Clinical and non-clinical staff were among the winners at Friday evening’s glittering awards night, which celebrated the hard work and dedication shown each year within the Trust.
Hosted by Black Country icon, Olympic gold medal winner and TV presenter, Dame Denise Lewis, The Dudley Group NHS Foundation Trust held its annual awards, Committed to Excellence, at the Grand Station Hotel, Wolverhampton on Friday 16th June. The event recognised the incredible achievements of numerous staff within the Trust and the heart-warming and electric atmosphere could certainly be felt by all in attendance.
Amongst the winners were two members of staff who have 105 years of combined service working in the NHS and were both lifetime achievement award winners.
Elaine Tibbetts has worked in the NHS for 52 years, becoming a registered nurse in 1977 and is known by her colleagues for being someone who cares for and supports her patients tirelessly, always going the extra mile.
On winning the clinical lifetime achievement award, district nurse Elaine said, “I’ve devoted my whole life to the NHS. I went into nursing at 17, started working out in the community and never looked back!
“I’ve met so many amazing colleagues and patients along the way and wouldn’t change a thing about my career. It’s a phenomenal feeling to see friends and colleagues here, for whom I have so much respect. I am truly honoured.”
Winning the non-clinical lifetime achievement award was medical secretary Nicola Bussey, who was also this week celebrating her 70th birthday. Nicola began her career 53 years ago at the Guest Hospital in Dudley.
She moved to Russells Hall Hospital in 1984 and has spent her career working in the general surgery division. She has always been known for her attention to detail, and depth of knowledge in medical terminology has helped countless medical secretaries over the years.
Following her award win Nicola said, “It’s amazing to have won this award and to see so many fantastic people here this evening whom I have worked with over the years. The best thing about working in the NHS is you are one big family, and I truly felt that tonight with everyone coming together.
“What a way to finish my birthday week off; I’m overjoyed!”
Other winners included the Trust’s paediatric diabetes team, who won the patient choice award, which is a patient nominated award. Multiple patients’ families nominated the team for the incredible support, care and compassion that they have provided.
Team lead, Jo Elford said, “To win an award that we have been nominated for by our patients is incredible. There are not enough words to say how much this means. Our patients make our jobs so worthwhile – it means everything!”
The improvement practice award went to the maternity inpatient team. The unit has seen the number of patients triaged in 15 minutes go from 70 per cent to 91 per cent this year, and their golden patient initiative resulted in a 75 per cent reduction in the time that the emergency theatre has had to be used.
Maternity matron Katie Philpott said, “I’m so proud of the team; it’s a privilege to be a part of a patient’s maternity journey, that we can be there for them to make it better and safer.”
The event also saw the introduction of a new award for 2023 – the NHS 75th Birthday Award. The award was given to the Trust’s over 400 international nurses who have made a hugely significant contribution to the Trust and its patients.
Their nomination stated, “They are a reminder of why a truly diverse NHS is so important and why different backgrounds and cultures bring so much skill, knowledge and experience to Dudley.”
Upon winning the award, staff nurses Adaora Ekemezie, Duru May and Trina Gichuki said they felt so welcomed.
Adaora said, “Since joining the Dudley Group in 2022, we have been welcomed with open arms. The staff here have been so supportive and it’s an amazing opportunity for learning and development.
“It is very fulfilling to work in Dudley. We are part of a movement; we are part of something wonderful and looking after patients and ensuring they are happy is the most rewarding aspect. We feel incredibly proud to be part of the NHS family, and this award is an honour.”
Following the awards night, the Trust’s chief executive Diane Wake said, “Hearing the incredible stories from numerous departments and individual staff members this evening has been truly inspiring.
“It’s a huge reflection of the hard work and dedication of our staff and volunteers and we couldn’t be prouder; so very many congratulations to all our winners.”
In all, 22 awards were presented at the ceremony, and it was also attended by the Mayor of Dudley and Consort, Councillor Andrea Goddard and Councillor James Clinton.
A raffle and auction raised over £3,300 for the Trust’s charity.
Thanks go to the platinum event sponsor, Mitie, as well as gold sponsor, Summit Healthcare and silver sponsors University of Worcester, How To Find A Care Home and Hill Dickinson Solicitors who helped make the event possible and to local businesses who contributed raffle and auction prizes to the evening.