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New shortlist

Since being appointed as Clinical Director for Imaging Dr Samavia Raza has shown remarkable leadership. Nationally acclaimed Samavia was nominated for her phenomenally strong work ethic, commanding respect and loyalty. Through her leadership Samavia is cultivating pride and belonging.

Prior to being appointed as Deputy Medical Director Dr Mark Poulson worked tirelessly for more than six years as the Associate Medical Director for Postgraduate Medical Education.

During this time he provided superb support to his whole team and has been an advocate and peerless champion of the postgraduate doctors in training. His ability to provide support when necessary but step back where possible has allowed his whole team to grow and develop within their roles.

As Associate Medical Director for Postgraduate Medical Education, Mark secured better training facilities and experiences and has led his team from the front, offering credit to others for the team's success and always taking ownership of problems and difficulties. He has continued to improve his set of natural skills as a leader undertaking his executive MBA whilst still doing 'the day job'.

Since taking on the role of Sister on Ward 210 and more recently in RAU, Sister Lisa Gibbs has improved patient flow and safety and staff have welcomed her supportive leadership and unwavering dedication and commitment to the area. Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic Sister Gibbs has supported staff across Wards 232, 112 as well as her own team from SSU both professionally and emotionally. Well respected by Senior Matrons, she is often called upon to support in challenging situations with no hesitation and it is testament to her leadership that staff frequently choose to book to work within her areas.

The Unscheduled Care Coordination Centre (UCCC) provides real time access to community health services, for patients who are at immediate risk of attending hospital.

Working with multiple NHS and social care partners the UCCC acts as ‘gatekeeper’ for key services such as urgent falls, community nursing and therapies, palliative care and a two hour urgent community response. This collaborative way of working has helped to further meet the needs of patients in their own homes and the evidence shows it has played a huge part in helping to reduce the number of hospital attendances.

The Armed Forces Champions bring with them a wealth of experience and expertise that has grown the care of veterans and wider military community, a key health directive for both the Ministry of Defence and NHS.  They have supported military combat medical technicians and bonded the collaborative working between regular/reserves and the NHS, offering training opportunities for both reservist and regulars alike. 

They have worked collaboratively with local charities to help to reduce health admissions within the Trust, sign posting veterans and others to vital external agencies and more community based help to reduce the burden on the Emergency Departments and have developed a comprehensive information hub within the intranet page for internal and external use. Nominated for their progressive and proactive way of working, the champions are described as a pleasure to work with and be around.

During the last year the rota coordinators have moved from their home teams to a central team which wile was difficult at first, they have embraced change ensuring the right balance of central working and belonging to directorates. No rotas can function effectively without them and no rota coordinator can be effective without an informed, empathic and encyclopaedic understanding of their workforce.

Nominated for their strong sense of responsibility, displaying empathy for last minute changes all those on rotas experience worsened by Covid-19 and its isolation guidance. They are out of necessity scrupulously fair and often party to serious confidential issues that they cannot disclose whilst having to persuade others to cover. They are pivotal in making sure rotas are as safe as they can possibly be and are often strong advocates for UHNM doctors.

Project SEARCH has been running for almost four years as a highly successful partnership between UHNM, Sodexo and Newfriars College, to provide supported internships for young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities, giving them the opportunity to develop skills and gain hands on experience in the workplace.

Twenty six young people have been supported, even through the difficulties of the pandemic and subsequent educational lockdowns with students stepping up before completing their programme to work as bank staff during the height of the pandemic and staff shortages which demonstrated their huge value to the organisation, flexibility, commitment and dedication to patient care.

The opportunity to progress into paid employment through the Project SEARCH programme has enabled these young people to have a voice and to ensure that diversity and inclusivity is at the forefront of our minds.

Kerry is the Quality Lead for Recovery Post Anesthesia Care Unit (PACU) and was described in her nomination as an amazing leader who has promoted and raised the quality agenda, empowering and motivating staff, sharing experience, information and knowledge.  She has been a key player in introducing and sustaining improvements across Recovery PACU as part of the Improving Together programme and has coached the team through the improvement huddles inspiring others with effective listening and respect. Without her commitment, willingness, humility and self-discipline the team say they would not have progressed as rapidly and effectively.

Hayley Kirkham is currently acting up into the Gastro Ward Manager post and has demonstrated leadership qualities that embody the Trust values since taking on the role.  The gastro ward is a large 36 bedded unit which supports both gastro and liver patients and so operational pressures coupled with highly complex patients, can create a stressful environment.  Hayley leads the team with compassion and leading from the front has shown a remarkable improvement in the connection and interworking between the team/ward.  Hayley is not afraid to challenge behaviours and ensures that her staff are fully supported at all times. 

Fiona puts the patient first in everything she does and despite facing some incredibly difficult clinical challenges she tackles them with grace, patience and fortitude. She has struck up truly meaningful working relationships with all members of the team at Children Hospital at Royal Stoke and is supportive and encouraging to juniors and students.


Fiona listens and adapts easily and notably takes pains to credit others with additions to the work she is producing. She has introduced best practice where it was lacking ensuring consistency across the paediatric allergy department and done much to improve MDT communication regionally. Nominated for her leadership leadership qualities, it is hoped she will have a bright future at UHNM.

