The NHS; undoubtedly one of the best institutions in the world, and certainly right up there with free education as the most important component of the welfare state here in the UK. It is the one body that we’d all agree we wouldn’t want to live without, and the one that will treat you with diginity and respect regardless of age, status, gender or race.
From cradle to grave, in good times and in bad, the tireless work of our nurses, doctors, dentists, midwives, admin staff, chiropodists, surgeons, physios, consultants, paramedics, researchers and so many more, means we are one of the most well looked after populations in the world.
Here in Tayside, that hard work is now recognised annually in the NHS Tayside Staff Appreciation and Recognition (STAR) Awards. Launched by NHS Tayside Chief Executive Grant Archibald in January, so far more than 200 nominations have been received – and you have until the end of February to make sure your nomination is in!
Our NHS Tayside spokesperson said, “These awards provide an important opportunity for members of the public and staff to nominate a person or team who they consider has provided exceptional care or encouraged quality improvement and staff development.
From cradle to grave, in good times and in bad, the tireless work of our nurses, doctors, dentists, midwives, admin staff, psychiatrists, chiropodists, surgeons, physios, consultants, paramedics, researchers and so many more, means we are one of the most well looked after populations in the world.If you believe you know an unsung hero or team of heroes who really has gone that extra mile, it is quick and easy to nominate your own shining STAR. Nominations for the 2020 STAR Awards close on Friday, 28 February at 5pm. If you need help completing the nomination form call 01382 632021.
Now in their fourth year, the STAR Awards celebrate the individuals, teams and services within NHS Tayside that deliver outstanding patient care or go the extra mile in their job. There are 8 categories in total, 6 of which are open for the public to nominate in – Outstanding Individual (clinical), Outstanding Individual (non-clinical), Outstanding Team (and 3 which are brand new for 2020), Young Achiever, Unsung Hero and Global Citizenship.
You can nominate in more than one category – you may wish to nominate an individual staff member as well as a team who may have looked after you or your family.
Outstanding Individual (Clinical) such as a podiatrist, physiotherapist, orthotist, healthcare assistant, nurse, doctor
A quiet star or unsung hero who communicates well, demonstrates kindness, compassion and excellent service. They are perhaps an excellent role model, someone with a positive attitude, who is approachable and supportive of others which impacts on patients or colleagues in a positive way.
Outstanding Individual (Non-clinical) such as a domestic assistant, porter, receptionist, service manager, director, estates or catering staff
This is a person, a quiet star or unsung hero, who does a fantastic job but whose contribution and role often goes unrecognised. Although doing their day to day job, this individuals excellent communication, caring manner and compassionate approach, makes a genuine difference to others. This is the type of person who goes the extra mile and is always happy to help others.
Outstanding Team such as a ward team, support services team, community team, service delivery team
A team that goes the extra mile to deliver outstanding service. The team may work together inclusively, demonstrate excellent communication kindness and compassion and each individual contributes to a supportive environment which enables effective team working. The award is for teams who collaborate well, communicate effectively and support each other in order to deliver an excellent service.
This is a person who is aged 30 years or younger on 31 December 2020 and who has demonstrated outstanding achievement as part of their working life.
This is a person who, in the course of doing their job, makes a real difference for people in Tayside, but whose work often goes unrecognised.
This is a person, group or team who in addition to their health or social care day job also volunteer in global health and social care work.
In addition there are also two more specialised categories which are only open to nominations from NHS Tayside staff. These are the Innovation and Improvement Award, and the Inspiring Educator/Trainer Award. Staff can nominate in these categories by visiting the website.
Nicki Martin, Small City, Big Personality
When you grow up in a country with an institution as wonderful as the NHS, it is easy to take it for granted. The odd missed appointment here, the occasional moan about waiting times there. But take a minute just to think of the alternative; sky high health insurance premiums, access to life-saving drugs a privilege reserved for the few, your health care now big business, driven by financial targets instead of primary care. We, my friends, are truly blessed in ways we can never begin to comprehend.
Never has this been truer for my family, than in the past 24 months.
