BWC Spirit Awards 2021

BWC Spirit Awards 2021

Our annual award ceremony, the BWC Spirit Awards, celebrate members of staff who go the extra mile to make BWC the best place to be cared for and to work. Teams from across the Trust came together virtually on Friday 15 October 2021 for our biggest award ceremony yet.

It was a record-breaking year with more than 600 nominations received, 159 shortlisted and 40 finalists for a special sparkling virtual awards ceremony made possible by the Birmingham Women's and Children's Hospital Charity. 

We had some truly inspirational moments with our winners for our 2021 BWC Spirit Awards, all can be found on our highlights video on the BWC YouTube channel. 

Below are our fantastic finalists and winners from this year's award. There are 16 categories including Unsung Hero, Most Inspiring Colleague, Outstanding Clinical Team and the special 'Moment of Magic' award, which was nominated by families and voted for by the public.

Congratulations to all of our amazing finalists and winners.

Best Boss


Sophie Banks, Ward 1, Women’s Hospital 

Sophie is so passionate about her job. She is thoughtful, very understand and compassionate in her role.  

She is a true manager and also a team player and will help out on the ward at any time day or night if needed. Sophie deserves this award for being such a fabulous manager. 

Since becoming Ward manager Sophie has led by example, setting a high standard for her team to follow.  She has a clear vision of the service she wants for the women in our care and goes above and beyond to create an environment where fulfilling those ambitions is possible.   

Sophie has united the team again and made us a work family. She has achieved more in the time she has been ward sister then we all could have imagined and has shown herself to be an excellent leader, she continues to inspire us all to be better, to support each other and to provide outstanding care for those we look after. 

The changes she has made to our ward are unbelievable. She has so much drive and ambition for us all. 


Julie Khera Thomas, Patient Admin Services, Children’s Hospital 

I was off with Covid and my manager was very compassionate towards me, her kind words and understanding were amazing, Julie was very compassionate and tried to help and encourage me to get better. 

It was a very tough time in my life and emotional. I really was very poorly and some days were very hard to get through.  

Thanks to my lovely manager every time I text her or spoke to her she was always understanding and considerate and very compassionate. I felt she helped my recovery and get me back on my feet a lot quicker. 

I have worked at BCH for over 30 years and worked under a few managers, as they all have been great. Julie truly is very sincere and really wants to help her colleagues and nothing is too much trouble.


WINNER - Ricki Gill, Ward 1, Children’s Hospital  

Ricki holding her award Ricki has shown how brave she is, by volunteering to go to an adult hospital during the Covid peak despite her being paediatric trained she came back with a smile on her face encouraging us all to help out there ourselves. She is ambitious every day coming up with ways to improve the ward environment such as doing huddles every Tuesday and feeding back to the ward and what we are doing well and how we can improve. She is the heart of the team and the ward would not be the same with her! 

Nothing is ever too much and she will also aim to resolve any issues, big or small. She is so supportive and has been a huge ray of sunshine to the team - she has come in and made us not only the best team, but a family! 

Ricki has been a phenomenal ward manager. She is loved by everyone and has the ability to make it seem like your problems are the most important to her. I cannot imagine how difficult it is to juggle everyone’s wants and wishes but somewhere she always puts everyone else first. 

I’ve never met anyone who pours so much of themselves into a role, and I truly think she deserves some recognition for this.  

You can watch Ricki's story here on our BWC Youtube Channel.

BWC Spirit


Clare Atkinson, People and Education  

Clare works within People and Education. She took on a one day per week role to support our colleagues with the commemoration, celebration and connecting phases of our thank you strategy.  

The week was packed with different activities and was the best-attended event ever! Clare always thinks from the perspective of our colleagues.   

The plan for Connecting week was delivered at pace in very changing circumstances. Normally, the event would take up to 6 months to plan, but a change in government guidelines in the few weeks run-up caused a huge programme change, but the new plan didn’t faze Clare. She bravely embraced it and thought, ‘how can we make this amazing for our colleagues virtually’.  

Clare is just such a pleasure to work with, her energy is vibrant and caring, and Clare is an asset to our Trust.  


Karen Ismail, Theatres, BCH  

Karen works in the Theatres team at Birmingham Children’s Hospital. She has had an amazing impact on the health and wellbeing of the Theatres team throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.   

Karen has supported the staff by developing drop-in clinics, wellbeing meetings via zoom and 1:1 sessions with staff. She leads the wellbeing team to support colleagues, and when things get tough, they are there with a cup of tea, ready to give the staff the time to be listened to.   

She has also helped the theatre management team to access psychological first aid teaching to help them to further support themselves and their teams. She has inspired people to reach out to each other to ensure that people’s wellbeing is at the heart of what we all do. 


WINNER - BWC Shielding Team  

The shielding team on a zoom call The Shielding group brought together several staff from all disciplines and all areas of Birmingham Women’s Hospital, Birmingham Children’s Hospital and FTB, whose only commonality was the fact that we were all shielding.   

In the beginning, each of us felt isolated. Going from having busy jobs and being part of a team to working from home without having the normal interactions that happen on a day-to-day basis was difficult. From the start, the group has developed into a supportive, safe environment, who have worked with the Trust to help other staff undergoing the same difficulties which they experienced.   

