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OUH wins big at Oxfordshire Health & Social Care Awards

Courtney Hughes, winner of the Care Hero and Outstanding Achievement awards

Three outstanding teams and individuals from Oxford University Hospitals (OUH) scooped top honours at the Oxfordshire Health & Social Care Awards.

The inaugural awards, run by the Oxford Mail and Oxford Times, celebrated the very best of Oxfordshire’s healthcare heroes and how they have gone above and beyond during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Winners in the 12 categories were announced during a virtual ceremony on Facebook on Friday (21 May). They included:

  • Tamara Davidson, Specialist Palliative Care Nurse – Good Nurse Award
  • Courtney Hughes, Trainee Nursing Associate – Care Hero Award and Outstanding Achievement Award
  • Linen Services – Health Care Team Award

Courtney Hughes was nominated for the work she has done through her Secret Santa 365 charity to help colleagues, key workers, the elderly, and the vulnerable with care packages and other support. Not only crowned Care Hero of the Year, but Courtney also received the judges' overall Outstanding Achievement Award.

The 23-year-old said: "It's always lovely to be recognised, but for me it's about taking that moment and reflecting on how you got there and the people that support you on the journey. Without the wonderful team at Secret Santa 365 and the amazing generosity of the community, the charity would not be where it is today.

"The past 12 months have been busy and very emotional at times, but I am always driven by the spirit of my great-grandmother Elsie, in whose memory the charity was founded. Her motto was 'the gift of giving'."

The OUH Linen team secured the Health Care Team Award for their vital role in supplying essential scrubs and uniforms at the height of the PPE shortage, in addition to providing all the bed and patient linen.

Linen Services Manager Michelle Redhead said: "We were delighted to be nominated and astonished to win.

"It means a great deal to us to be recognised for the resolve that we put into making sure that the support services we provide are efficient and reliable. This means that, no matter the circumstances, clinical staff can maintain the high level of patient care that they so proudly provide.

"The last year has been incredibly tough for everybody, but I am extremely proud of my team for pulling together and continuing to provide the best level of service possible under some very difficult circumstances."

Tamara Davidson, who was also in the running for the Care Hero Award, won the Good Nurse Award after being nominated by the husband of a patient who she had helped die with dignity at home.

She said: "It is an honour to win the good nurse award. After a very trying and emotional year it means the world to be recognised.

"I want to say a huge thank you to Martin for the nomination and to all of my colleagues for their continued support."

Amy Bancroft (Registered Nursing Associate), Clare Trussler (Radiographer), May Quarmby (Consultant Clinical Psychologist), and Jo-Anne Ellis (Specialist Paediatric Diabetes Nurse) were also nominated for awards.

Meanwhile, Marianne Reyes, Unit Manager of the OUH Wycombe Dialysis Unit, based at High Wycombe Hospital, was shortlisted for a prize at the Buckinghamshire Health & Social Care Awards, which took place at the same time.

Hundreds of people tuned into the Oxfordshire online ceremony, presented by Dr Hilary Jones MBE, which was live streamed on the Oxford Mail Facebook page.

Professor Sir Jonathan Montgomery, Chair of OUH, said: "Congratulations to Tamara, Courtney, and the Linen Services team on their exceptional achievements. They are excellent examples of how well our staff at the John Radcliffe, Churchill, Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre, and Horton General, have responded to the COVID-19 pandemic.

"We are truly proud of all of our staff, including those who were runners up for the awards, and how they have met unprecedented challenges, both personally and professionally, with such skill and compassion.

"Those working on the frontline as well as behind the scenes – our OneTeamOneOUH – have really come together, and this strength in unity and the excellent care they have continued to deliver has been inspiring."

Dr Bruno Holthof, Chief Executive Officer at OUH, said: "Well done to all of the winners across Oxfordshire – it has been fantastic to highlight, reflect on, and celebrate all the excellent work of the winners and finalists across the county during the pandemic.

"While we applaud our staff winning their awards, we are also proud of our colleagues across Team Oxfordshire. We work closely with colleagues in primary care, community and mental health services, paramedics, local councils, and voluntary organisations, so it has been a real team effort."

More details on the awards can be found on the Oxford Mail website.