winner was Ben Scott, Clinical Director for Doncaster South Primary Care Network and Advanced Nurse Practitioner at Conisbrough Group Practice. The award was presented to Ben for his can do attitude and “Incredible work in making sure that Doncaster nurses are a force to be reckoned with.” The nomination also said: “Ben’s commitment to patient engagement and ensuring that all team members are recognised is admirable.”
Recognising support and mentorship is a key commitment and aim of the General Practice Nurse development strategy, launched in January 2020. Whilst this is an area Doncaster will take further, many nurses are leading the way, providing support, advice, guidance and training to others. Amybeth Jones, a practice nurse from The Oakwood Surgery.
One nomination said: “Amy is never too busy to show, guide and observe her colleagues, despite having her own clinical responsibilities. She actively encourages people to “have a go” which helps them quickly gain confidence. She speaks positively of the role itself whilst also being open about the challenges GPNs face and providing coaching on how to manage them.” The nomination went on to say: “Amy is an exceptional nurse – offering a flexible approach to the practice, often squeezing in patients who need to be seen urgently or support her colleagues if they are running behind or have challenging cases.”
The third award, commitment to General Practice Nursing went to Mary Kitching from Regent Square Group Practice. From a patient, Mary was commended for her approach, care and compassion, going beyond the call of duty to care for and support a young boy. “At every appointment, Mary takes the time to build rapport with my son before routine tests, which can be hard given his age. But above all, she is kind, takes the time to check that I am okay, asks me about his health in general and helpfully talks to me about symptoms to look out for and what next steps we can consider to support him to be well.”
The fourth award, recognising compassionate and caring practice team went to the Oakwood Proactive Care Team. This award appreciates supportive practice teams, practices who promote and demonstrate an inclusive approach, genuinely and visibly valuing all staff members. The award also recognises that having a shared ethos of providing high quality care whilst maintaining positive staff wellbeing is vital in providing outstanding care.
One nomination said: “The relationships the proactive care team have built ensure that our patients feel cared for and also their families are comfortable in approaching our practice team when they have new concerns. The team work well together both in-practice but also with our external partners; they communicate on a regular basis and continue to ask questions and learn from feedback they are given to better improve the care our patients receive. I am incredibly proud of what they are achieving for our patients.”
This year’s rising star award was a difficult call due to the quality of nominations received. Two joint winners were selected to recognise the inspiring contribution of a nurse new to primary care in the last two years. The award went to Robert Abbott and Luke Brown, both from Oakwood Surgery.
Robert joined Oakwood Surgery in 2018, having qualified as a nurse just two months earlier. The nomination said: “Throughout his training, Rob wanted to work in General Practice but was told it was not possible. So, when we began recruiting for a nurse in September, Amy, our existing nurse mentioned Rob and with some support from the GPN Ready scheme he came to join us. Rob is becoming an excellent nurse! He adopts a very caring and proactive style with patients and will often support them with needs which are outside his day job. He has an enviable attention to detail and is keen to develop within his role. He has taken ownership of his own development and regularly seeks in house training as well as participating in training from the GPN Ready scheme and additional courses that he feels he will benefit from. In order to further develop Rob has just begun a Respiratory Diploma and has just begun a mentorship style role with our new HCA Apprentice.”
Luke, also a practice nurse at Oakwood Surgery qualified in August 2019. The nomination said: “He joined us with a friendly, patient focused attitude, keenness to “get stuck in” and a team spirit that meant that he became part of Team Oakwood from the get go. Luke’s determination and willingness to learn is refreshing and suits the team he is working with. He was encouraged from his first days to see patients and was quickly up and running with clinics. He has sought opportunities to learn from GPs, the pharmacist as well as the rest of our Healthcare team meaning he has experienced a broad spectrum of styles and knowledge and is now able to put this into practice with his own patients. It’s hard to believe that Luke only qualified a short time ago – he is already an amazing nurse and the more he grows and develops, the better he will become. Doncaster is lucky to have him!”
The final award for nursing, Inspirational Health Care Assistant (HCA) went to Courtney Bell from St Johns Group Practice. This award values the contribution HCAs make in practice and shows how they continue to be an active member of the practice team, striving quality to improve and enhance patient outcomes. A nomination said: “Courtney became our Senior Health Care Assistant in May 2019 and since then, has excelled even further, taking our new health care assistant under her wing and showing her the ropes, re-arranging the practice consumables, taking on the responsibility for ordering all stock and vaccinations. Courtney has a very positive influence on both patients and staff; she goes the extra mile every day.”
The Doncaster Pride of Primary Care award went to Team Oakwood, from The Oakwood Surgery. This award was designed as a way of recognising the value and hard work of the rest of the practice team. The nomination said: “As a whole team they go above and beyond every day. Every single member of the team has demonstrated personal responsibility for the level of care that they provide to our patients and their families, and also take ownership of their individual development in order to continually improve their knowledge and skills resulting in a high level of patient satisfaction.”
Dr David Crichton, Chair of NHS Doncaster Clinical Commissioning Group said: “It was humbling to present a number of awards at today’s important event to recognise the skill and determination of some of our primary care nursing family in Doncaster and wider practice teams.
“As a local GP, I can’t stress how important nurses are working across primary care and beyond and I would personally like to say well done to all health and care staff working across many different specialisms and settings in Doncaster.
“The event is an important reminder of the valuable contribution of staff working in primary care and beyond.”
Andrew Russell, Chief Nurse, NHS Doncaster Clinical Commissioning Group said: “I am pleased to see the breadth of knowledge and expertise our primary care nursing family in Doncaster continue to display, constantly determined to improve outcomes for patients.
“Not only do they continually strive to improve their skills and knowledge, their commitment and compassion for patients in their care is outstanding. Whether nurses and health care assistants in the room today have won an award or not, you are all winners and I remain proud of you all.”
Zara Head, Queens Nurse, Nursing Now England Ambassador and Lead Nurse for Primary Care Quality, NHS Doncaster CCG said: “It was fantastic to attend the Doncaster primary care nursing family awards ceremony today.
“We know that Doncaster has exceptional nurses in primary care and the number of nominations we received reflects this.
“2020 is the Year of the Nurse and Midwife and what better way to showcase and celebrate our primary care nurses. Coupled with the launch of the Doncaster General Nurse Development strategy 2020 last month, we have signalled loud and clear our commitment to our profession.”
A special recognition award was also presented to Mona Parks from Consibrough Group Practice who is retiring after a staggering 50 years of service. Mona has worked at Conisbrough Group Practice for half a century and we wish her well in her retirement.
Today’s five winners of the nursing awards will be put forward for the NHS England/NHS Improvement North and East Yorkshire region awards to be held on 18 March in Rotherham.