Each member of the group has demonstrated compassion to each other and an incredible service both to the children and families of our hospitals but also supporting the wider hospital teams throughout our area. Thank you to the Shielding Group for your incredible support over the last year.   

You can watch the team's story here on our BWC Youtube Channel.

Chair's Champion

WINNER - Phil Postlethwaite

Phil holding his award Due to the pandemic, Christmas 2020 was always going to be very different from previous years and when our usual volunteers from Selfridges were no longer able to decorate our hospitals it was left to Fundraising and Estates to make our sites as festive as possible.   

One individual who went above and beyond in his role with Estates is Phil Postlethwaite. 

Initially Phil had been asked to help PAT test Christmas lights and decorations but soon found himself helping to unload a large delivery of decorations and getting involved wherever and whenever he was needed over the course of the project.   

He went on to volunteer to help with the decorations at the Children’s Hospital on a Friday evening, after he had already worked a full shift, assisting with working at height to hang decorations and ensure everything was decorated to a very high standard.   

Phil continued to work tirelessly throughout the project and was a real credit to the team. Colleagues describe him as a pleasure to work with, incredibly patient and helpful. He is a worthy winner of this year’s award for his commitment and dedication in putting our women, children and families first.    


Charity Champion


Sara Clarke, Transplant Games Manager (BCH)  

For 20 years Sara has continually raised amazing amounts for the Transplant Games Team at BCH.   

This year Sara has also undertaken the Snowdon Sunrise Trek and the MadHare Family Bike Ride in Solihull. So far she has helped raise over £25,000!  

Sara has displayed ambition in her charity pursuits and continues to be a shining example of what fantastic results can be achieved when you dedicate time and effort into new and exciting projects. Her bravery has shone through with her courageous and proactive attitude to new opportunities and causes.  

Sara’s compassion is inspirational to us here at our Children’s Hospital as she continues to empower young children through the 2021 Transplant Games that have positively changed the lives of many young people across her time supporting the event.   


Emma Eardley – Play Team (BCH)  

Emma from the Play Team has hugely supported the fundraising team over the past year – enabling us to continue to position Play as a key focus for fundraising to our charity supporters. Working closely with the Fundraising Team to create new ways of working, Emma has been involved with many seasonal projects to encourage donations.   

Last year, Emma ensured that Christmas would still be on the cards for our patients – despite the COVID-19 pandemic, by creating a brand new Amazon Wishlist of toys and gifts with COVID-safe delivery for our patients and supporters.   

Following this success, this Amazon Wishlist approach was replicated for Easter and Eid, with plans to also continue for Diwali and Christmas 2021 too. Emma also supported the Fundraising team by developing new relationships with Muslim Aid who were keen to donate to our Play Unit for Eid, to include in-patients who wanted to take part in the celebration. 


WINNER - Alison Rea and Karen Henson, Bereavement Midwives at the Women’s Hospital  

Charity champion winners holding their award The bereavement team are invaluable to our Hospital’s Fundraising team, driving the Woodland House Appeal forward and making it a success.  

They have been instrumental in launching the project and shaping the Woodland House appeal from the very start. It’s their drive for change, for better bereavement aftercare that fuels the success and achievements of the project.   

They are involved in monthly fundraising project committee meetings, to provide a voice for their patients and lend their expertise, essentially being the face of the campaign.  

The bereavement team have to show the highest levels of compassion to their patients, making them feel supported and safe, during what is known to be one of the most emotionally challenging time in their life for their patients. We recognise the value of their dedication, bravery and compassion throughout their work at our Women’s Hospital.  

You can watch Alison Rea and Karen Henson's story here on our BWC Youtube Channel.

Commitment to Diversity


Dominique Whyte, Sister, Paediatric Assessment Unit 

Dominique has introduced an Urgent Care Inclusion Group to promote equality and diversity within Urgent Care to utilise diverse staff and collectively, make a massive impact on the experiences of staff and our patients which demonstrates compassion for both staff and patients.  

Dominique has very quickly gone above and beyond and as a result of the Inclusion Group, an Equality, Diversity and Inclusion calendar has commenced and is emailed once a month and notes any significant events.  

For example, October is Black History Month, hosts International Coming Out Day, a Dyslexia Awareness week and Sukkot for the Jewish community and Prophet Muhammad's birthday for the Islam community - all of which I would not be aware of if it wasn't for Dominique.  

There is not a single religion, culture, belief or disability/illness that is not considered and thanks to Dominique, I look forward to a culture of nurses/doctors within Urgent Care who are more diverse and aware resulting in the acceptance of patients, families and staff members following being challenged and inspired by Dominique.  

She has put up display boards for both patients and staff to see and educates the team on a regular basis. Thank you so much Dominique - I aspire to be a nurse just like you one day! 


Darren Lamb - BCH - Neurophysiology and Chair of LGBTQ+ network

Darren has shown ambition bravery and commitment in working towards making BWC a better place to work for LGBTQ+ staff and patients. Even before the formation of the network he worked tirelessly behind the scenes forming links that increased awareness and knowledge within the Trust.  

