Published on: 23 April 2024

NHS workers who have gone above and beyond to make a difference to patients and their colleagues have been celebrated at a glittering night of celebrations.

South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust has hosted its second Staff Recognition Awards, with around 400 people gathering at the Beacon of Light for the event.

It built on the success of last year’s inaugural ceremony, with the backing of sponsors boosting the number of categories from 11 to 17.

The Trust’s 8,500-plus staff were invited to put forward entries, with more than 400 nominations submitted for consideration.

A panel then decided a shortlist of entries and the winners, while the recipient of the Chief Executive’s Award was personally chosen by Ken Bremner MBE. The Governors’ Award was picked by the Trust’s public and stakeholder governors.

Mr Bremner said:

"We had a brilliant evening as we came together to celebrate those who do fantastic work to improve the lives of those we care for.

"This year’s judging session was especially tough, as we had so many strong entries. It certainly made picking our winners a much harder task. There were so many inspiring and moving stories.

"Every person and team nominated should be proud of the fact their colleagues think they have made a difference. There is no greater accolade than recognition from your peers and this shows how valued they are for the compassion and dedication they put into their role at our Trust.

"We also want to say a special thank you to this year’s sponsors who helped us follow up the success of last year’s ceremony and make it even bigger and better, with more teams and individuals recognised for their amazing work."

After a meal and the announcement of the winners at Friday's celebration, guests enjoyed music performed by live Sunderland band Celtic Man.

Here are the winners and shortlisted entries:

  • Care and Compassion Award (Sponsored by NHS Professionals) - Winner: Imran Aziz, Trust Doctor, Shortlisted: Tahluma Begum, Healthcare Assistant and Vicki Martin, Speech and Language Therapy Assistant.
  • Community Team of the Year Award – Winner Children’s Community Nursing Team Shortlisted: Bladder and Bowel Continence Team; Gateshead and South Tyneside Talking Therapies Team and Recovery at Home Team.
  • Customer service Award (Sponsored by Spark TSL) - Winner: Durham Diagnostics and Treatment Centre Reception Team Shortlisted: Lee McIntosh, Education Centre Manager and Susan Garrett, Medical Secretary.
  • Acute Clinical Team of the Year Award - Winner Oral Maxillo-Facial (OMFS) Head and Neck Cancer Team Shortlist: Arthroplasty Optimisation Group and Sunderland Diagnostic Interventional Nephrology Team and Ward B20.
  • Research Award (Sponsored by NIHR Clinical Research Network North East and North Cumbria) - Winner COLOSPEED Research Team Shortlist; Obstetrics and Gynaecology Research Team and the Paediatric Emergency Research Team.
  • Rising Star Award – Winner Faith Urwin, Healthcare Apprentice Shortlisted: Chris Black, Directorate Manager; Leah Torr, Trainee Assistant Manager and Tiffany Garvin-Pierre, Staff Nurse.
  • Unsung Hero (Corporate and Support Services) Award – Winner Chi Chi Ohagwu Shortlist: International Nurse Educator; Jayne Aitken, Senior Performance Analyst and Natalie Crute, Divisional Finance Manager.
  • Unsung Hero (Community) Award – Winner Chris Wheatley, Healthcare Assistant Shortlist: Amanda Ashman, Healthcare Assistant and Jill Somerville, Community Staff Nurse.
  • Corporate and Support Services Team of the Year Award – Winner Switchboard Team Shortlist: Communications and Engagement Team; Library Team; Nursing Midwifery and Allied Health Professionals Education Team and the Safeguarding Team.
  • Innovation Award (Sponsored by Health Innovation North East and North Cumbria) - Winner Beth Halliday, Speech and Language Therapist Shortlist: Catherine Etheridge, Junior Nurse Practitioner; Practice Education Team and Sharon Stothard, Sleep and Respiratory Service Clinical Nurse Lead.
  • Leadership Award (Sponsored by DAC Beachcroft LLP) – Winner Rachael Hutchinson, Deputy Head of Facilities Shortlist: Rafaela Schelle, Orthoptic Department Manager; Roisin Burdis, Lead Alcohol Care Team Specialist Nurse and Sam Carmichael, Ward Manager. 
  • Championing Equality Award - Winner ; Kirsty Spalding, Speech and Language Therapist Shortlist: Health Literacy Team; Kirsty Spalding, Speech and Language Therapist and the Targeted Lung Health Check Team.
  • Unsung Hero (Acute Clinical) Award – Winner Jay De La Cruz, Ward Manager Shortlist: Chris Hartley – Ear Nose and Throat Consultant; Julie Wanless, Senior Domestic Abuse Health Advocate; Lynn Stobbs, Theatre Healthcare Assistant and Sally Athey, Consultant Radiologist.
  • Outstanding Contribution Award (Sponsored by Serve and Protect Credit Union) – Winner Ben Hall, Consultant Radiologist Shortlist: Nnenna Obinna, Junior Sister; Puveendran Arullendran, ENT Consultant and Sue Robason, Domestic and Linen Manager.
  • Lifetime Achievement Award – Winner Denise Simpson, Matron Shortlist: Alistair Roy, Consultant, Anaesthesia and Intensive Care Medicine; Lance Cope, Consultant Radiologist; Larry Stores, Head of Facilities and Mary Spearman, Clinical Director, Therapies and Head of Podiatry.
  • Chief Executive’s Award – Catherine Fisher, recently retired Head of Library Services
  • Governors’ Award - Tahluma Begum, Healthcare Assistant, Emergency Assessment Unit at Sunderland Royal Hospital.

The Trust has recorded an episode of its Our People Podcast on the event. It can be listened to through Spotify here and via Apple Podcasts here and a video version, showing clips of each winner, can be watched via its YouTube channel here

Winners from the STSFT Staff Recognition Awards 2024 pictured with Trust Chief Executive Ken Bremner MBE and Director of Corporate Affairs Andrea Heatherington, in red to the left..JPG

Winners from the STSFT Staff Recognition Awards 2024 pictured with Trust Chief Executive Ken Bremner MBE and Director of Corporate Affairs Andrea Heatherington, in red to the left.