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The group of winners stood together holding their awards and smiling

Colleagues and volunteers from across Airedale NHS Foundation Trust and AGH Solutions were celebrated at a special event last week (13 June).  The Pride of Airedale awards were created to recognise the amazing hard work and dedication staff at the Trust have shown over the past year.  As well as celebrating Teams and Leaders of the year, awards were also given to ‘unsung heroes’ and those giving outstanding patient care.

This year a record-breaking 383 nominations were received and the final 13 winners took home their awards on the night.  The awards were held in a marquee at Ilkley Lawn Tennis Club, which was already set up as part of their renowned tennis tournament.

This year’s categories and winners are:

  • The Airedale Partnership Award – Paula Walsh, Laundry and Linen Senior Supervisor, AGH Solutions
  • Colleague of the Year (AGH Solutions) – Jonathan Phillips, Theatre Porter
  • Colleague of the Year (clinical) – Kathryn Webster, Team Leader, Stroke Therapy
  • Colleague of the Year (non-clinical) – Julie Hartley, Attraction and Retention Lead
  • Leader of the Year – Nicola Stone, Therapy Service Admin Manager
  • Meeting the Needs Award – Gareth Williams, Head of Patient Meal Services, AGH Solutions
  • Quality Improvement Award – Home FAST team (First Assessment Support Team)
  • The Quality Award for Outstanding Patient Experience – Ward 14
  • Team of the Year (AGH Solutions) – Switchboard
  • Team of the Year (clinical) – Ward 14
  • Team of the Year (non-clinical) – Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) team
  • Trainee of the Year – Dr Elliot Greenwood
  • Unsung Hero – Charlotte Watkinson, Specialist Physiotherapist, Flow Team 

Double winners were Ward 14, who scooped both the Clinical Team of the Year award and The Quality Award for Outstanding Patient Experience.

They were nominated for receiving “exceptionally positive feedback from patients and carers, for having “excellent communication with relatives” and “involving family in decision making with weekly relatives’ evenings” and for supporting each other.

Another staff member said in their nomination: “It’s not only about the patient care, we support each other in our good and bad times. Ward 14 is the one of the best teams I have ever worked with.”

Senior Sister and Ward Manager Gintu Thomas from Steeton said:

“Winning two awards was completely unexpected but we’re so incredibly proud as a team.

Thank you to my colleagues on the ward who are all extremely hard working, dedicated and support each other. Ward 14 is a great team that is filled with love, friendship and dedication.

I’d also like to thank our Director of Nursing for Medicine, Catherine Redman, Director of Nursing for Childrens’ and Specialist Services, Annie McCluskey and Matron for Complex Care, Angela Gordon for always helping us to strive to achieve high standards of care.”

Physiotherapist Charlotte Watkinson from Steeton took home the Unsung Hero award.  Her nomination said:

“Charlotte has been heavily involved in the pilot Home Fast project and she always remains calm and professional and is always willing to find solutions to overcome any difficulties that she or the team may be faced with, and always has a positive outlook.”

Charlotte said:

“I was absolutely lost for words and didn’t expect to receive this award. I feel very grateful to work with such amazing therapy, nursing and social care colleagues and I wouldn’t be able to do my job without them.”

Trainee of the Year winner was Dr Elliot Greenwood from Apperley Bridge who received a record 7 nominations.  The judges said:

“We were delighted to see the number and breadth of nominations from senior and junior medical colleagues, highlighting in particular the manner in which he delivers patient care, and also the care and support to his colleagues, often in challenging and emotional situations.”

A Consultant in the Emergency Department said in his nomination: “He is one of the most hard working, dedicated, kind and compassionate trainees I have worked with.”

Elliot said:  “I couldn’t have been Trainee of the Year without the help of the people of Airedale around me. The nurses, consultants and fellow junior doctors have all made me the doctor I am today.”

The Switchboard team won Team of the Year in the non-clinical category and their nomination said:

“They are unsung heroes of the hospital. It’s a service that is rarely given a second thought during the day, [but] if it wasn’t provided, it would cause significant disruption across the hospital.  The team deal with thousands of calls per day, offering valuable support.  They deal with situations where the caller is stressed or upset, all of these require a great deal of empathy and understanding.”

Switchboard Operator, Gail Bell from Cowling said: “Never mind the Euros, the Switchboard team have brought it home!”

This was the first face to face Airedale awards event since the Covid-19 pandemic.

Foluke Ajayi, Chief Executive of Airedale NHS Foundation Trust said:

“I was immensely proud to take part in this celebration and what made it particularly special were the stories we heard about all the nominees; they were uplifting and inspiring in equal measure and demonstrate the compassion for patients, visitors and colleagues that typifies Team Airedale.”

“Every nominee deserves to be truly proud: the nominations reflect their dedication and commitment to their work and their values shine through.  I am proud too to work for such an incredible organisation.”

Winners received a certificate and personalised glass trophy as well as prizes which included Love2Shop vouchers and Pride of Airedale branded chocolates from Whitakers Chocolates in Skipton.  Sponsors of the event included Airedale Hospital & Community Charity, Changeology, Sovereign Health Care and Standout Media.