As Chair of the LGBTQ+ Network he has fostered ambition, enthusiasm, action and compassion within the network that is bringing about greater Inclusion in the Trust. 

Darren has balanced a very busy clinical workload with his network responsibilities and does it brilliantly. He is always full of ideas and enthusiasm and dedicates a lot of his personal time to network responsibilities.  

He role models allyship for the Guardian and DAWN Networks and has driven the LGBTQ+ network to deliver some excellent educational sessions and materials and has most certainly raised the profile of the network and its members. 

Darren has played a monumental role in guiding and supporting us through this journey, his passion for improving inclusion and diversity throughout BWC is plain to see and inspiring to all. His commitment to improving the experience of patients, families and staff coming through our hospital really encapsulates all of the Trust values.  


Dr Pauline Rehal, Principal Clinical Scientist, Genetics 

The death of George Floyd and the subsequent #BlackLivesMatter campaign resonated strongly within Pauline and she wanted to take some proactive and positive action to ensure that racism in any form did not exist within her sphere of influence. 

She challenged us as a division to take the matter seriously and set out a plan of action to place Equality, Diversity and Inclusion at the heart of our agenda. 

Pauline has been ambitious in her approach, establishing and leading the Genetics Diversity and Inclusion Group (GDIG).  

Under Pauline's leadership she has demonstrated that a lot can be achieved in a short time and already our team are feeling the positive influence of GDIG. Our staff are growing in confidence to 'speak out' when they see or hear things that do not feel appropriate and the response is supportive and inclusive. 

Pauline's bravery has extended way beyond our division and she has received wonderful, positive feedback on her work and her approach to developing our GDIG from across the Trust.  


WINNER - Waheeda Rahman (BCH PICU and Chair of GUARDIANS) 

Waheeda holding her awardOver the last 12 months Waheeda has grown from being an active IDEA member to the chair of the Guardians Network and one of the founding members of the PICU GUIDES. Waheeda has dedicated a lot of her own time to driving the inclusion agenda forwards at BWC, organising speakers, creating presentations, sharing articles and being an ally to the other networks. 

Waheeda is one of the founder members of PICU GUIDES. This is unique as a network as it was staff generated in its inception. Following the impact of the death of George Floyd last year there was a need for additional support for staff, a safe place where compassion, education and personal growth could thrive. PICU GUIDES provided that. Waheeda has also shown ambition and bravery by stepping out of her comfort zone tp become Chair of the GUARDIANS network. 

I have seen Waheeda's confidence grow and despite her nervousness, she continues to make an impact on her audiences with her passion and enthusiasm for Equality Diversity and Inclusion (EDI). She has given so much of herself to share and educate staff across the Trust and she truly encompasses all of the values in the EDI work she undertakes voluntarily alongside a very busy and demanding role in PICU. 

You can watch Waheeda's story here on our BWC Youtube Channel.


Lifetime Achievement Award

WINNER - Dr Jim Gray, Consultant Microbiologist

Dr Jim Gray holding his award Dr Jim Gray, who has dedicated more than 25 years to the care and treatment of patients in Birmingham, has been honoured by the Trust with a Lifetime Achievement Award.

Dr Gray has worked at our Trust since 1995 and was celebrated for his sterling work caring for children, young people, women and their families at our prestigious BWC Spirit Awards.

Dr Gray has been at the forefront of the Trust’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic over the past 18 months and has become a fantastic ambassador for the Trust and a trusted colleague to many.

You can watch Dr Gray's story here on our BWC Youtube Channel.

Moment of Magic


Lisa Bullows, Antenatal Screening   

Lisa Bullows From the very first phone call I had with Lisa, she has been caring, considerate and professional.  

I received a call from her to say that my blood tests at my 12-week scan had shown an increased chance that my baby would have Down Syndrome.  

Lisa explained everything clearly, professionally and used all the correct positive language to allow us to understand that our baby would be just as wonderful as any other.  

As soon as we explained that regardless of further testing, we would be continuing our pregnancy, she supported us until we met our daughter.  

Our daughter also had a heart condition, which meant that we needed extra scans and Lisa always tried to accompany me. She even gave up her annual leave on the day of our C-section so that she could be there to welcome our girl.  

Now this was where Lisa stepped up even further; far beyond anyone should ever need to. The day previously, my husband had tested positive for COVID-19 so was unable to be at the birth. Lisa stayed with me throughout the delivery, which was difficult.  

She held my hand. She kept me calm. She literally held me together.  

 As I had been a close contact I couldn’t see my daughter on NICU, so Lisa visited; sending photos, sorting video calls and keeping us informed of medical updates.  

All the while working for us to be tested again, so that we could meet our daughter.  

For that, I will be eternally grateful. Four days later, my husband tested negative and we met our beautiful baby girl. For the six weeks while our baby was in NICU, Lisa visited on her breaks to check on us.   

She is now a part of our family and always will be.  


Professor Katie Morris, Fetal Medicine  

Prof Katie Morris At our darkest moments, Professor Morris was there to help us through and I truly believe my twins would not have survived without her support. As a terrified patient she guided me and my husband through our fetal medicine journey.  

