Below you can view details of our previous Star of the Month winners. If you know someone who is a worthy winner of our Star of the Month award, why not nominate them? You can submit nominations here.
Nominated by: Heather Toft, Matron, Children's Services, St Helens on behalf of Service User; who said:
“Since December, my daughter’s behaviour has increasingly worsened. Our once impeccably behaved and incredibly bright child seemed to have a complete shift in behaviour overnight and this left me feeling anxious, nervous and completely unarmed in terms of how to deal with her. I read book after book, went to numerous parenting websites and had even registered for a paid for parenting course for help on how to manage the behaviour we were seeing; I can say with certainty that I tried everything - and nothing changed in her behaviour, in fact, it worsened.
In February, I was literally rock bottom. I wasn't sleeping, no one could offer advice that was helpful, my husband even suggested I go see my GP as he felt that I was sinking into depression. Reaching out for support from an outside source was incredibly hard for me: my life is based on appearances and getting on with whatever life throws with gusto - I am not from a family who ask for help or admit they're failing.
It's important that you know my background as I need you to realise just how hard things had got when I reached out to the Healthcare team. I was dreading being judged as a bad mum, or being told I wasn't doing very well...but this didn't happen. From first speaking with Tina, it was like speaking to an amazing, supportive friend who had incredible knowledge of children's behaviour and the most brilliant tools and tips to help tackle challenging times. When I say that Tina has changed our lives, I don't exaggerate. We have seen a complete shift in her behaviour and she isn't displaying worrying outbursts any longer. We are all happier and more content as a family. The divide that was caused by the negative behaviour has gone. My own mental health is very healthy now; I feel like I have more energy.
I honestly cannot thank you enough for what you have done. I firmly believe that my mental health would be now in an unhealthy place had we been following the trajectory we were on prior to your help. I really hope that you know how important your role is and the positive impact you have on families.”
Tina Trevaskis, Team Manager, Knowsley Wheelchair Services; who said:
“I would like to nominate Leigh Ord and Nicola Hughes from Wheelchair Services for the Star of the month. Since joining the team I have been discussing different ways of working and using the database systems to improve process, implement change, and identify movement of stock and safe practices. They have both rose to the challenge and reviewed the database that is used for both stock control and clinical working practises. Cleansing systems, working collaboratively with systems / user groups to identify how the systems can be used to bring about change and recording of information. Reducing errors and producing improved statistical information. To be able to do this you need to have an excellent understanding of the system, an inquisitive mind set and a can do attitude to think about the problem, what the service is trying to achieve and how can this be achieved in systems to streamline process and have assurances that quality, and safety is recorded. Although there have been a large number of changes and process- ultimately this work will provide more efficient delivery of the service. Ultimately providing quality and safety to our service users.
In addition to this they have been supportive in setting up additional information for capturing costings and tariffs for a national pilot scheme. External bodies have recently engaged with service and commented how much work had been done on the systems compared to 12 months earlier and were optimistic that we are on the correct path for capturing this information that may impact on national practice and procedures. Without their support, knowledge of the systems, problem finding and willingness to keep going to resolve matter and reporting, this aspect of the work would not have been achieved. They daily go above and beyond their job role with good grace and consistently reflect the qualities and behaviours of our trust. They absolutely deserve some recognition.”
Nominated by: Louise Cullum, Clinical Lead, Core 24; who said:
“I am nominating Joanne for star of the month as she has demonstrated, courage, commitment and excellent competency's whilst starting out on her journey as a new member of the team with Core 24 in a difficult time of the current pressures felt and observed from working in an acute hospital (Core 24 at Warrington General Hospital). Joanne was thrown into situation beyond her control over the Christmas period when we had high levels of sickness and she ensured that our level of service remined the same with providing high standards of care, rapid responses to referrals and supporting the patient journey at every point of her decision making to ensure that they received the best care possible in an overstretched department in AED and on the wards to support safe discharge.
Joanne volunteered to work over the Christmas and New Year period day turned into work every single day with a positive attitude to provide seamless and consistent care and support for individuals experiencing poor mental health ill health. Joanne demonstrates care and compassion at all levels of her care and treats each individual with dignity and respect including her work colleagues members of acute nursing team and is a valued member of our team. Joanne also in her personal time works extensively for charitable organisations locally is never to busy or to tired to support others.
