Neonatal nurse honoured for exceptional kindness and compassion

Monday 21 November 2016

Raquel Martins Pina and Baroness Floella Benjamin OBE.

A nurse who works on the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit in Evelina London Children's Hospital has received the coveted Guy's and St Thomas' People's Award – nominated by patients and members of the public.

Special guest Baroness Floella Benjamin OBE, Deputy Lieutenant of Greater London, presented the award to Raquel Martins Pina. She was one of 11 individual members of staff and teams honoured at the Trust Awards ceremony on Friday 18 November.

Raquel was nominated by Imogen Durenkamp in recognition of the exceptional care provided to her daughter Catherine when she was born prematurely at just 25 weeks. Sadly baby Catherine passed away 48 days later on the unit.

Imogen, from St Albans in Hertfordshire, says: "The Neonatal Unit did absolutely everything they could to try to save Catherine but sadly there was no happy ending. We could not have gone through such a difficult and devastating time without the help and support of the expert staff on the unit.

“Raquel looked after Catherine, my husband and me in our last three days together as a family. She could not do enough for us, even changing her shifts around so she could continue to care for Catherine right up to the end.

“When Catherine died, Raquel sat patiently with us and helped us to bathe and dress her. She was kind, compassionate, calm and understanding, helping us through something no parent should ever have to go through.

“All the staff on the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, including the receptionists and ward counsellor, have a very special place in our hearts.”

The Trust Awards, which are sponsored by Guy’s and St Thomas’ Charity, also provided an opportunity to celebrate the outstanding achievements of many other staff who were nominated by their colleagues.

Baroness Floella Benjamin says: “I'm proud to have had a long association with Guy's and St Thomas', particularly through the pioneering work it does to help people living with sickle cell. I fondly remember the angels who cared for my mother when she was dying from bowel cancer.

“It was a joy and a pleasure to announce that Raquel had won the People's Award. She demonstrates all that's wonderful about the NHS.”

Amanda Pritchard, Chief Executive of Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust, says: “Congratulations to all our worthy winners, and the individual staff and teams shortlisted for an award. 

“It has been touching to read so many nominations highlighting the compassion, hard work and dedication of our staff.

“Our winners are perfect examples of the Trust values we hold dear. Putting the patient first must be at the heart of everything we do. It is fundamental. We are proud to celebrate these wonderful achievements and acknowledge colleagues who provide an excellent service to our patients and their families each and every day.”

The award categories were based on the Trust’s five values and demonstrated how staff across the organisation live those values every day.

The full list of winners

Put patients first category (individual)
Sarah Janikoun was awarded the 'Putting patients first' individual award at the Trust Awards.Dr Sarah Janikoun, associate specialist ophthalmology
Sarah has worked at the Trust for over thirty years as an associate specialist in ophthalmology and in that time she has been responsible for setting up and running the low vision service at St Thomas’. Without this service patients would be trapped in their homes, isolated and vulnerable. She also runs the weekly choir for patients with visual impairments, which visits the wards to sing carols each Christmas. Sarah is a tireless supporter of Vision 2020, a charity that works to prevent treatable causes of blindness in Africa. Her energy, drive and laughter have improved the experience of patients at a time when there are no possible further medical interventions.

Put patients first category (team)
Palliative Care clinical nurse specialists was awarded the 'Puuting patients first' team award at the Trust Awards.Palliative care clinical nurse specialist team
The team’s nomination cites many examples of their dedication to putting patients first. These include ensuring a patient’s pet was brought into hospital before the patient passed away and a member of staff coming into the Emergency Department (A&E) on a Saturday to take a patient home so their last wishes were fulfilled. This team was recognised as outstanding during the Trust’s recent Care Quality Commission inspection and delivers exceptional care both in and out of hours.

Michael Ampadu won the individual award for the 'Take pride in what we do' category at the Trust Awards.Take pride in what we do category (individual)
Michael Ampadu, housekeeper
Michael is a housekeeper and works in the dental department. He received nominations from all grades of staff, expressing why Michael is so exceptional and important to the team. Michael’s areas always achieve the highest cleaning scores, he is well respected by all staff, he is always smiling. He takes time to speak to patients and he takes pride in everything he does.

Respect others category (team)
The endometriosis team won the 'Respect others category' at the Trust Awards.The endometriosis team
The nominations for this team have come from patients, staff, and other healthcare professionals alike. The feedback shows that the team are considered to provide high quality care, transforming the lives of patients through their skill, care, respect and compassion. Often acting as advocates for patients this team are viewed as outstanding.

Strive to be the best category (individual)
Manal Sadik was was awarded the individual award in the 'Strive to be the best' category at the Trust AwardsManal Sadik, language support manager
Manal juggles a number of roles across the Trust and undertakes each one to the very highest standard. She has developed the interpreting and translation service, introducing communication boxes for wards and departments and a video kiosk to obtain patient feedback. She has also developed the role of the ward clerk, and introduced a recognised training programme that enables the ward clerk teams to progress in their careers.

Strive to be the best category (team)
The specialist therapy assessment team were awarded the team award for the 'Strive to be the best category ' at the Trust Awards.Specialist therapy assessment team
Based in A&E, this team of occupational therapists and physiotherapists care for some of our most elderly, frail and ill patients. Their aim is to prevent hospital admissions whenever possible, working closely with all the community teams to ensure that patients are always at the centre of their care. One nominee wrote: “without their work and dedication there would be many more patients needing beds in this hospital for social reasons.” The team work throughout the week, at weekends and even on Christmas Day to ensure patients receive the care they need in the right place, at the right time.

Act with integrity category
Alison Keens and the health inclusion and prevention team won the 'Act with integrity' category at the Trust Awards.Alison Keens and the health inclusion and prevention team
Alison and the team received several nominations for their leadership, as well as their collective skills and expertise. People with learning disabilities are a vulnerable group who often experience health inequalities and have poorer health outcomes. This team work tirelessly to reduce these inequalities and it is a testament to their hard work that innovative service developments put service users at the heart of what they do.

People's Award
Raquel Martins Pina, Neonatal Unit senior staff nurse

Chairman and Chief Executive Awards
The engineering and building maintenance team were awarded the Chairman and CEO award at the Trust Awards.Engineering and building maintenance teams
The Engineering team provide round-the-clock cover supporting the Trust’s mechanical and electrical infrastructure including keeping us cool in summer, ensuring heating in winter and providing power supply. Often we take these things for granted but it is this team that ensures that these services are provided safely and to the highest possible standard. The building maintenance team work alongside the engineering team, maintaining the our buildings including their fabric and decor. They work tirelessly, quickly and effectively and often out of hours to ensure that staff  can deliver care in the best possible conditions.

Chris Bowler won the Chairman and Chief Executive Award at the Trust Awards.Chris Bowler, financial planning manager
Chris joined the Trust in 1977 and is responsible for financial planning. Chris’ has built strong relationships with colleagues and external bodies in his 40 years with the Trust making his experience invaluable. His excellent negotiation and management skills and commitment to this organisation has ensured that Guy's and St Thomas' consistently plans well and achieves its financial targets year after year.

The Cancer Centre project teamThe Cancer project team were awarded the Chairman and CEO award at the Trust Awards.
This award celebrates the unsung heroes behind the Cancer Centre at Guy’s. The Cancer Centre project team worked tirelessly behind the scenes so the rest of us could celebrate the opening of this state of the art facility in September. Behind any project of this scale are hours of hard work, and it is this team that put in the back-breaking – and sometimes heart-breaking work – of delivering this project on time.
See tweets from the night on Storify.

Last updated: November 2016

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