Our twins had intrauterine growth restriction, which is when a baby in the womb does not grow as expected and Twin to Twin Syndrome; a rare pregnancy condition where twins share one placenta and a network of blood vessels that supply oxygen and nutrients essential for development. We had been previously advised we would need to accept fetal reduction.   

I felt all was lost – however, Professor Morris gave us clear options, which she explained in layman’s terms. She could not give us any guarantee, but she gave me the light of hope that I needed.  

She managed to navigate our tricky pregnancy through to 30 weeks and visited us all in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit to keep updated on our progress as a family.  

I believe she was ambitious to challenge our diagnosis, she was brave for me when I was unable to be and compassionate by understanding my previous loss and following our family even after we were out of her care.  

I tell everyone who asks about our twins how fantastic she is and how Birmingham Women’s Hospital saved their lives.   


Reverend Andrew Phillips, Chaplaincy  

Rev Andrew Phillips Chaplaincy has a considerable involvement at our Paediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) supporting families and staff through their darkest hours. This Moment of Magic is one that made colleagues, families and, most importantly a very special little boy laugh.   

Reverend Andrew goes the extra mile every day, but on this occasion, he smashed all records. We have a wonderful, brave little lad on PICU who is known for his infectious smile, his sense of humour and his exceptional manners. He’s been at our hospital for some time and Rev. Andrew has been supporting him and his family throughout.  

On the day in question, I happened to greet Rev. Andrew as he started his daily rounds. I was startled by his blue hair! I tried not to mention it – for about five seconds – but I couldn’t contain my curiosity. Rev Andrew simply said it was a dare from our little lad, who also happened to be rocking blue hair too. On a day when our patient was sad and uncomfortable, Rev Andrew and his surprisingly blue hair made him and his mum laugh out loud and later on when the Reverend had left he was still giggling.  

It’s not always what we say that makes the difference, sometimes our actions truly do speak louder than words. Well done and thank you Reverend Andrew.   


Urodynamics Nursing Team  

Urodynamics Team My daughter has been under the Urodynamics team for years. She is autistic and has always struggled, maybe more than most. An example of compassion comes from the day of her surgery, when Nisha came to admissions and gave her a card to wish her good luck. It meant the world to her.   

After her more than six hours of surgery the rest of the team made sure they visited her and checked on her, often boosting her when she was struggling with pain etc…   

Our daughter went from a child who would not allow the team near her to change her catheter every six weeks, to a child who insisted we took treats over for them. They never lost their patience with her; they never did anything without explaining it to her first.   

They took on board her autism. At times we were there well over our appointment time – often up to two hours. Nothing made them hurry her along, or practice tough love. They enabled her to feel comfortable and allowed her to be ready for what has proved to be life-changing surgery in April this year.   

The team are a credit to, not only the hospital, but to themselves. Having been a carer myself for 10 years; their work has encouraged me to start a nursing degree in September. That’s how big their impact has been.  


WINNER - Danielle Dillon, Paediatric Intensive Care Unit  

Words cannot explDanielle holding her awardain how much Danielle helped us through our journey during our time in PICU with our daughter, Bonnie-Rae.   

She understood the trust we had in her to care for our precious little girl and accompanied her on many of her adventures, such as when she made history at Birmingham Children’s Hospital by being the first baby to ever have a CDH repair on the ECLS machine.   

Danielle understood how nervous we were and assured us she would be holding her hand through every step. We would always felt at ease when we saw Dani was taking care of her during the day or night as we knew she was safe and in the best hands.  

During our breaks from being on the ward, Danielle and other members of staff would make things to decorate our daughter’s bed space and make it look homely. These little things always made us smile, even on our darkest days.  

On the night Bonnie-Rae passed away, Danielle came over to talk to us after finishing her shift and said goodbye to her and comforted us – just another example of how she went the extra mile for us.  

The support she provided for us has gone above and beyond our time at the hospital. She attended our daughter’s funeral, which meant so much to us a family.   

To us she feels like more than a nurse, she’s a friend too. Nobody can ever prepare you for the journey of having a child in PICU and losing them after three weeks but having Danielle support us had such a significant impact on our experience into parenthood.   

We cannot thank Danielle enough. She really is a superhero and we hope this nomination shows her how amazing she truly.  

You can watch Danielle's story here on our BWC Youtube Channel.

Most Inspiring Colleague


Steph Babb, Surgery Division 

Steph is a real star and her skill set has been truly showcased during the pandemic. Steph’s day role is coordinator of surgical flow, however as we moved to limited surgery Steph became anything and everything to everyone.   

Nothing was too much trouble or too much of an ask:  

  • Steph, can you go to our Women’s Hospital and help coordinate internal mutual aid – the answer was yes.   

  • Steph, can you coordinate in the H – the answer was yes.  

  • Steph, can you work at GHH and support the team – the answer was yes.  

  • Steph can you go and work in theatres and coordinate – the answer was yes.  

And so it continued. Steph saw the whole circle of life during this time, supporting with births and sadly elderly deaths. All of the trust values were demonstrated with such emotional resilience and strength. Thank you, Steph.   


Louisa Davidson, Consultant Midwife, Delivery Suite  

Louisa is a role model, a leading expert in midwifery practice and empowers midwives to promote health throughout the service. She is authentic, what you see is what you get, and she has a heart of gold.   