Aimee has found a perfect balance of supporting others to deliver changes that make a real difference to patients. 

Aimee’s nomination describes how she delegates effectively but maintains a real sense of “team” delivering a unified goal and this clearly helps everyone feel included and valued. She stepped up immediately, changing her work pattern at great inconvenience to herself personally, when one of the team went on long term sick so there would be adequate cover every day of the week.

She is incredibly thorough and diligent, confident to call out mistakes and in addition where things don’t work well she always takes initiative to interrogate the reasons &find out why, showing impressive initiative and developing alternatives to ensure improvement.

Zoe joined IM&T during Covid-19 and offered to support clinical services so was redeployed to play a leading role in the vaccination clinics.  Once the clinics finished Zoe dived fully into her role within the EPR team getting to know the systems and the intricacies and only a small number of months later showed willing to progress in her career and was successful in being appointed as a systems project manager. 

She has since driven forward our core projects including the planning and completing a successful upgrade of the e-observations Vitalpac system.  Zoe's enthusiastic approach and manner brings together teams and has improved the communication to understand tasks and progress and this is having a positive effect on outcomes. An absolute asset to the team and a core role to deliver digital improvements.

In his position as an IM&T Integration Specialist, Matthew Gilbert has worked closely with clinical teams in delivering complex IT solutions that have resulted in improved patient care. He has shown exceptional professionalism and commitment, with a superb work-ethic. He has an analytical mind, remarkable systems' integration skills and a deep understanding of the UHNM information systems and their complex interactions. He has been invaluable in delivering projects, which were achieved in a timely and cost-effective manner. He has excellent communication skills, can multi-task and is very organised.

Having joined Ward 233 without any previous healthcare experience Becky has since taken every opportunity to learn new skills through her apprenticeship. She is always happy to use her new knowledge to help train new staff members and help them to settle in. She enjoys her work and is passionate about following her dream of working in the mental health sector. She is well-liked by patients and staff and is passionate about helping people, hard working and dedicated.

Ward 202 began their Improving Together journey in May 2022. Since then they have incorporated the new ways of working and engaged their wider team in using Improving Together tools, routines and behaviours on a daily basis so that together they contribute to improving their processes so that they’re safe and effective for patients.

They began holding daily improvement huddles where the team share small problems that are “stones in their shoes“ then collectively sharing ideas to address these issues as a group. Through this collaborative approach significant improvements have been made.

Nominated as a truly inspirational leader Kay works is the Trust’s Lead Urology Nurse. She devotes her time to improving patient care and experience whilst supporting, encouraging and empowering her team of specialist urological nurses to improve together. She embodies the Trust’s core values whilst ensuring a team approach in which everyone gets the opportunity to fulfil and exceed their own potential demonstrating a compassionate, virtuous leadership approach. Kay enables her team to improve together and demands that her team members strive not only to improve patient care, compassion and experience but also release and expand our own potential ensuring our own personal goals are met. 

Paediatric patients with suspicious discs and adults with idiopathic intracranial hypertension (IIH) were previously seen in general consultant clinics with long waiting lists and often required attendances at multiple clinics for tests. These conditions can be very debilitating and patients may need urgent treatment to alleviate symptoms and prevent long-term issues.

Together the orthoptists (AHPs), paediatric ophthalmologists and administrative staff have set up new clinics; developed new ways of working and skills resulting in a reduction in the waiting list by a third. MDT working has improved communication and knowledge for all of those involved which can only benefit the team but particularly the parent and patient. 

Angela is looked up to, not only in her team and by her peers but across the Trust also. She goes out of her way every day to engage with staff through her daily posts on the Staff Facebook page, offering messages of support, encouragement, wellbeing, engagement and leadership. Each one is different and uplifting.   Angela's posts receive the most interaction with likes and messages and have kept staff going during difficult days. Her enthusiasm is infectious, her warmth and compassion inspiring. 

Angela is at the heart of the Trust values and has created a network of followers without even knowing, just by connecting and inspiring.

In April this year a team of staff got together to re-launch the Estates, Facilities and PFI Division’s Wellbeing Agenda with a view to making the working environment a nicer place for all of its staff to be and signpost staff to other services that can support and provide practical help for anyone who needs it. Establishing a teams of Wellbeing Champions from transport, contract performance management, housekeeping, clinical technology, administration, nursing, fire, transformation and catering a number of improvements have been made in an incredibly short period of time. This includes picnic benches in outside spaces; table tennis equipment for teams to use at break times; multiple social events involving a lot of cake! The team plans to continue to support staff in their division with enthusiasm and commitment.

Described as “amazing humans in their nomination Janet and Teresa have dedicated their whole professional careers to Staffordshire Children’s Hospital at Royal Stoke but importantly have built the very fabric of what keeps staff across every professional group in this complex directorate happy and well. Their consistent and dedicated approach to wellbeing means that looking after each other has become just the way we do things.

It has never part of their “job” and never about seeking recognition but they have a deep felt belief in sharing compassion and kindness.