Joanne demonstrates everything our team ethos advocates and more then deserves this nomination and more as Joanne has become an excellent example of what a nurse and fellow human being is she demonstrates and lives by the 6 Cs in every aspect of her professional and personal life.”
Nominated by: Sara Harrison, Head of Operations, Sefton Borough; who said:
“I would like to nominate Litherland Walk in Centre’s Office Manager, Paula Boal, for Star of the Month for always going the extra mile in her work to keep her colleagues safe and protected during Covid. As well as her ‘day job’, Paula has overseen the borough PPE hub for Sefton borough since it was set up in wave 1 covid lockdown, ensuring that all staff have access to the correct PPE. Despite being surrounded by boxes and boxes of PPE in her office, she has never once complained about the extra work involved and has even logged in on her days off to ensure that PPE is always available. She completes the daily sitrep for the walk in centre, again on her days off and at bank holidays and weekends when this was required and collates the wic data every day to ensure senior leaders have this available for system calls. When the Trust rolled out lateral flow testing, Paula agreed to coordinate the testing kit roll out for Sefton borough to ensure that all staff were able to collect their testing kits for asymptomatic Covid-19 from one base. The week this was rolled out, Paula should have been enjoying a lovely holiday in Mexico for her friends 60th birthday, but this had to be cancelled due to covid. Instead, Paula came into work on her week off to make sure the testing kits were distributed smoothly.
It’s not just her wic and borough colleagues who think Paula is fabulous. The asymptomatic testing project team, who have been working with her on a day to day basis have described her as ‘a lovely lady’ and Mark Kelly, programme lead for asymptomatic testing took the time to feedback about what a great job she is doing to help with this important rollout and how she was so dedicated to come into work on her days off to make sure it went smoothly.Many staff have gone the extra mile during Covid-19 and I know that Paula is not alone in this, however I feel she exemplifies true dedication to staff and patient safety, and as a non-clinician, her role in supporting staff and patients during the pandemic is often an unsung one. So to award her with the star of the month would let Paula know how much we really appreciate everything she has done to keep us all safe in Sefton borough.”
Nominated by Rebecca Marshall, Activity Coordiantor, Atherleigh Park Therapy Team who said:
Last year Amanda was inspired by her previous voluntary work at Hollins Park to create the Atherleigh Park Community Shop. She has worked tirelessly to set up this service and make it accessible to all patients and to create a warm inviting environment for patients to socialise by setting up a tea and chat session in the adjoining Therapy Kitchen. During covid Amanda has continued to make this as accessible for patients as she can and will often be seen pulling large rails of clothing up and down the corridors. Since it opened on 6th November 2019 the community shop has raised £330 with over £250 being spent on providing essential clothing and toiletries for our patients that come in with little to nothing. Any patient in need is provided clean clothing, shoes and new underwear, ladies are provided with the necessary sanitary products should they be required. Amanda has recently added ward hairdresser to her list of talents and had been keeping the ladies on her ward stylish with fresh cuts and blow-dries during lockdown. Amanda is not just a star this month, she is a star every month and is a colleague who genuinely is a delight to work with and has a passion for helping others.
Nominated by: Andrea Snagg, Assistant Director of Health & Wellbeing, Occupational Health & Wellbeing; who said:
“Zoe has worked tirelessly since the start of the COVID pandemic to ensure that OHW services are uninterrupted. This has been especially important in the context of recruitment medicals (to facilitate rapid turnaround of medical clearance for general new starters plus all F&F bank staff) and management referrals (supporting staff and managers with information to facilitate staff to remain in / return to work) as both functions have helped the Trust to maintain appropriate staffing levels during the unprecedented challenges.
In addition to maintaining the core services, Zoe has overcome many hurdles that have often come with little or no notice such as the planning and implementation of the COVID antibody programme and more recently, the flu preparations which targeted 90% of staff with moving goalposts that reduced the time available to deliver this by one third. All of this has been delivered despite the service experiencing its own resourcing challenges like many others due to COVID and other related absences.
Throughout this time, Zoe has continued to demonstrate the Trust core values. She is always there with a smile and a kind word for her team/colleagues regardless of how full her diary is and has consistently worked over and above what could be expected of her. She continues to juggle multiple competing priorities in a way that is both impressive and effective. As well as managing the expectations of staff/managers within the Trust she is also required to do the same for a number of external customers/clients whilst ensuring this does not impact on her work within the Trust.