She is bold, courageous and is a strong advocate for staff, women and families.   

Her commitment to supporting women to achieve a positive pregnancy and birth journey, when sometimes they are filled with fear and self-doubt, is commendable. Her focus is woman-centred care and she knows every one of the women that she supports in depth. She is their guide when things aren’t going to plan, giving them the confidence that they seek at what can be an emotionally challenging time.   

She is inspirational and dynamic in driving forward innovation and creating positive changes to maternity services.  


Faye Sayers and Kat Stanley, Maternity   

To help the launch of the Trust’s new policy to support staff who experience pregnancy loss and pre-term birth, we were moved by the bravery of two colleagues – Faye and Kat. Both agreed to courageously share their powerful stories of pregnancy loss and, for Faye, of having a premature baby.   

Their decision to open up and speak of their experiences was the most integral part of launching the new policy – a first in the NHS. It helped reach and talk to people on a personal level and, most importantly, has been a key part in BWC’s overall aim of launching the new policy; to break the taboo that exists on pregnancy loss.   

It’s not something they had to do but they did.  

Theirs was a true show of our Trust values of being Ambitious, Brave and Compassionate in action and I’m sure their stories touched so many people, including those who have experienced pregnancy loss but have not been able to talk of their pain and sadness. 


WINNER - Helen Watson, Corporate Nursing  

Helen holding her award Helen has been a stalwart of support for so many across her years at BCH. Over the years she has supported patients and their families across so many services including PICU and cardiac.   

In her current role, she is a voice of reason and advocate for all staff. She has worked across all organisations providing guidance and steer and revolutionised the way we as an organisation approach recruitment.   

It has been an honour to work with Helen on some of the recruitment and retention initiatives as she has encouraged our innovation which has now been adopted in other Trusts.   

Helen stands up for what she believes in and always considers the person at the end of everything. Her wealth of knowledge and determination has seen our workforce change and develop with the generations. BWC values are Helens values. As Helen retires, we should show a massive thank you to all she has done in her long career in the NHS.

You can watch Helen's story here on our BWC YouTube channel.


Outstanding Clinical Team


Infection Prevention and Control  

The Infection Prevention and Control Team are without doubt one of the most critical teams at our Trust. For such a small team, my goodness they work hard.   

Our values of Ambitious and Brave are reflected in the relentless dedication to making sure we keep the hospital as safe and as clean as it can be. They show passion for their work and they ‘pull us up’ when we need to pulled up!   

They are never too busy to answer queries – they only ever want to help. Thank you so much to Jim, Mitul, Ros, Julie and the other IPC Nurses plus Lizzie the administrator. You are amazing.  


Inpatient Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAHMS)  

The inpatient CAMHS service at Parkview Clinic supports young people across three wards with their mental health difficulties.  

Over the last 12 months the teams have faced extremely challenging times with the patient group being more complex and at times more risky than has been experienced in the clinic. These risks have included staff experiencing violent and aggressive behaviour towards them and their colleagues.  

The team has continued to provide excellent care for all the young people that access the inpatient service remaining compassionate throughout the challenging times. The team remained professional and always maintained the wellbeing of the young people in their care in their hearts.  

The team worked to ensure young people maintained contact with their family throughout their admission whilst also maintaining the safety of the wards. This is a reflection of the dedication and resilience of the team in maintaining high standards and safety of the young people in their care. 


WINNER - Pharmacy   

Pharmacy team Throughout these past challenging months, the Pharmacy team has done some amazing work.  

They have been ambitious in ensuring that patients still get their drugs safely. The teams on both main sites coped well, reorganising services to reduce footfall on the wards but still making sure that stocks were topped up and that charts were checked.   

The team has been so compassionate, delivering care packages to the staff self-isolating, starting a ‘needs’ board during lockdown for people who needed toilet roll, pasta etc. so we could share what we had, doing wellness days where people could post notes about their feelings on a board to get support or just say thank you.   

The way they pull together adds up to make a department that BWC should be proud of.  

You can watch the team's story here on our BWC Youtube Channel.

Outstanding Support Team


Clinical Photography and Design Team 

Clinical Photography and Design team show great bravery and compassion when photographing our patients of all emotional states.   

They work with the families, and the amazing bereavement services team, to get the photographs that are required. Their hearts are broken on a daily basis with some of these experiences, but they carry on producing amazing photographs and important memories for the families that we work with.   

Recently we received a copy of an Order of Service where the palliative care photographs had been used extensively throughout. We have been informed that these were the only images they had as a whole family. This is both heart breaking and a source of great pride that we are able to offer such this service as a trust.   

This is a hidden gem of a service at BWC.   


The Communications Team 

Despite the many challenges they have faced, the team always strive to do the best they can to promote the fantastic work of colleagues across our hospitals and, when required, protect and support the Trust’s people and reputation.   

The work of our Trust Communications team never stops and is as varied as it is hectic at times.  

Our Communications team has risen to these challenges, to ensure vital messages are constantly communicated.  

From sharing stories that receive international coverage, developing and maintaining multiple social media platforms; to producing three regular weekly updates and a popular monthly newspaper read by thousands of staff and patients, to facilitating our monthly and annual awards.   