They deliver difficult change and importantly necessary challenge with a considered, supportive approach that keeps people engaged. They have an innate understanding of how their happy supported staff will provide better care and unsurprisingly their philosophy of wellbeing extends to patients and parents.

There isn’t just one initiative they have delivered but countless ones the most important being that they have changed how we think, feel and care for each other forever.

Ryan was nominated because he is caring, compassionate and always puts the patients first. He saw a lady who had fallen over on the way to her appointment, he shouted an got help from other staff members and even got on the floor himself to make the lady comfortable. Ryan always gives 110% with any task he faces and has received many compliments off both staff and visitors.

Sophie was the instigator and vision behind the new changing rooms at County Hospital. She spent time researching it and finding all the best equipment and resources. Through her input a disabled toilet was also situated in the area. Sophie spends her days keeping the stocks up, cleaning equipment as well as spending quality time with patients.

She is training to be British Sign Language interpreter and is educating staff to be able to provide this service to patients also dedicating an education board in the department for staff and patients to learn from.

Stephen works with our department during his work time, but he volunteers one day a week to help out with scanning patients. He works flat out and explains the test to every patient from a new born to the oldest people we see. He never shies away from a challenge and even suggests new ideas. He is a great asset to the Trust.

Alex Fitzmaurice-James and Jodie Wild were both traveling home after a day at work when Jodie, noticed a man on a bridge by the Clinical Education Centre at Royal Stoke.

Working together they both went above and beyond to stop the man who wanted to jump from the bridge. With Jodie on the phone, Alex was successful in diffusing the situation and was able to assist with care before services attended the scene.

Alex and Jodie were both awarded Employee of the Month for their teamwork, bravery and compassion.

County Hospital receptionist Charisse Fletcher was awarded Employee of the Month for her beautiful disposition and kind and caring manner.

In nominating her she was described as having a face and a smile which makes anyone coming into our hospital feel automatically better when greeted by her.

Quiet and unselfish, she was recognised for going above and beyond for her colleagues, patients and their families who she puts at ease.

Anum was recognised for her outstanding care and compassion after accompanying a palliative patient on their last visit home. She gave up four hours on Christmas Day last year to be with the patient, enabling them to fulfil their wish of seeing their wife and dogs once more. This particular patient’s wife was unable to make it into hospital due to her own medical needs, so Anum gave up her time to come into work and escort the patient home via ambulance. Thanks to Anum, he was able to have as much time as he needed with his family for the last time.

In 2019 Orthodontic Therapist Tamiley Morris completed a gruelling 12-hour, 50k trek across the Peak District to raise funds for UHNM Charity towards a new digital scanner.

She raised more than £1,300 by racing against the clock across the National Park’s harshest environments all in torrential autumnal rain.

Not content with just this expedition, in 2021 Tammy launched another bid to raise cash for UHNM Charity but fell and injured herself so badly she required physiotherapy and an operation on her hand. Despite this, she went to the same event this year and ran the lap she fell on and raised £210 which she has donated to the physiotherapy team who have been treating her for the last 12 months. She is still awaiting further surgery but recovery is going well.

Tim suffered a stroke whilst on duty at work at UHNM in 2020 when he was then a new member of the Estates Team in maintenance. It was thanks to the quick actions of his colleagues that he was saved. Tim wanted to raise funds for UHNM Charity to prove to himself that despite having a stroke anything is possible and to thank the staff who cared for him and following a delayed start due to Covid-19 he completed his challenge, raising xxx in 2022. He is now back at work and keen to support the Charity again in the future.

The Community Rapid Intervention Service (CRIS) Team is part of a joint response by community and secondary care to enhance primary care and reduce emergency hospital admissions.

Patients requiring urgent assessment are seen by experienced advanced nurse practitioners in the CRIS team within two hours and with advice from consultants at Royal Stoke are treated in the community, helping to avoid an emergency admission.

Playing a significant role in reducing ambulances going to the emergency department and reducing pressures on the emergency department, the Team’s vision of putting patients at the centre, combined with dedication and commitment of the staff, has facilitated the implementation of this novel model of care.

The Organ Donation team has worked incredibly hard to improve organ donation services within the Trust and within the local area. Their flexible and collaborative approach within clinical areas are key to facilitating organ donation and has seen an increase in the number of organ donors completed at Royal Stoke during the last 12 months. They go above and beyond their roles to ensure that staff are educated and their dedication to their role has ensured Royal Stoke has now not only been selected to front a national pilot study by NHS Blood and Transplant which is focusing on increasing the number of tissue donors there are within the Trust, but that also Royal Stoke is now ranked as the number one hospital in the country for organ donation.

In its nomination the echocardiography team was named as some of the “unsung” heroes of the healthcare science team at UHNM. Providing diagnostic information through an ultrasound study which helps to guide and provide management plans to a wide variety of patients at UHNM and within the community, their patients are from cardiology as well as other specialities.

Their physically and mentally demanding role involves both obtaining images in challenging settings such as critical care and reporting within 40 minutes.

Members of the team have been involved within local and national projects supporting training and teaching resulting in a number of journal articles and published work. The Echo team have worked tirelessly against an ever-growing waiting list and a workload demand.