Zoe is a shining example of what a good manager should look like and the service is better as a result of the leadership she provides.”
Nominated by: William Weir, Community Psychiatric Nurse, Knowsley Recovery Team Nursing; who said:
“Paul is one of the new practitioners to join are team about 2 years ago. He has had experience in other organisations and this experienced he has utilised in situations within our service. Paul is always pleasant and courteous with his colleagues and all his patients and when he meets new patients or he see other patients that nurses look after in there absence, who often remark about his interactions and how courteous he was whilst helping them.
In the last 6 months with the covid 19 pandemic causing problems in how we work and keeping the patients and ourselves safe has been very challenging. We have had many staff go sick others isolating and with annual leave etc and staff being seconded away to wards and swabbing etc this again has increased the pressure within the Team. However, Paul has always has smile is willing to help do extra work in a dignified and professional manner and always courteous manner.
We are now going in to a second phase in Knowsley and we have been asked as a team to fill in a shift on the wards in Whiston mental health wards and still have are case load of our patients in the community. My colleagues all have to do this on a rota and we view this as dangerous but required and we will attend and it has actual started this week and we are worried as the are Covid patients on the ward already with many of there staff off sick.
Paul has approached the management with any encouragement from his colleagues and has pointed out that having a different staff their every day could spread the infection and therefore on Monday 19/12/20 Paul has volunteered to do all the shifts on the ward to reduce the anxiety the staff have of working in this environment, and also to improve the continuity of care for the patients on the ward which I am sure he will do in his normally manner.
Many staff with young children and parents living with them are relieved and as a result I recommend Paul for the Star of the Month for his considerations for others and for his willingness to work on the wards for the next 12 weeks at least during very difficult time with very few staff to help.”
Nominated by: Catherine McDonald and GMP, Operational Manager, Crown Court Liaison and Diversion; who said:
"Danielle was on her way to work on the 11/08/2020 at around 7am when she saw a young female looking distressed standing on the wrong side of a bridge. She immediately made her way over and spoke with the young female and quickly asked a member of the public to contact the police. The Police, Paramedics and the Fire Service all attended. The young female found the response overwhelming and as a result of the rapport Danielle had quickly established with her she agreed to stay at the scene and support her. Danielle remained with the lady in a very intense situation for around 45 minutes. The Police negotiators had contact with Danielle and were making their way to the scene. Danielle was able to establish such a good rapport with the distressed female that she eventually agreed to return to safety. The police, paramedics and the fire brigade who were all in attendance were incredibly impressed with Danielle's calm and compassionate approach and her dedication in supporting the young female to safety.
Danielle is a credit to the organisation, and whether in work or out of work she consistently displays the trust values in everything she does. In this scenario Danielle showed her compassion, her courage and her incredible communication skills in order to resolve a very intensely difficult situation. The Young female was later taken to hospital where she accessed support, and she too was incredibly grateful to Danielle for all of her support.
Since the incident an email thanking Danielle has also been received from an Inspector of Greater Manchester Police who said 'I just wanted to pass on this feedback to her supervisor so that she can be recognised for her outstanding efforts in bringing the situation under control and to a successful resolution. Please pass on my thanks again and ensure this is passed to the relevant parties so that her efforts and professionalism are recognised'"
Nominated by: Mark O' Farrell, Acting Head of Operations, Specialist and Halton Management; who said:
"I feel Charlotte should be the Star of the Month as throughout Covid she has shone as an inspiration to her team and others. Charlotte has recognised the important of staff wellbeing under the "Happy Teams" Quality Pillar and has thoroughly embedded this within the team throughout COVID. To promote team well-being during COVID, Charlotte has recently undertaken several initiatives in her team:
-"Show and tell" theme. This looked to take a small amount of time for each of her team members to show everyone else a picture and explain how this photo made them happy and was a positive influence to them.
-"Best Day of our life". Again everyone shared a photo depicting the best day of their lives, both promoting positivity in the team and also creating a sense of togetherness through difficult times.
