After a year unlike any other, a record number of local healthcare heroes from across Bradford, Airedale, Wharfedale and Craven have been nominated for awards in Bradford District Care NHS Foundation Trust’s annual You’re A Star Awards.

A total of 113 individuals and teams in both clinical and non-clinical roles, as well as local volunteers, carers and service users have been nominated for the awards – up over 60% on last year.

Inspiring nominees include: a pilot scheme to improve support for people experiencing a mental health crisis; a foot clinic’s use of ‘foot selfies’ to help triage patients with diabetic foot ulcers; volunteer marshalls at a COVID-19 testing site; a district nursing team providing vital out of hours care; a Young Involvement Partner who helps the Trust recruit staff; the COVID-19 home visiting team supporting vulnerable patients, families and carers throughout the pandemic; and carers who support other carers despite their own challenges.

Bradford District Care NHS Foundation Trust provides mental health, community, learning disability and children’s services. Members of the public as well as Trust staff were invited to nominate individuals or teams who they feel should be celebrated for their hard work, outstanding care and for making a real difference to colleagues and communities.

The You’re A Star Awards are now in their seventeenth year. Nominations for 2021 are in six categories: Service User, Carer and Volunteer Contributions; Improvements and Innovation; Team of the Year; Working Together; Non-Clinical Star/s and Unsung Hero. This year for the first time, a special one-off ‘COVID Award’ will be presented to the individual or team who has risen to meet a challenge posed by the pandemic, going above and beyond to ensure services could continue to be delivered to support communities over the past year.

Awards will also be presented to the three individuals or teams who have most clearly demonstrated the Trust’s values – We Care, We Listen, We Deliver – the winners being chosen from monthly ‘Living our Values’ award-winners over the past 12 months.

Staff nominees for the You’re A Star Awards 2021 have included people working in a wide range of disciplines including speech and language therapists, out of hospital support teams, community dentistry, podiatrists, the child and adolescent mental health service, specialist palliative care services, psychologists, occupational therapists, healthcare assistants and support workers, district nurses and immunisation teams.

Staff working quietly behind the scenes in non-clinical roles, who have been described as ‘the glue that hold departments together’ have also been nominated, as have volunteers who have continued to give their time freely despite the pandemic, often to give something back after receiving outstanding care from the Trust, as well as carers, young involvement partners and community health champions.

Commenting on the record number of nominations director of corporate affairs Paul Hogg said: “We celebrated a record number of nominations last year, but to be up by more than sixty per cent on that in 2021 is unprecedented – although not entirely unexpected!

“We know how tirelessly staff have worked throughout the pandemic, coming up with all sorts of innovative and creative ways to ensure we could continue to deliver services, as well as supporting each other through such challenging times.  It’s fitting that colleagues and people in the communities we serve want to recognise those individuals and teams who have made such a massive difference this year.”

Thanks to the support of Bradford-based Sovereign Healthcare, main sponsor of the You’re A Star Awards, the winners in each You’re A Star Awards category will receive £750 to support their ongoing work to benefit patients.

Judging will now get underway online. Paul Hogg commented: “Judging may take a little longer this year as we consider all those entries, but I’m excited to see it get started so we can announce our shortlist of finalists and prepare a fitting online awards ceremony in the summer.”