Published on: 27 November 2023

Four healthcare workers at Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust have been awarded the prestigious Chief Nursing Officer (CNO) Healthcare Support Worker Award for showing excellence across the healthcare profession.

The award, given by NHS England, recognises the vital contributions of healthcare support workers. Recipients must consistently demonstrate the NHS values and behaviours when fulfilling their everyday roles, to provide excellent patient care. Jayne Barnard, Margaret Dove, Stacia Fitzsimmons and Jeanette Sidwell all received individual awards. In addition, a special commendation was presented to the team that mentors the Trust’s healthcare support workers, the ICARE team, for demonstrating ongoing learning and development across the healthcare profession.

Derbyshire Healthcare is one of only two Trust’s within the Midlands region, which is the largest region in England with over 30,000 health care support workers, to receive recognition on this occasion. The winners also stood out amongst over 3,000 healthcare support workers in Derby and Derbyshire.

Jayne, Margaret, Stacia and Jeanette won their awards for demonstrating the NHS’s values:

  • Compassion award – those who provide consistently outstanding care to patients and to colleagues, which is recognised by patients, service users and colleagues alike. Winner – Margaret Dove
  • Improving lives award – recognising those who impact the lives not just of their patients but also to their patient’s loved ones. This is for HCSWs and MSWs that consistently demonstrate the NHS values to build good relationships with patients and their networks to provide outstanding patient care in their clinical setting. Winners – Jeanette Sidwell and Stacia Fitzsimmons
  • Everyone counts award – those who champion equality, diversity, and inclusion in everything that they do, both in clinical practice and with their colleagues. Winner – Jayne Barnard.

The ‘ICARE (Increase confidence, attract, retain, educate) programme was launched within the Trust in February this year to meet the emotional, educational and wellbeing needs of newly employed healthcare support worker’s by combining both pastoral support and training on key topics relevant to their role in delivering safe and effective care in mental health services.

Mark Powell, Chief Executive at Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, congratulated all winners for their exceptionally impressive achievements.

Mark said: “This is a wonderful achievement. The awards recognise a vast range of talent across healthcare, and to win not one but five awards for showing their dedication and commitment to the NHS and its patients and for upholding the NHS values, is highly commendable.

“The CNO awards include only five winners from the Midlands region. It is a significant achievement that four of the five come from Derbyshire Healthcare and we are very proud of Jayne, Margaret, Stacia and Jeanette for the recognition they have achieved and for the work they do day in, day out as part of Team Derbyshire Healthcare.”

Nick Holburn, Healthcare Support Worker Development Lead at Derbyshire Healthcare, accepted the special commendation award on behalf of the ICARE team. He said: “It is important for all healthcare support workers to be recognised for the work they do and this is something we have worked on with colleagues across our clinical services.

“However, to have recognition on a national scale has topped all expectation and that is thanks to the team for their ongoing commitment to the learning and development of this staff group – it has clearly paid off!”

Stacia’s award nomination highlighted her ability to “consistently go above and beyond”, particularly with those who have complex needs, describing her as the “go-to healthcare support worker” for her knowledge. Her nomination stated that she had “drastically improved the functioning and quality of a patient’s life”.

Stacia was pleased to receive the award, and she said: “It feels special to be acknowledged for the work you do.”

Margaret, who spent over 19 years in her role as a healthcare support worker, both on the wards and in the community, has since retired and returned as a Community Healthcare Assistant. Her nomination described her as compassionate, highly thought of and personable.

Margaret explained the rewards of working with older adults, and she said: “It is nice knowing that you are able to make a difference to people’s lives, and as a more experienced member of staff I feel able to relate well to their problems.”

Another standout recipient was Jayne, who was surprised to hear she had won an award. Jayne’s nomination praised her “very calm and gentle” nature, pointing out her natural qualities of generating a warm rapport with patients. Her emotional intelligence has helped to improve the mental wellbeing of a number of patients facing loneliness.

Jayne said: “For a long time, support works have not been properly recognised. However, times are changing and the profession is being treated with more respect and is being valued.

“It is a privilege that we can learn a lot about an individual, sometimes things they are reluctant to share with their family and friends, it is all about helping the patient with their needs.”

Jeanette was described in her nomination as living and breathing the Trust values of providing excellent patient centred care, particularly with dementia patients living in the community.

Jeanette was equally as overwhelmed as her colleagues, and she said: “I feel honoured to receive a CNO award. I would like to thank the Trust for all the support they have shown us as healthcare support workers.

“The Trust has given healthcare support workers a voice and sees value in our contributions.”