Smiles all Round for NHS Forth Valley Staff Awards

A receptionist in the outpatient department at Forth Valley Royal Hospital, said to be “one in a million” and “a ray of sunshine” has received the Unsung Hero Award in the NHS Forth Valley 2017 Staff Awards. There were 124 nominations in the category with Stephanie Donner a clear winner.

Patients, colleagues and hospital volunteers described Stephanie, who received 16 separate nominations, as a truly dedicated member of staff and a credit to the NHS. They remarked on her continual cheerfulness and welcoming manner. One relative, who had been visiting the department with a family member for the last 18 months, said she felt like buying Stephanie flowers for “being so lovely.” Another patient referred to Stephanie’s ability to reassure after receiving news of a second cancer. “With each visit she paid me a compliment and wished me well and remembered something from a previous visit. Her upbeat manner and her ability to recall small details make Stephanie, in my opinion, an Unsung Hero.”

Another popular choice, this time in the Volunteer Award category, was Evelyn Allan, who serves teas and coffees in the RVS cafe at Clackmannanshire Community Healthcare Centre. Evelyn began volunteering in 2010 shortly after being widowed and is committed to providing the best service possible. Despite struggling recently with hip and back pain, she has continued to attend every shift and even covers extra shifts, if other volunteers are ill. Colleagues say she is a huge asset and running the cafe would be very difficult without her input.

Accolades were also received for Ward 4 at Forth Valley Royal Hospital, who won the Outstanding Care Award. They were congratulated on their exceptional level of care for people with severe dementia. One relative recounted how her father was a keen football supporter and nurses would bring him his phone with football songs on it, and sit with him after visitors had left – “really beyond what anyone could expect.”
There were plaudits too for Tracey Carmichael, senior charge nurse in Ward A32 at Forth Valley Royal Hospital, for her role in making a huge difference to staff and patients. Tracey, who received the Inspiration Award, was recognised for her enthusiasm, developing staff knowledge and skills and boosting morale.

NHS Forth Valley Chairman Alex Linkston, who presented the awards, said: “This is the fourth year of our NHS Forth Valley staff awards scheme, which aims to recognise the hard work, care and commitment of staff and volunteers across the organisation. I am delighted to say we received nearly 450 entries this year, which is a great achievement and I’d like to thank everyone who took the time to submit a nomination. These local awards are really important as they help demonstrate how much the efforts of our staff are really appreciated by colleagues and patients alike.”

Other awards included the Top Team Award, which was presented to Ward B32 at Forth Valley Royal Hospital. Staff in the Ward received a total of 18 nominations for their team work and commitment to providing outstanding patient care. One family member commented: “My mum’s treatment and her family’s treatment has been first class from all the domestics, nursing staff and doctors. Top stars!”

The Extended Scope Practitioner Physiotherapists at Bannockburn and Kersiebank Medical Practices received the Innovation Award for their work to improve the care of patients with a wide range of musculoskeletal conditions. The physiotherapists are among the first in Scotland to work directly in GP practices, giving patients far quicker access to expert treatment and advice. This has helped free up GP time and reduced the number of referrals to outpatient orthopaedic clinics.

The NHS Forth Valley Nurses Choir received the Chairman’s Award for using the power of songs and music to improve the lives and experiences of people. They were described as a deeply caring, passionate and compassionate group of staff who freely give their time to add value to the services NHS Forth Valley provides.

Photographs of all the winners and finalists are available on request.