Things never stop for Team Comms. What has been a constant throughout is the BWC Spirit that has existed within the team who consistently go above and beyond, working many additional hours; doing everything required to meet both the high expectations and requirements of the Trust.   


WINNER - Young Persons Advisory Group

The YPAG team on a zoom The Young Persons Advisory Group take on projects big and small, offering an invaluable young person’s insight into our Trust. Their diversity of backgrounds and experience helps them to reflect the communities the hospital serves to represent them fully.   

In the past year, YPAG have contributed nearly 250 hours of their time as a group and have donated an incredible amount of their own time to their many projects.   

Over the last year they have helped with research projects, created activity packs, worked with a nurse doing her PhD, started projects to help improve communication in the hospital, contributed to our Big Build meetings, conducted staff interviews and helped with the new artwork in the Waterfall House project.   

They are a truly special and deserving group of young people, who continue to surprise us with the perceptiveness, which contribute to us delivering the very best service to our patents and their families.   

You can view the Young Persons Advisory Group's story in our winner's video on our Youtube Channel

Research and Innovation


Julie Kane, Mental Health Services 

Julie is very enthusiastic about developing mental health research within the Trust. Her passion to give service users and their families access to the latest research studies has fuelled that passion and focus in her new team.  

Her willingness to work as part of the team as well as within her line management role has culminated recently in her randomising the first participant to a new study, where BWC was the first site to recruit in all of the UK, which is an amazing achievement.  

Although mental health research is still in its infancy within the trust, with Julie’s ambitious nature and passion at the helm the service will undoubtedly grow. This is so important for service users and for us to better understand how to help people within the field of mental health.    


Dr Hari Krishnan, Paediatric Intensive Care Unit 

Hari is the kindest, most patient, humble and inspiring paediatric intensivist at the Children’s Hospital.  

However, his shining star moments have been through his unrelenting work with COVID-19 research and literature appraisal helping his patients, the PICU team, the wider hospital, national groups internationally through collaborative research with the USA and his social media evidenced based reporting. He is called upon repeatedly outside of his own job and work, yet always delivers to the highest standard.  

He fulfils all of the Trust values without question, his ambitious, hard and exemplary work, he is brave when going above and beyond what is expected to improve the health of children and he is compassionate, showing kindness, integrity and other personal attributes which we all aspire too.  


WINNER - Callum Moore and Pete Beckett, Oaklands 

Callum holding his award Callum and Pete have worked wPete holding his awardith the RSPCA in the south of the city developing a voluntary course working with animals supporting the development of robust social skills for young people with mental health issues and autism.  

The experience of being able to develop skills in a very practical way has enhanced engagement with mental health services has been demonstrated to improve well-being.  

Some of the young people who have participated in the course have described themselves as not previously able to access anything in their community, not even school.  

Callum and Pete have worked both in the establishment of the programme but also in the ongoing support of young people facilitating attendance and supporting with skills promoting reduction in anxiety and depression. 

You can watch their story here on our BWC Youtube Channel. 

Rising Star


Sarah Davis, STICK team 

Ambitious - Sarah heavily contributed to our #youvebeenmissed campaign, contributing to the scripts and acting in our videos which have gone on to make a significant difference to pupils across this city.  

Sarah also designed and led on an activity based therapeutic programme and delivered this in our three inpatient wards at a time where onsite school was closed and the young people were unable to access the community or home leave.  

Brave - A particular example of this was when Sarah assisted with the care and support of a young person who had presented at A&E and was very distressed and aggressive towards staff. The outcome of Sarah's support in this area was the young person was safely discharged and Sarah continued to follow up this young person in the community, providing training for his teachers around trauma and the teenage brain. 

Compassionate - Sarah was redeployed in the early part of the pandemic. When the rest of her colleagues returned to their community posts as schools reopened, Sarah offered to remain working on the inpatient wards, supporting her colleagues during a significantly challenging season.  

Anyone who speaks with Sarah will hear these values in her conversation and will particularly note her passionate for the young people of Birmingham. 


Emily Hazlehurst, Ward 1, BCH 

Emily is a newly qualified member of staff who has been on Ward 1 for less than a year.   

Emily has not yet had the opportunity to undertake the role of being the Nurse in Charge as the clinical supervision has been difficult due to staffing issues. However, recently Emily had to take charge of the ward and manage not only the patients/families but the other staff present on the ward alongside providing the medical team with a full overview of the condition of patients and essential changes to their treatment plan whilst trying to work out the bed occupancy and manage admissions versus discharges. Emily adopted the Trust values and demonstrated her bravery in doing what she believed she was not capable of.   

Emily took charge of the ward, managed the beds effectively and safely.  Emily provided the medical team with all the essential information they required in order to make treatment plans which were relevant to each individual patient.  

Emily rose to the challenge and provided excellent support to all those surrounding her.  

The ward was calm, well managed and all patients were cared for to the highest standard possible.  Emily constantly checked on the members of staff who had been sent to help and ensured that they were confident in what they had been requested to do.  

Emily's demonstrated that not only is she capable of managing a busy ward but she did not lose sight of her compassion and dedication to her patients/families and to those members of staff who had been sent to help her. 