-Charlotte has also spent time with the team to look at what they would keep in their lives post covid. By writing down some things staff were doing different in covid, they collated these into a rainbow for the team promoting health and wellbeing for life after covid.
-Charlotte also arranged for a yoga instructor to deliver a session to the team to promote well-being, positivity and togetherness.
-Charlotte also made packs and delivered these to all of the staff in her team on maternity leave, to ensure they continued to feel part of the team.
-To compliment the Trust letter's to staff's children, Charlotte wrote a personal letter of thanks to all those children emphasising that although it was difficult their parent was working through covid, they were actually helping other parents and their children so they should be proud of their parent! She even did one for pets ensuring those with no kids were not excluded.
Charlotte has had new staff commence during covid, including peer support workers. Charlotte has helped develop a detailed induction covid taking into account restrictions due to covid to support these staff. Charlotte has also started looking at developing a pack for al NWBH staff who are pregnant, including what to do, what support is available and to promote their wellbeing through pregnancy and beyond. Charlotte through covid has restructured how their team works in terms of base, patient contact and support systems. Not only has she kept Perinatal running, but actually her patient waits has reduced due to this restructure allowing staff more time to support their patients. Charlotte often spends her evenings and sometime her weekends working extra to try to support her team and service users (some of the above were in her free time), she returned from maternity leave starting a managers post and has absolutely flourished. She is passionate, caring, hard-working and we are extremely lucky to have her working in our Trust. Thank you Charlotte."
Nominated by: Martyn Veevers, Team Manager; Peter Smith, STR Worker; Michelle Pluger, Assistant Practitioner; Lori Fair, Senior Nurse Practitioner; Claire O'Neill, Senior Nurse practitioner and Alison Gabriel, Senior Nurse Practitioner from Halton Recovery Team; who said:
By Martyn Veevers
"What can a manager say about Sandra, other than she is a managers dream! She just keeps turning up day after day, never goes off, always with a smile on her face, always willing to help anybody, she is an absolute Star! Throughout this COVID period she has maintained and supported a massive caseload of the most vulnerable people in the service, those with treatment resistant Schizophrenia. She has helped others with their own caseloads, she jumps into duty whenever asked and has now jumped into help the Trust with 2 extra clinics a week to help with the anti-body testing, she isn't called 'the rock' for nothing in the team! On top of all this she makes sure we all have sweets and cakes to keep us going through the day! If anyone deserves this award it's Sandra!"
By Peter Smith
"Sandra has kept our team feed and watered during COVID-19 and has been the only RMN to work every single day in the office. Nothing phases our San she is a trooperJ"
By Michelle Pluger
"Since the start of COVID-19 Sandra has not missed one day of work, she has not utilised any annual leave also, taking on extra duties, doing the antibody testing clinics on top of her own role. She has been a massive support to all the team throughout the pandemic, not to mention that she keeps the office stocked up with chocolate/sweets and crisps on a weekly basis. She is a STAR"
By Lori Fair
"Sandra has worked for the team for a number of years, she supports every team member and is infamously liked by many of our patients. During COVID-19, she has shown so much resilience, kindness and support. She has attended the office every day, she has ran 2 Clozapine clinics, managed a large caseload, supported duty with their role in essential face to face visits, she has completed numerous amounts of bloods and ECG's to support the team as GP's are on limited resources, she has been responsible for community prescriptions and has dealt with hundreds of emails in relation to medication queries and changes, she has ran clinics completing the anti-body testing for COVID-19 and finally she kept the fridge stocked with a copious amount of chocolate and the draws filled with snack for nurses working in the office during the pandemic. Sandra does commendable work every day of year for the service, but she has really shone during this pandemic as she has supported the team wonderfully, smiled every day and never complained throughout unprecedented times. We as a team believe she should be staff of the month."
By Claire O'Neill
"I would like to nominate Sandra for a star award as she is a very selfless caring lady who always puts other first. Sandra goes above and beyond her role on a daily basis, never missing any days off. Sandra never complains about any workload and has taken on an extra role doing antibody testing along with other clinics."
