The You're A Star Awards celebrate outstanding workFlexibility and fighting spirit have emerged as key traits shared by finalists in this year’s You’re a Star Awards, which honour and celebrate the outstanding work of clinical and non-clinical staff, carers, volunteers and service users at Bradford District Care NHS Foundation Trust.

In a year like no other, the individuals and teams shortlisted for the 2021 awards have each gone above and beyond, striving for excellence in the face of challenges and change, to ensure high quality community, mental health and learning disability services could continue to be delivered throughout the pandemic.

To reflect these unprecedented times, the six You’re A Star Awards categories – Improvements and Innovation; Non-clinical Star/s; Service User, Carer and Volunteer Contributions; Team of the Year; Unsung Hero; and Working Together – have this year been joined by a special COVID-19 Award. The Trust’s ‘Living Our Values’ monthly award winners will also be celebrated, with an overall winner chosen for staff who embody the Trust’s values of ‘We Care’, ‘We Listen’ and ‘We Deliver’.

The judges had a particularly difficult job in the seventeenth year of the awards. “So many people have done amazing things in the last year, it will be difficult to single out individuals or teams,” as one nominator stated in their nomination.

COVID-19 Award

Finalists for the new, one-off, COVID-19 Award include the Infection Prevention team’s Samantha Moorehouse, who has educated and trained staff in the use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), lateral flow testing and working safely in both clinical and office environments, as well as supporting delivery of the COVID-19 vaccine. Dr Sarfaraz Shora, clinical director for inpatient services, is also a finalist for his work with junior doctors, consultants and ward staff to ensure patients received the best care and everyone remained safe on Trust wards. And with an increased reliance on technology this year, the Informatics team has also been shortlisted for their work in rapidly deploying hardware and software solutions to support all Trust staff throughout the pandemic, hundreds of whom have worked from home.

A record number of nominations were received for each of the You’re A Star Awards categories with overall nominations up over 60% on last year. Many of this year’s finalists have played a key role in the Trust’s response to COVID-19 and the restrictions required to prevent its spread.

Service User, Carer and Volunteer Contributions

A team of volunteer marshals who have contributed their time to support the COVID-19 Home Team at the Marley COVID-19 staff testing site are finalists in the Service User, Carer and Volunteer Contributions category. They are joined by Ted Wilkinson, another volunteer who has given his time to support the COVID-19 testing teams across Bradford, and Keith Double, an active member of the Involvement Partners network, which helps to produce and develop the Trust’s services.

Unsung Hero

Unsung Hero finalists include graduate management trainee Awais Siddique, who has stepped up and beyond his role, bringing boundless energy and willingness to projects ranging from setting up a regular live broadcast for staff from the Trust’s executive team, to supporting the establishment of hospital and community vaccine sites. The other finalists are Christine Hawksworth, a nurse in the palliative care team who has regularly stayed late and covered extra shifts, and whose humour and humility has been an example to all her colleagues; and Craig Wilkinson whose special ability in working with individuals with learning disabilities who are in crisis has made a huge impact this year.

Improvements and Innovation

The foot clinic team from the Diabetes Centre at Airedale General Hospital in Keighley is one of the finalists in the Improvements and Innovation category. Their innovative use of ‘foot selfies’ ensured patients who were shielding due to COVID-19 could be triaged appropriately, monitored, reviewed and even admitted to hospital if required during the pandemic. Other finalists in this category are the Trust’s Better Lives charity which was relaunched to raise funds to support service users and staff; and Natalie Irving whose online fitness bootcamp has enabled service users and staff from Early Intervention teams in Bradford and Airedale to exercise regularly throughout the pandemic.

Working Together

With many routine activities which used to be carried out face-to-face moving online during the pandemic, NHS support staff have played a crucial role in supporting their frontline colleagues. In the Working Together category, Ann-Marie Hargreaves was nominated for her work in supporting the Ling House District Nursing team to set up and pilot a new method of collecting feedback from service users and carers. Other finalists in this category are the Care Trust Way team for their Learning Week which involved conversations with over 1000 members of staff to learn from their experiences of the pandemic; and Victoria Donnelly who works tirelessly to identify and minimise the health inequalities that individuals with a learning disability encounter.

Non-clinical Stars

Everyone knows how important Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) has been in keeping frontline NHS staff safe throughout the pandemic and the PPE team is a finalist in the Non-clinical Stars category. The team ensures regular, safe and consistent distribution of millions of items of PPE to all Trust services, including the staff vaccination centre at Lynfield Mount Hospital and the public vaccination centre at Jacob’s Well. Other finalists in this category are Chris Hunt from the Care Trust Way team who has brought new ideas, technology, people and partners together to innovate and improve how the Trust works; and Primary Care Wellbeing Manager and Specialist Services Manager Cheryl Kirby, who was nominated by not one, but four different service areas for her work in supporting staff and patients during the pandemic.

Team of the Year

The relentless courage, compassion and resilience of staff in the Acute and Psychiatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) at Airedale Centre for Mental Health and Lynfield Mount Hospital over the past 12 months has led to their shortlisting as a finalist for Team of the Year. The team has delivered outstanding care to people in acute mental health crisis, caring for COVID-positive people whilst keeping staff and other service users COVID-safe. Similarly, the AireWharfe Community Mental Health team has continued to work face-to-face with service users when needed throughout the pandemic, with team members supporting each other, covering workloads and ensuring continuity of care for staff who have had to shield or self-isolate. And the third finalist in this category, Wakefield School Immunisation team has ensured all 25,000 children eligible for a flu vaccination in their area were able to have one, despite school closures and other restrictions impacting on their work.

Trust Chair Cathy Elliott

Trust Chair Cathy Elliott said: “All our finalists demonstrate that, despite the challenges of COVID-19, teams and individuals continue to meet the Trust’s vision of providing outstanding care to our diverse communities, creating better lives, together. They truly reflect our values of caring, listening and delivering.

“With a huge amount of change across almost every area of our organisation over the last 12 months, our finalists have shown the flexibility and fighting spirit that helps to make the NHS what it is today – a much loved institution we can all be proud of.

“We simply don’t have enough awards to reflect the work of all the shining stars across our Trust. I’m extremely proud of each and every individual and team who was nominated for an award this year -and especially our finalists who are all worthy winners – thank you to them all.

“Their dedication, enthusiasm and skills are making a huge difference to colleagues and local communities and have enabled us to continue to provide high quality care for people in Bradford, Airedale, Wharfedale, Craven and Wakefield.”

Due to the ongoing pandemic, the winners of You’re A Star Awards 2021 will be announced in an online ceremony on Friday 25 June. Each winner will receive £750 to support their ongoing professional work to benefit people who use Care Trust services, courtesy of the event’s main supporter, Bradford-based Sovereign Health Care.