Extraordinary People - Sharing Nominations

24 May 2022

In January we asked staff, patients and our local communities to nominate their Extraordinary People of 2022, recognising and celebrating the staff who make the Royal Devon University Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust such a special place.

We received over 400 nominations from across our Trust, and you can read some of them below, we will be adding more stories all the time so make sure you check back for new nominations.

Thank you to everyone who shared their nominations for our extraordinary people!

Barnstaple Health and Social Care Team

The Barnstaple Community Health and Social Care Team is made up of nurses, occupational therapists, physiotherapists, social Workers, social care assessors, support workers, and all are well-supported by our admin team.

They make a difference to people’s lives on a daily basis, from hospital discharge to admission avoidance; from safeguarding to strength and balance class; from end-of-life care to help and advice in future care-planning; they do it all with a smile on their faces.

It has not been an easy time for anyone over the last two years and there has been a lot of changes to the focus of their work, but again they have responded to every request and done everything asked of them, there hasn’t been one day when a service has not been covered.

We have been privileged to receive some positive feedback from people we have supported, their friends and family, such as “they were amazing and very helpful”, and “my husband had a very good end to his life and the support was brilliant”. We have also had positive feedback from our peers from other teams.

All have been supportive to one another, sharing tasks and activities to keep each other motivated.

As the managers said “We need to shout from the rooftops how proud we are”, so are nominating the whole, multi-agency team for this award in recognition for everything they do and to let them know how proud we are of them as individuals and as a team.

Abbey Ward

When a new colleague was sent to assist in an unfamiliar ward for the day, they understandably felt out of their comfort zone.

Coming from a specialist ward where they would normally care for two patients at most, to a fast-paced admissions area could have been a daunting and stressful change, but from the moment she stepped foot in Abbey Ward, the team were extremely friendly and helped her massively in managing the unfamiliar workload. Every member of the team went above and beyond to make them feel happy and welcomed.

As the nomination said- “Abbey Ward has set the bar high, and demonstrated that they really know and understand what it is to work as a team.”

Melanie Redhead and Nikki Kitchen - Doris Heard Ward, Exmouth Hospital

Melanie and Nikki joined the ward in July 2021 job sharing as Ward Clerks. Melanie had not worked for the NHS before so was unsure of what to expect working on a ward, while Nikki had different roles within the Trust so had a general idea.

Since they arrived, they have gone from strength to strength, moulding the role to fit around the needs of the ward and the rest of their team. The ward is always tidy, well stocked and the team is always up to date on what is going on, allowing them to provide the best patient care possible.

They are always up for a challenge, constantly looking to learn new skills and are great at communicating with patients, visitors and colleagues alike.

“I don't know what we would do without them as the ward just flows when they are around.”

Clinic Management Centre

“I would like to thank all of the team, as well as our Clinic Management Centre team leaders, Claire Gover and Jackie Nash, for all of their dedication to our patients and hard work to ensure our clinics are booked."

The CMC (Clinic Management Centre) has been nominated for their outstanding hard work and efforts over the challenges of the last few months.

Since COVID began, the team has taken on extra work that they ordinarily wouldn’t have done, all while being split across two different areas.

Despite this additional pressure, the team stepped up to the challenge positively and have supported each other along every step of the way.

They adjusted to new ways of working, had difficult conversations with patients and dealt with limitations on recruitment, all handled with professionalism and dedication.

Lower Limb Therapy Team

The Lower Limb Therapy Team in North Devon has only been in existence for six months but has achieved a lot in a short space of time.

In 2021 they launched a brand-new service in difficult circumstances with many challenges to overcome, but the togetherness and teamwork of the team allowed them do just that. The team came together from a variety of different backgrounds and each person brought new perspectives and skills to the team. But one thing they all share is a passion for care delivery, which has shone through in the results for patients who have been referred to their service.

“We have an amazing leader in Advanced Nurse Specialist Karen Hetherington and we have bonded so well as a team. I am so proud of everything we have achieved in such a short time.”

Axminster Community Nurses

Axminster Community Nursing team always go the extra mile for their patients.

They have faced several challenges and upheaval over the past year, including the death of a much-loved colleague. The support they have shown each other through the hard times, their ability to pull together and work as a team and maintain the ability to work closely with other clinicians and provide exceptional patient care under such difficult circumstances has been extraordinary.

“Thank you to the team for all their hard work, support and most of all continuing to have an excellent sense of humour, when needed the most”

Ophthalmology Outpatients

The last few years have been challenging for many people, including the person who nominated the admin team in Ophthalmology Outpatients.

They joined the team after experiencing a difficult few years, a business devastated by COVID lead them to a low point in their mental health and facing writing a CV for the first time in 20 years. However, from the moment they visited Exmoor Unit at North Devon District Hospital they felt welcomed. Their first few months on reception were a whirlwind, but help from colleagues like Jack steered them in the right direction.

Coming from outside the NHS into a world of new processes and terminologies is a big task, but the support and team bond made a huge impact, helping them settle in and feel a part of the group straight away.

Their managers Karen and Dawn have fostered an atmosphere where they are always approachable, open and ready to listen and laugh with the team. They work incredibly hard and neither is afraid to tackle the big challenges they face on a day to day basis.

Simply put in their own words- “I love this place I have found and it would be nothing without these amazing people. Our patients and teammates are lucky to have them here."

First Steps Nursery - Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital

We received this wonderful nomination for First Steps Nursery from a very happy parent:

“This is very overdue nomination: What an amazing nursery we have! My daughter has been attending since she was 9 months old and she has learned so much, I am so grateful to all the wonderful staff for the care they provide to my most pressure little treasure!  I would like to nominate the nursery for all the care they have provided to all our kids during these very uncertain times! I am so grateful to all the staff that made possible for the nursery to remain open! The nursery has been so supportive in all aspects. I can’t praise the all the wonderful staff enough.  I love how the reception staff are so helpful and always so friendly, Karolina and Amanda! All the brilliant key workers in the rooms taking care of all our children and teaching them so much each day. I am forever grateful for such a wonderful onsite service. My daughter comes home each day with exciting news of a new song she has learned or a story the class was reading. Thank you again to everyone for always going above and beyond!”

Caroline Thorpe Ward - North Devon District Hospital

The team on Caroline Thorpe Ward have gone above and beyond for every patient that has entered their ward. Throughout COVID, staff in the children’s ward were asked to go outside their comfort zone in also assisting the adult side. They did this by supporting each other, learning new skills and ensuring that effective care is delivered outside of their normal working environment. Despite these challenges, patient feedback has been excellent and their dedication to the children of North Devon has shone through in everything they have done.

“I couldn’t ask to work with a better team during challenging times as each member of staff supports each other, ensuring that staff wellbeing is at the forefront.”

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Last updated: June 17, 2022