By Alison Gabriel
"Not only has Sandra been very supportive and helpful when I have needed guidance, she is always happy to assist in any way she can. She is a font of knowledge and is always happy to share her experience so that both myself and others can learn and benefit from it. Sandra hasn't had any leave since the emergence of COVID-19, she has worked really hard and has also continued to bring food in to keep staff going
Nominated by: Linda Farrington, Operational Manager, Integrated Community Equipment Service; who said:
"Mark is the Transport Supervisor in Integrated Community Equipment Service, Supervising a team of Driver technicians, managing 7 day staff rotas, constantly moving scheduled work to accommodate the many urgent requests coming in throughout each day, receiving equipment and continence product deliveries into the Centre for Independent Living where the service is based, and generally being the "Go To" person for any queries, be it about his team or the building itself. He looks after a fleet of vehicles, liaising with vehicle companies, and ensuring they are roadworthy and ready daily for the staff to use.
In March when COVID started, Mark quickly stepped up to face the challenges on the service. He led the Driver technician team to ensure they were trained in the use of PPE to ensure they could carry on their work of delivering and fitting equipment in patients' homes. He increased the hours worked by the team so they were available until 20hrs at weekends and Bank Holidays, he asked them to work additional hours to support the usual staff working at weekends and bank holidays, all to ensure the service could meet the predicted demand of increased hospital discharges and support for patients avoiding hospital admission.
To support ICES, staffs from other teams were asked to help with deliveries. Mark co-ordinated this on a daily basis with staff from the IKAN Team, Postural Stability, Therapy and technology Practitioners and Care & Repair staff. His new "Team" of workers grew rapidly but Mark kept his cool and just took the additional work in his stride. To meet the predicted increase in demand, the near equivalent of one year's supply of additional equipment was ordered for ICES. Mark took charge of the receipt of this equipment and ensured it was checked and safely stored in the warehouse. This was in a 6-8 week period, a task that is usually carried out over 12 months. Mark also took charge of the PPE stocks for the teams in the CIL, ensuring stock control, reporting levels and ordering replacement.
Throughout this challenging time, Mark was there to listen to his team, listen to their concerns and supported them despite the increasing workload on him. He was and is, crucial in keeping morale up especially during the challenge of COVID. Mark has excelled in his role and deserves recognition for the outstanding contribution he has made to the Trust."
Nominated by: Ashlie Murray, Operational Manager, Leadership Team; who said
"Rebecca works full time for the recovery team but always helps us at the assessment team during busy times. She never complains or questions what we ask her to do. Rebecca completed a telephone assessment with an elderly service user who was very upset and the service user told Rebecca their spouse was in hospital end of life dying from cancer. This service user was not allowed to visit their spouse and hadn't seen them for weeks. The service user was desperate to hold their spouses hand and say good bye. Rebecca went above and beyond by speaking to the hospital ward sister and arranging for the service user to visit their spouse and say good bye.
Rebecca didn't stop there, the service user also made reference to something else that they wished for, which Rebecca then looked into, with help from the service users son and they were able to support this. I feel Rebecca has shown pure care and compassion and this is true reflection of the fantastic nurse she is."
Nominated by: Ashlie Murray, Operational Manager, Leadership Team; who said
"During the toughest time the NHS has faced to date we have all pulled together to support our services, service users and each other. Lisa has gone above and beyond this. Lisa stepped out of her substantive role as discharge coordinator and jumped straight on to Rydal Ward mid pandemic to clinically lead the team & lead them she has! Lisa has ensured that each and every staff member working on Rydal ward feels valued supported and listened to. The wards a tough environment at the best of times but in the midst of COVID-19 it's been ten times tougher. Lisa has been able to keep staff morale going, she has come in early to meet with the night staff to thank them personally for all their hard work, she has maintained safety huddles to remind the staff how fantastic they are. As for the patients, Lisa is the most passionate person I have ever had the pleasure of working with when it comes to later life and memory patients. She has worked with the Rydal team to ensure the patients have received the highest standard of care; she has embarked on additional training since being back on the ward and linked in with all other relevant agencies since the Rydal has been badged as the enhanced physical health ward. She has held garden parties with the patients to celebrate our COVID-19 recovered patients....lots of non-alcoholic beers and party food whilst listening to music the service users are fond of. She has taken being redeployed to Rydal in her stride; her passion for the ward has been so infectious and kept staff going through such a tough time. As a leadership team.....we could not be prouder of her!"