Rupinder Kanda, Delivery Suite, BWH 

Rupinder joined the team after the start of the COVID pandemic - I don't think that she has meet all of the Quality Governance Team face to face because of how we now work. Despite this very difficult way to settle into a team she has done a wonderful job becoming an essential member of the team in her short time with us.  

She has quickly come to grips with many key governance processes and has in many cases been key getting the processes working better than ever before. The support she has brought the Health and Safety team with their workplace assessments allows them to happen efficiently; and our legal statement requests have never been smoother. 

Rupinder's strong organising skills have been invaluable to the team and her ambition to make us be the best we can has had a clear impact on how we work. Her ability to gently or sternly (as needed) upward manage colleagues is impressive and shows great bravery and compassion.   


WINNER - Rosa Tarry, STICK team 

Rosa Tarry holding her award Rosa joined our early help team during the pandemic and has already made an excellent contribution to our service. Despite the challenge of having to shield due to medical complexities, Rosa stepped up in the sphere of supporting other team members on redeployment, picking up significant clinical responsibilities, often at the last minute. 

Seeing the rise in eating disorders, Rosa created an excellent “early help toolkit” for teachers, parents and young people to use at the first sign of difficulties. As well as working closely with the Serious Eating Disorder Service team to ensure the efficiency of this resource, Rosa also provided several virtual training sessions to stake holders and parents around eating disorders. 

I have no doubt that Rosa's contributions over the past year have made a significant difference to supporting the prevalence of eating disorders that we are now seeing and will ensure young people get help before reaching a stage of being significantly unwell. 

Rosa's attitude towards her work and her colleagues is solidified in our trust values. I am extremely proud of Rosa and therefore am nominating her for the Rising Star award at this year’s Star Awards.

You can watch Rosa's story here on our BWC Youtube Channel.

Service Improvement


Diabetes Homecare team 

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Diabetes Home Care Team were unable to provide their normal face to face diabetic training for school staff during their busiest time. The team needed to think outside the box to find an alternative way to provide the safe standard of training to ensure teaching staff were competent in diabetes management whilst keeping children safe in the school environment. 

In order to achieve this, various members of the team recorded short videos on different aspects of diabetes management including what diabetes is, blood glucose testing and insulin delivery.  

Over fifty multi-media interactive PDF care plans covering all devices were created and edited allowing personalisation upon entering age, weight and preferred hypo treatment. 

Overall, moving school training online reduced the service cost by over half whilst training more school staff. This was truly an ambitious project and we are super proud of this improvement.  


Super Sedation team  

Due to COVID-19, the waiting list for children needing audiology testing increased, especially for children who needed testing under general anaesthetic. This posed a risk of some children could have potentially developed hearing loss or deafness. As a result, a new sedation technique was developed with research from America and NICE guidelines for a super sedation method. This involved two medications which are administered via a spray rather than a large volume of medication, therefore much more child friendly.  

This child friendly method means children are less distressed when given this sedation than traditional sedation where they had to consume a larger amount of liquid medication, which was upsetting for parents to see. The children also would wake up more relaxed and less drowsy.  

So far the team have had a 100% success rate of 20 children having the sedation for their hearing test. This has reduced the length of stay and Audiology waiting list and ultimately ensured that hearing tests are conducted in a timely manner.  


Dudu Nyathi, Fetal Medicine 

Dudu holding her award Dudu’s aim was to reduce the number of new-born babies born at term who were admitted to the Neonatal Unit, where fetal monitoring was a contributory factor, by 25% by 2022. 

This aim was chosen as keeping mums and babies together shows improved outcomes and is linked to reducing postnatal depression and increasing breastfeeding rates.  

From Quarter 3 2019/20, data was collected for babies admitted to the Neonatal Uni where fetal monitoring was a contributory factor. This fell steadily from 11 cases to 1 case in Q4 2020/21.  

The project Dudu ran also led to a steady increase in training compliance and adherence to competency from 78% to 97%. 

There is now also a procedure to support staff who do not achieve the competency standard. This focuses on individualised training and education, during which further support and guidance can be implemented ahead of reassessment. This project really shows the compassion and ambition being shown to keep our mums and babies together.

You can watch Dudu's story here on our BWC Youtube Channel.  

Star of the Year

Every month, members of staff who go above and beyond in their role are nominated by colleagues, patients and families for our 'Star of the Month' award. These awards echo our Ambitious, Brave and Compassionate Trust values. Every month, our panel will select a winner from those who’ve been nominated.

From our list of fantastic winners, the 'Star of the Year' was chosen by our Chief Executive, Sarah-Jane Marsh, and awarded the prize at this year's ceremony. 

WINNER - Liviu Macovei

Liviu holding his award Liviu Macovei was nominated for the exceptional work he does in supporting staff, patients and families.   

Liviu takes his responsibilities as an Interpreter very seriously and is always going above and beyond to support patients, staff and families.  

He works to educate staff about cultural awareness as well as providing Interpreting and he brings a lot of calm and reassurance to some difficult and highly emotional situations.  

Liviu is described as always delivering excellence, professional, supportive and family friendly when he delivers care.  

