Tallaght University Hospital, Dublin has named ten 2019 Heroes Award winners from over 300 nominations. The awards, now in their third year, recognise individuals and teams that make a special difference to patients and their families.
Chief Executive of TUH Lucy Nugent said: “The past few months have been extremely challenging at a professional and personal level. I am incredibly proud of both our staff and local community and how they have supported one another through these uncertain times. The year is not over yet and I have no doubt there will be further challenges for us to face but I thought it was incredibly important to take some time to acknowledge the incredible efforts of staff. The efforts that they go to embodying our ethos of people caring for people to live better lives each and every day.”
The award winners were:
Patient Experience – Professor Catherine Wall, Consultant Nephrologist and Director of Quality Safety & Risk Management
This category is open to the hospital community to nominate an individual/team who for that patient demonstrated the finer ideals of caring through extraordinary service to a patient and/or their family, ‘an exceptional patient experience.’ Professor Wall received a number of nominations from both patients and their families who all shared the same sentiment ‘she is a clinician that cares not just for the patient but also their loved ones. She takes the time to get to know her patient and their family inspiring 100% trust in her advice and in the course of treatment that she recommends. She is an exemplary medical professional that will always run from the limelight but she needs to know how much she means and the genuine difference she makes to patients and their families.”
People Caring for People – Patricia Morrison, Assistant Director of Nursing, Perioperative Directorate
This category is for a staff member who exemplifies the core values of TUH. Patricia was nominated by a number of her colleagues who said, “Patricia’s first thought after patients is for her team, she has never forgotten what it is like to work on a ward/unit. During the first COVID-19 surge she continued to bring out the best in her colleagues, she supported staff in theatre and ICU that were working together as one team throughout the surge. Her ingrained skills undoubtedly protected her colleagues from burnout during this intense time. Despite the daily challenges we face she keeps a smile on her face, masked of course but you can still see the twinkle in her eye!”
Unsung Hero – Ian Healy, Portering Service
This award is for a staff member who demonstrates exceptional service to the organisation. Ian was an extremely popular nominee for this award across all parts of the Hospital and staff disciplines.
‘Throughout the pandemic Ian demonstrated a high awareness towards the needs of the staff and the Hospital itself. He spearheaded an incredible programme of support across the Hospital for both staff and also patients. Whilst he was assisted by a core group of colleagues who gave so much of their own time at night and weekends he always kept a smile on his face and no request / challenge put to him was too great. He helped greatly in keeping spirits and his constant, cheerful presence he encapsulates everything that a hero should be in a time of crisis.”
Service Excellence – Pradeep Govender, Consultant Radiologist, Radiology Directorate
This award is for a staff member who provides an outstanding service to patients or staff within the Hospital. “Often referred to as Dr Yes or Dr I can put a drain anywhere Govender will do anything he can to solve a problem, regardless of the time of day or night the needs of the patient always comes first. He is passionate about his discipline and provides leadership clearly communicating to his staff and despite working in a very pressurised environment he is always approachable to his colleagues and inspires his trainees with his diligence and can do attitude.
Mentoring Award – Sandra Hartigan, Emergency Department
This category is for a staff member who demonstrates outstanding teaching skills and serves as a role model and mentor to their colleague’s. “Clinical Facilitators play a key role in providing students with a positive learning experience, she goes above and beyond to empower, educate, challenge, teach and mentor staff. She is a superb role model at the heart of nursing education in the Hospital. The Emergency Department is incredibly busy and often challenging despite this she remains calm, approachable, confident and passionate about providing quality, safe patient care.
Teamwork Award – Padraig Byrne Porter in Occupational Therapy Services
This category is for a valued team player that will always ask how they can help. “Padraig provides an outstanding service to both colleagues and patients. He is kind and treats everyone with kindness, compassion and empathy. He is a team player and has a friendly smile for everyone with patients often remarking how much they enjoyed the conversation on the way down to their therapy. He also has a great awareness for patients that might be a little reluctant to attend therapy and will make sure he goes up to collect them from the ward a little bit earlier to make sure they are down on time putting them at their ease and also ensuring that appointments run to schedule helping his colleagues and the other patients.”
Team of the Year – COVID ICU Team
This category is for a new or established team that demonstrate excellence in teamwork. “The award this year is for the COVID ICU Service, this is a team that as an organisation we never wanted to put together but presented with the challenge of COVID-19 it was essential to put this team together to ensure patients in the Intensive Care Unit have the best chance possible to recover from their illness. This group of staff have risen to the challenge of becoming a COVID unit with a smile on their faces (behind the face masks!). They showed and indeed continue to show exceptional bravery in caring for our COVID patients despite personal risk to themselves. They work long days and nights in full PPE. Despite all these obstacles they provided excellent nursing care to these critically ill patients, including some of our own colleagues. Despite dealing with the significant clinical challenge of caring for patients with a completely new virus and new treatment protocols which sometimes changed daily, they also made time to develop relationships with relatives through new means such as scheduled daily phone calls and facetime calls. These were a source of great comfort to those distraught family members waiting anxiously at home for updates.”
There were three further awards nominated by the Chief Executive on behalf of herself and the management team recognising individuals that go above and beyond, often behind the scenes that may not be evident to all staff.
The first recipient for this medal this year was Ms Wendy Moynan a Social Worker in the Social Work Department. Commenting on this award, Lucy Nugent, Chief Executive of TUH said, “Wendy consistently shows compassion and empathy in her dealing with patients and their family. She is persistent and kind and never more so when dealing with socially complex and challenging situations with patients and their families. Such is her commitment that despite being off work due to a smashed knee cap she came into work to support a patient and their family at a particularly critical time in their journey transitioning from the Hospital.”
The second recipient was, Dr. Ciara Martin, the Paediatric Executive Lead for CHI at Tallaght. Commenting on the presentation of this Award Ms Nugent said “Dr. Martin is being presented with this award for the incredible flexibility and support both she and her CHI at Tallaght provided to the adult service during the recent COVID-19 outbreak. Without the incredible support and willingness to go the extra mile in supporting the adult service during the initial breakout of the pandemic, TUH would not have been in the strong position they were to provide the space and patient care that was required to treat both COVID and non-COVID.
Given the exceptional year that 2020 has turned out to be and the challenges it has presented to staff there is a third CEO Award this year. The recipient was Professor Gerry Fitzpatrick, who received the award “in recognition of his long standing commitment and dedication to the Hospital both as a consultant and previously as an interim CEO. Like so many staff, Professor Fitzpatrick rose to the challenge that COVID presented, he led a very innovative and successful approach in increasing the Hospitals ICU capacity, his mentoring skills were invaluable in bringing the ICU and Anaesthetic Departments together the impact of his leadership and efforts are reflected in the success rate in our ICU survivorship during the initial surge period. This effort is impressive but even more so when it was at a time that he was due to retire and have a well-earned break after years of service to the Hospital. He not only delayed his retirement but volunteered to lead on the Hospital plan for the COVID ICU surge which unfortunately was needed.