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Celebrating the dedicated staff who Put People First

Dedicated staff who go the extra mile to provide exceptional mental health services have been celebrated during an awards ceremony held by Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT).

The Putting People First Awards, held last night (21 March) at Trinity Park in Ipswich, gave the Trust, its service users, carers and governors the chance to thank individuals and teams for their hard work and commitment while recognising best practice across its services.

Awards were presented to staff who were nominated by colleagues in nine categories, while a further two Public Choice Awards were given to individuals who were nominated by service users and carers for showing outstanding compassion and care.

The winners are:

Partnership Working Award: Compass Schools

A shining example of a successful partnership, Compass Schools sees health, education and social care work together to provide the best possible care and learning opportunities for vulnerable children.

Innovation Award: Green Light Champions

NSFT's 242 Green Light Champions play a crucial role in improving mental healthcare for service users with learning disabilities and / or autism.

Unsung Hero Award (Non-Clinical): Liz Keay, Freedom to Speak Up Guardian

Universally respected by her colleagues, Liz turns her hand to delicate and contentious problems while remaining cheerful and motivated to improve things.

Unsung Hero Award (Clinical): James Miles, Senior Mental Health Practitioner, Home Treatment Team, West Suffolk

Supportive James is always the first to volunteer ideas, suggestions and visions for developing and improving the service. Colleagues describe his attitude towards staff, patients and carers as "outstanding".

Special Unsung Hero Award (Clinical): Sue Boucher, Assistant Practitioner, Bury North IDT

Committed and energetic, Sue knows how to make people relax when they are feeling worried or anxious. A friendly face with a great sense of humour, she always has time for anyone and has a huge heart.

Public Choice Award (Adult Services): Howard Tidman, Senior Practitioner, Northgate Hospital

Howard was nominated for the excellent support and reassurance he provided to a husband and wife while they were caring for their son, who has schizophrenia. The carer said: "Howard is brilliant and has made such a difference to us. We wouldn't be where we are today without him."

Clinical Achievement Award: Sue Bridges, Professional Lead (Learning Disabilities/Autism)

A highly valued and respected nurse, Sue works tirelessly to make the world a better place for people with LD or autism, and was recently named the best learning disability nurse in England.

Emerging Talent Award (Non-Clinical): Matthew Day, PMA Instructor, St Clements Hospital, Ipswich

Matthew has made a significant contribution to improving care and is a passionate advocate for keeping service users safe without the need for restraint.

Emerging Talent Award (Clinical): Jana Ducarova, Staff Nurse, Secure Services, Norwich

Jana is described as a "confident, capable and diligent colleague" who always keeps her patients at the heart of everything she does, working tirelessly to provide excellent clinical care.

Inspirational Leader Award: Vanessa Cotter, Ward Manager, Abbeygate Ward, Wedgwood House, Bury St Edmunds

A great role model, Vanessa's leadership has made Abbeygate Ward a "wonderful" place to work. She provides fantastic personal and professional support to others and is never too busy to help.

Team of the Year Award: Recovery College

The Recovery College empowers people to take control of their own recovery, gain a deeper understanding of mental health and learn from the experience of others.

Public Choice Award (Children, Families and Young People's Services): Lucy Bellotti, Mental Health Nurse, CFYP, Central Norfolk

Lucy has had a major impact on a service user who suffered panic attacks and had threatened to take her own life as a result of bullying. Thanks to her dedication, the mum has noticed a real difference in her daughter and says that without Lucy's support they could be facing a very different story.


Marie Gabriel, NSFT Chair, said: "We were delighted to receive so many fantastic nominations for our Putting You First Awards, which reflect the respect and gratitude which so many people feel towards our dedicated staff.

"The awards gave us the perfect opportunity to celebrate the dedication and commitment of our staff, who play such an important part in so many people's lives. They really are an inspiration and shining examples of the high standards of care we aspire to deliver every single day.

"Our sincere congratulations and thanks go to them all."

The awards were sponsored by organisations including, ISS, Dardan Security, Birkett's Solicitors, Kennedy's Law and media sponsors Archant.

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