"I have worked twenty years in the NHS, and during this time I have never come across an in-patient consultant quite like Dr Raj Madgula. He surpasses everything you could possible think a consultant should demonstrate. Raj is a valued and loved member of our team on Taylor ward. He is warm, caring, and respectful showing unconditional positive regard for everyone he is in contact with. He has an incredible wealth of knowledge is always willing to share, teach and lead from example. I trust and value his opinion, and he will always take the time out to support and help me in the most challenging times.
Raj promotes a positive least restrictive environment and always strives for meaningful change. He acknowledges and encourages input from all members of the team from domestics to the nurses and activity workers on the ward. He utilises evidenced based practice, and maintains the highest of standards and quality care at all times. At hard times he motivates the team and has on numerous occasions cooked meals and bought treats to boost morale. He talks daily with the patients not just in reviews but on a 1:1 outside his role. He always has time for carers, families and the patients and joins in with ward based activities, even table tennis tournaments with the patients and drumming in music sessions that add a humanistic element to his role showing the patients another side of himself. Through pressures on the service Raj has supported numerous teams in St Helens, whilst still running his ward, teaching and supervising his junior doctors. Sometimes we win sometimes we need to learn lessons on the ward, and his humble nature allows us to understand this is ok as long as we learn, reflect and improve.
Because we work day in day out with Raj we just accept that's just who he is, when he stays after his shift is over, but really this is the kind of person we should recognise. Raj is one in a million and we think the world of him, especially myself whom his commitment and coaching, and love of his job is inspiring, That is why I would like to nominate him as employee of the month and the Taylor ward team I know are fully behind this. Dr Raj is everything that the NHS strives to achieve that is why we would love you to consider him for this award."
Nominated by a service user; who said:
"I am a service user. I am writing to inform you about the exceptional support I have had from Sharron Kayes who does personality disorder work with me at St Helens Recovery team. After having a handful of lengthy admissions throughout 2019 to numerous different inpatient units within North West Boroughs, Sharron has been there consistently during my admissions and in the community. I see her every Tuesday to do 1-1 work and wouldn't know what to do without her. Her care, compassion and kindness are outstanding and she has always made me feel like I matter. I have been under her care for about a year now and although it has been the toughest year of my life with my mental health difficulties the only reason I have gotten through it and the only reason I am still here today I truly believe is down to the support I receive from Sharron.
Sharon is from the recovery team and I have never met someone who is so invested into going above and beyond to ensure I get the right therapy for my mental health and have the best possible chance at staying well. Sharon is exceptionally knowledgeable about personality disorders and is constantly putting my mind and my family's mind at ease about different things. I was diagnosed with Anorexia and it seems to be something I'm also finding difficult to manage and unlike other professionals who have said they won't help me with the eating side of things as it isn't something they are trained in (which I understand), Sharron has openly said she will get support from the psychiatrist within the team and from the eating disorder team who she has contacted herself and will work in helping me manage this difficulty too.
This is something I appreciate greatly as I struggle a lot with change and new people so she has realised this and is willing to try and help me the best she can alongside the work we are currently doing. Sharron is a credit to the NHS and if some form of recognition could be given this would be amazing. It is people like her who inspire others and make this world a better place."
Nominated by Kate Andrews, who said:
"Lynda is as Assistant Practitioner with Recovery South Team. Her primary role is to provide physical health care assessments/reviews and support to service users accessing our services. This in turn facilitates the whole person care, integrating mental health and physical health which encompasses the Trust 6 C's."
"A compliment was received for Lynda, through another member of staff from one of her service users where Lynda has gone above and beyond her duties to support a service user. She has helped the patient through a difficult time in a calm and sympathetic way. The service user stated that she could not thank Lynda enough for prompting her to make the appointment and potentially saving her life."
"This concept of working encompasses the core elements and defines Lynda and the comparison reinforces the quality of care that is delivered to our service users throughout every stage of their life. Compassion is how care is given through professional relationships based on empathy, respect and dignity. It can also be described as kindness and is central to how people perceive their care. Care, Compassion, Competence, Communication, Courage and Commitment – these help the individual person and improves the health of the whole community. Despite the pressure and demands of the role, the 6 C's remain at the core of Lynda's compassion for her role. She comes to work to make a difference for our service users and is prepared to take personal responsibility for individuals in her care and this has clearly been outlined the service users feedback above."