He understands what is required of him and he helps the families feel calm and supported and he develops very good relationships with them.  

He is reliable, informative, sensitive to the situation and the families needs and empathetic in many difficult family circumstances. He makes our job so much easier and is vital to our service delivery especially because of the way he delivers his service.  

If all of us developed relationships in this way we would improve excellence on a daily basis.   

A family friendly service and communicating appropriately to ensure the information about their child’s health care is communicated and understood is so important.  

Liviu is a credit to BCH. 

Unsung Hero


Catherine Hall, Women’s Hospital Safeguarding Team  

Cath has provided amazing ongoing support for numerous women currently experiencing or recovering from domestic abuse relationships.   

Cath is ambitious and works long hours throughout the day until late in the evening to provide holistic care to our patients. This could mean meeting patients alone at appointments or speaking to them late at night if they cannot have a conversation during daytime hours safely.    

Cath is the most compassionate professional I have ever had the pleasure of working with and makes such a fundamental difference to women in harrowing circumstances during the most frightening time of their lives. In some instances, Cath is the only person that the women can talk to regularly due to being so isolated.   

She is an inspiration to us all. Cath is truly an unsung hero as she has helped to save, protect and support the lives of so many women and children.   


Lisa Perret, Ward 7, BCH  

Lisa is our playworker on ward 7, but that job title does not do her work justice.  

Lisa puts compassion into all her work. From finding activities to suit children with learning disabilities to sourcing clothing for a child with nothing, Lisa gives everything. Several safeguarding cases have meant that some children have no clothing, and Lisa has taken time out of her break to buy items for them. Lisa always ensures any patient with a birthday has a present and decorations in their room.   

Lisa has also done lots of fundraising for the ward to buy gifts for special occasions such as Mother’s and Father’s days. She creates memory pieces with families such as handprints, cards and gifts. These extra touches bring joy into what can be difficult situations.   

She is a star!  


Winner - Zaynab Sohawon (ZeZe), Think4Brum and Personality and Complex Trauma pathway  

Zaynab holding her award ZeZe is a chairperson and diversity lead at Think4Brum and a lived experience practitioner at the Personality and Complex Trauma pathway.  

As part of the Fight For All The Feels campaign, which aims to help young people feel confident in speaking up safely about how they’re feeling and raising vital funds for those who need support, Zaynab shared her mental health journey through a series of ‘inspiration sessions’ with NHS England, NHS Charities Together and the National Lottery. She has been instrumental in raising £400,000 to date, and the campaign is now on track to receive £1.3 million.   

She demonstrated colossal bravery to share her journey.  

She is making changes which will have a far-reaching impact on mental health provision, both now and in the future. ZeZe is an inspiration.  

You can watch Zeze's story on our winner's video on our BWC Youtube channel

Volunteer of the Year


Beth Dennis, Young Persons’ Advisory Group (YPAG) 

Beth has shown her passion and loyalty over the past year as she has increased her volunteering and support at a time of great uncertainty.  

She began her volunteering by becoming a very reliable member of our Young People’s Advisory Group (YPAG), this quickly moved to her becoming their Communications Lead and promoting YPAG at many virtual events.  

She is always positive, keen to help and proves very insightful; a very valued member of the group.  

Not content with this level of commitment, she also offered to participate as part of the panel at interviews and became involved in an arts project for our Children’s Hospital.  

Beth saw more physical support was needed during challenging times last year, so she put herself forward to act as a Volunteer Pharmacy Runner whilst honouring all her commitments to YPAG and her other projects; not least completion of her A Levels.  

Beth quietly volunteers, not expecting any praise but she is an exceptional young woman who deserves recognition for her happy, willing and caring attitude and her desire to make a difference. 


The Expressed Breastfeeding Pack Team 

Our team are a lovely group who come to our Baby Clinic every Friday and make up breastfeeding packs for our new mums and families.  

They make a vital contribution to our dedicated Feeding team and enable our mums to establish feeding more quickly, or for the premature babies, they enable mums to express milk. Breast milk is gold for our tiny babies and enables survival.  

Thank you to our volunteers who spend countless hours of their own time making these important packs. We couldn’t manage without you.  


WINNER - Women’s Hospital Volunteer Runner Team 

Volunteer runners holding their award Our Women’s Hospital Runner Team are an amazing group of volunteers who selflessly gave up their time to support staff on the front-line during the most challenging times of the first COVID-19 lockdown.  

They have continued this essential role throughout the pandemic - making a huge difference to the lives of staff, patients and visitors alike.  

It is a physical and often tiring role and our fab team certainly achieve their steps quota.  

As we looked to do everything we could to protect those we cared for, along with our colleagues who care for them, during the pandemic, it was necessary to put in place visiting restrictions.  

Our volunteer team were always on hand to help in practical ways; carrying luggage and bags, taking food and additional supplies to the wards, which had been dropped off at the door by other family members, supporting with the discharge process and escorting new mums carrying all their possessions.  

At a time of such uncertainty and anxiety for our women and families, to have a friendly greeting and someone prepared to help and escort them from the front door to the ward made such a difference to their experience. Our staff found the willing and friendly support of the Runner Team invaluable.

You can watch the team's story here on our BWC Youtube Channel.  

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