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Brightest and best of the NHS honoured at annual awards ceremony

19 July 2019

Outstanding, inspirational staff who embody the values of the NHS have been honoured at a prestigious awards ceremony in London.

The annual Healthcare Education and Training (HEAT) Awards, run by Health Education England (HEE), aim to celebrate all that is very best about education and training in the NHS workforce and help foster an environment of compassionate, high-quality care.

This year’s winners and finalists came from all corners of the NHS, ranging from students and apprentices to tutors, directors and operational managers as well as doctors, nurses, scientists and specialists in a wide array of fields.

Entrants were nominated by colleagues with the winners chosen after three rounds of judging. Winners were announced last night (18 July) at the Royal College of Physicians in London, at the culmination of NHS Values Week. Values Week seeks to encourage staff to think about and share how they put the values of the NHS into practice, helping to make the NHS the very best place to work.

Sir David Behan, Chair, Health Education England, said: “The HEAT Awards celebrate the very best in education, training and workforce development within the NHS.

“Our winners, and all nominees,  are examples to all of us and remind us that the strength of the NHS lies in its people.”

Prof Ian Cumming OBE, Chief Executive, Health Education England, said: “Our 790 entries this year were of an extremely high calibre, and choosing the winners was no simple process.

“My congratulations go to all our winners and finalists, each of whom go the extra mile to serve the public. They are all a huge credit to themselves, their organisations and to the NHS as a whole.“


HEAT awards were presented in 13 categories, ranging from Inspirational Trainee and Inspirational Leader to Champion of Diversity,  Champion of the NHS Constitution and Inspiring Return To Practice.

Winners were announced at the end of HEE’s 2019 Conference ‘People Where It Matters – Taking Forward The NHS People Plan.’

Inspirational Student Award 

Joshua Hammond 

Frailty Practitioner, Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust 

Joshua inspires his colleagues with his enthusiasm and commitment and huge energy in taking part in all opportunities which present themselves to him. As well as all the other extra activities he does he is also studying successfully for his degree in nursing. Joshua is a huge advocate for the profession and as a second-year student shows leadership skills and a belief in nursing that is to be commended. 

Digital and TEL Innovator of the Year Award 

Neil Vaughan 

Senior Lecturer, University of Chester 

Since 2006 Dr Neil Vaughan has developed many innovative digital health technologies for the NHS. His research focuses on improving the training for surgeons and clinicians by developing state-of-the-art technology for training simulators. Virtual reality training simulators have been developed for the epidural needle insertion procedure which are given over 1,000 every day in the UK. 

Emerging Leader of the year 

Rachael Brandreth 

Professional Lead Dietetics, Royal Cornwall Hospitals Trust 

Rachael possesses all the characteristics needed to inspire her staff and to drive the profession forward. Rachael has had an influence on the national stage by being one of the driving forces behind the first ever AHP’s day. Along with her colleague she managed to inspire AHPs across the nation to get behind a one-day focus on the contribution of the allied health professions. 

Inspirational Trainee Award 

Dr Carys Fleming 

Junior doctor, Surrey & Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust (KSS Deanery) 

Carys continually goes the extra mile and leads from the front, continuously keen to be involved in any welfare developments that the Trust can adopt. Carys’ input has had a clear impact on the wellbeing of her colleagues. For a new mentoring scheme, she recruited more senior trainees, physician associates and nurses to act as mentors. 

Diversity, Inclusion and Widening Participation Award 

Nick Parker 

Director of People and OD, Airedale NHS Foundation Trust 

Nick has been nominated for demonstrating a passionate and inspiring work ethic. His core values actively promote and celebrate difference. Nick`s mantra is that “We gain strength in difference and that we can’t represent our community or provide them with great care without embracing diversity”. He is determined to achieve workforce equality and that shows in everything he does. 

Inspirational Leader Award

Ruth Thomsen 

Scientific Director for London, NHS England and NHS Improvement 

Ruth has been an Audiologist for 36 years and despite her Regional Scientific Director role maintains her clinical competence and continues to work with patients, some of whom she has worked with throughout her whole career. She has also championed many high-profile initiatives including membership of the Strategic Oversight Panel for Action Plan on Hearing Loss, leading National Hearing Aid procurement process to improve quality and consistency, President of the British Audiological Association and leading the patient co-produced ‘Birdsong’ project. 

Champion of Tomorrow’s Workforce

Gareth Hayman 

Operations Manager, Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust 

Gareth`s initiative ‘Recruitment and Retention Operating Department Practitioners’ has had some outstanding results. There is also now a dedicated development pathway in place for several bands that are supported by the theatre’s education team. Gareth’s dedication has resulted in a recruitment and retention strategy embedded within theatres and the launch of Good Day/Bad day app to assess and respond to staff engagement daily. 

Inspirational Apprentice Award 

Monica Korpal 

Trainee Nursing Associate, Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust 

Monica has recently taken up a lifelong ambition to work towards a career in nursing, starting work as a healthcare assistant at NUH in 2017. She utilises all opportunities to share her passion for the NHS and the apprentice role, is very active on Twitter and is an excellent role model for aspiring nursing associate apprentices, inspiring others with her enthusiasm and motivation to learn. 

Champion of the NHS Constitution Award 

Dr Elaine Cloutman-Green 

Trust Lead Healthcare Scientist, Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children NHS Foundation Trust 

Elaine is a passionate and inspiring leader who embodies the NHS constitution throughout her work. As a Healthcare Scientist, Elaine specialises in outbreak control and is involved in the creation of infection control policy. As Trust Lead Scientist she works tirelessly to bring Healthcare Scientists together as one workforce, as well as working with other London Trusts as part of the Healthcare Science Education Collaborative in order to maximise the resources available to allow all Healthcare Scientists equal access to training. 

Inspiring Return to Practice Award 

Caroline Hollingworth 

School Staff Nurse, Children and Family Health Surrey 

During her return to practice, Caroline has been observed to show commitment to improving the lives of young people in her care. She has been commended by a local GP for examples of this work. Caroline has quickly become a very valuable member of the team, supporting other members of staff at times of adversity. She has been described as “Elegant, fun, never ruffled, an inspiration to us all”. 

Systems Transformation Champion 

Stroke Early Supported Discharge (ESD) Team 

Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust 

Cambridgeshire and Peterborough STP lacked an effective stroke ESD service prior to January 2018. This meant our acute stroke units faced significant capacity challenges. Recognising qualitative and quantitative benefits, collaborative working across community and acute providers, commissioners and voluntary organisations resulted in the implementation of a system-wide, therapy-led service that has transformed our community stroke rehabilitation pathway. We are the first STP to use the Bridges approach enabling our teams to support patients’ self-management. 

Trainee/Student Educator Award 

Dr Layth Tameem 

Anaesthesia Registrar, University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust 

Layth is a Specialty Trainee in Anaesthetics, founder and director of welldoctors.org and the Well and Resilient Doctors (WARD) group. He co-founded WARD with the aim of encouraging open conversation about mental health. His commitment to maintaining his own high standards in training, and his boundless enthusiasm in supporting his colleagues to do the same, makes him a truly inspirational educator of trainees and worthy of this nomination. 

Inspiring Place To Work and Train Award

Training and Education Team 

Cambridgeshire Community Services NHS Trust 

CCS has been rated the best community Trust in the country when compared to peers for ‘recommending the Trust as a place to work or receive treatment’ (2018 staff survey). Their fantastic work and mission is to provide high-quality care through our excellent people, training and development enables that aspiration, underpinned by the NHS constitution and values.