We, my friends, are truly blessed in ways we can never begin to comprehend.My 45 year old sister is living with secondary breast cancer in her bones; It costs an average of £30,000 per person to issue cancer treatment, and I’d be willing to bet she’s had all of that and more! She has had two operations, three rounds of chemotherapy, two rounds of radiotherapy, and any number of scans, appointments and drugs. She has needed more dental care than usual, and home visits from a community psychiatric nurse to help her deal with the impact this has had on her mental health.
It sounds bleak; and if I’m being honest, sometimes it feels bleak. However, she has been given an exceptional level of care from an outstanding team of healthcare professionals. From that very first nurse who carried out the mammogram on the lump in her left breast, through to the truly uplifting – and often hilarious - care given weekly in PRI’s oncology ward, and in her own home by Claire from Macmillan, Tracey has been incredibly well looked after.
And so, to oncology consultant Dr Sharon Armstrong; Susan, Trish and the team in PRI Oncology day Ward; Lesley at reception; Drs Matthews and Sneddon at Glover Street Practice; Mr Pitsinis the surgeon; Sarah Martin CPN and the amazing Claire from Macmillan Nurses – we are forever in your debt.And so, to oncology consultant Dr Sharon Armstrong; Susan, Trish and the team in PRI oncology day ward; Lesley at reception; Drs Matthews and Sneddon at Glover Street Practice; Mr Pitsinos the surgeon; Sarah Martin CPN and the amazing Claire from Macmillan Nurses – we are forever in your debt.
Never a family to do things by half, after having a stroke in November 2018, my mum subsequently spent time in the Stroke Unit in PRI.
The ambulance was with us within 25 minutes, meaning the potentially horrendous long-term effects have been limited. This, alongside her own determination and the gentle encouragement of a dedicated team of nurses, physios and OTs, slowly but surely allowed her to regain movement and core skills.
Without exception, these wonderful people made this terrible ordeal easier and more comfortable; there is a level of care we all hope for and expect from the NHS, but on any day of the week someone went over and above this to make my mum’s life better. It is these countless small things that make the difference between good care and great care – and we witnessed many examples in the stroke unit.
She spent her 70th in the hospital and we were given a room to decorate and celebrate in; we took fish and chips up on a Friday; we arrived outwith visiting hours with hairdressers (thank-you too, to Alex Hone from Copperfields) to find her sitting with her hair washed and wet, ready for a smart new cut. And Eleanor from Mackenzie’s opticians in South Methven Street even drove up to the Stroke Unit to give her an eye test.
And so, to the paramedics who arrived quickly enough to make a difference, to Bernie, Keith and the whole team in PRI Stroke Unit; Morag, Lynne and Karen in physiotherapy and OT; Dr Ross her consultant; and the ward assistants and catering team – thank you for making our worry a little less and our heartache a bit more manageable.And so, to the paramedics who arrived quickly enough to make a difference, to Bernie, Keith and the whole team in PRI Stroke Unit; Morag, Lynne and Karen in physiotherapy and OT; Dr Ross her consultant; and the ward assistants and catering team – thank you for making our worry a little less, and our heartache a bit more manageable.
As I write this I am mindful that when you are submerged in difficult times you often forget about the small wins, and huge waves of joy that have been experienced in an NHS hospital corridor. And so in no particular order, here are some of my lesser-mentioned NHS heroes!
Rachel at Perth’s Dental Care for talking my 12 year old niece into getting an injection. You earned your wages that day!
The team at PRI A&E for patiently seeing to Jenna’s run over foot (don’t ask – she was fine!)
My GP, Dr Elaine Matthews, and the PRI orthotic clinic for making my gammy foot - Morton’s Neuroma to give it its correct term - more bearable.
And last, but by no means least, the excellent midwives who delivered two lovely babies to my friends in the past couple of years. Freddie and Ellis both arrived safely and soundly – and beautifully! – into their mummies' arms proving that the breadth of care really does start from the very beginning of life.
It is easy to nominate just visit www.starawardstayside.scot.nhs.uk Nominations close on Friday, 28th February at 5pm so don’t leave it too long before you get your nomination in.
Visit Scottish rescue charity Wing and a Prayer and take home your very own hen(s) just like Small City Columnist Gill Murray!
March 11th Wednesday 2020
Perth man will take on the High Atlas Mountains to raise money for charity
March 11th Wednesday 2020
A play about the ruling class making the trivial serious and the serious utterly trivial.
February 25th Tuesday 2020