Published on: 4 May 2023

Healthcare heroes have been recognised at a special awards evening to celebrate their service to the NHS. 

Staff at South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust attended its annual Staff Recognition Awards on Friday (28th April). This was the first to be held since City Hospitals Sunderland and South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trusts merged in 2019.  

Previously each trust held separate annual events. Friday night’s presentation was the first time the united Trust was able to go ahead with the awards after the pandemic meant the celebration had to be put on hold. 

The accolades were presented at the Beacon of Light in Sunderland and brought around 400 colleagues together. 

Nine award winners, decided by a panel of judges following nominations from their peers, were announced. 

A Governors’ Award and Chief Executive Award were also part of the glittering gathering. 

The event is part of wider work the Trust has done to thank its workforce of more than 8,000 people and support their health and wellbeing. 

Ken Bremner MBE, the Trust’s Chief Executive, said:

"This was a fantastic evening and is one of a number of ways that we celebrate and thank our incredibly hardworking and dedicated colleagues. 

"The awards are an opportunity for our staff to nominate colleagues for their extraordinary efforts. This could be for delivering outstanding, safe patient care or for the hugely important work that takes place behind the scenes to keep our organisation running.  

"Given the unprecedented challenges we have seen throughout the pandemic, the evening felt all the more special. It gave us the chance to not only celebrate those who had been nominated for their outstanding contribution, but also take a moment to reflect on the amazing work that goes on each and every day by all members of our team.  

"I am very proud and grateful to work alongside such a talented and dedicated group of people."   

The winners were: 

  • Chief Executive’s Award - Clinical Site Management Team (The team provide site management support and co-ordinate patient flow) 
  • Governors’ Award - Debra Young - Head of Neurophysiology/Senior Chief Clinical Physiologist (Neurophysiology focuses on disorders of the nervous system and brain) 
  • Care and Compassion Award - Lead Liver Specialist Nurse, Deb Smith. Also shortlisted were Anne-Marie Luke, Staff Nurse, ICCU; Callum McLean, Healthcare Assistant; Clare MacLennan, Inflammatory Bowel Disease Nurse Specialist; Lucy Baggott, Senior Clinical Fellow for Paediatric Neurodisability and Tracy McMahon, Acting Unit Manager of the Niall Quinn Centre. 
  • Clinical Community Team of the Year Award ­- District Nursing Team. Also shortlisted Community Dermatology Team, Haven Court Team and Interface Falls Team. 
  • Customer Service Award - Patient Experience Team (Listen to feedback from patients, families and carers to make the experience of NHS services better). Also nominated were David Johnson, Administrative Assistant; Debra Hepburn, Operational Support Lead/Admin Manager; Elsamma Samuel, Theatres Team Leader; Janice Wilkinson, Directorate Manager Support and Michael Stobbs, Food Services Assistant. 
  • Clinical Acute Team of the Year Award - Emergency Department Teams at South Tyneside District Hospital and Sunderland Royal Hospital. Also shortlisted Clinical Site Management Team; Neurophysiology Team; Respiratory Medicine Multi-Disciplinary team and Ward 7 and E54 teams 
  • Research Award - Critical Care Research Team. Also shortlisted Jayne Billings, Matron and the Obstetrics and Gynaecology Team 
  • Non-clinical Team of the Year Award - CHoICE Procurement Team (A team that finds and buys goods and services for the Trust). Also shortlisted Communications Team; Global Digital Exemplar Implementation Team and NMAHP Workforce and Practice Education Team 
  • Innovation Award - Sunderland Integrated Musculoskeletal Service Team (Experts in conditions that affect the mobility and function of bones and muscles). Also shortlisted Jonathan Trattles, Blood Transfusion Practitioner and the Workforce Development and Education Team 
  • Leadership Award - Emma Brotherston - Sister/Charge Nurse on Same Day Emergency Care Unit. Also shortlisted Emily Cameron, Neonatal Unit Manager; Debra Young, Head of Neurophysiology/Senior Chief Clinical Physiologist; Joanne Falconer, Ward Manager and Karen Davies, Clinical Team Manager. 
  • Outstanding Contribution Award - Cath Motwani - Associate Specialist in Emergency Medicine. Also shortlisted Alex Cairns - Trainee Advanced Clinical Practitioner; Marie Farish, Ward Clerk and the Thrive Team.

A podcast featuring reactions from the winners on the night can be watched via the Trust’s YouTube channel here

Anyone interesting in joining the Trust as a colleague or volunteer can find out more about the opportunities can visit