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Taking place virtually on Friday 12 March, this year’s Doncaster Chamber Awards recognised the achievements of the local NHS, with a section dedicated entirely to the work of health and social care workers.

The annual ceremony, now in its 23rd year, usually focuses on highlighting the achievement of Doncaster’s business community, with categories like ‘’Start-up of the Year’’, ‘’Excellence in Customer Service’’ and ‘’Success Through Innovation’’. 2021’s event was no different in this regard, although it did include an extra set of awards reserved exclusively for colleagues at Doncaster and Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals (DBTH) and Rotherham Doncaster and South Humber NHS Foundation Trust (RDaSH). This portion of the evening was to acknowledge all the outstanding efforts of NHS staff over the past 12 months.

Sponsored by ORB Recruitment, there were four new categories, those being: Compassionate Care; Unsung Hero; Community Services; and Outstanding Contribution- with DBTH picking up three of them. The nominees were initially selected by colleagues from both organisations, via an open voting process, with a final shortlist picked from these candidates put to another round of voting.

‘’Compassionate Care’’ went to Dr Ken Agwuh, Director of Infection Prevention and Control (IPC), for the steadfast leadership he provided throughout 2020/21. Helping to coordinate the Trust’s ongoing response to the pandemic, he was instrumental in developing all of the behavioural guidance, PPE protocols and general advice for how to minimise the spread of the virus in hospital. This entailed making important, quick decisions on an almost daily basis, which often had to be adapted as we learned more about the disease. Ever present, responsive and dedicated, Dr Agwuh typifies the very best the NHS has to offer, as demonstrated by how he was able to clearly instruct colleagues on keeping patients safe through a period of great uncertainty.

Meanwhile, Adam Tingle, Senior Communications and Engagement Manager, scooped up the prize for ‘’Unsung Hero’’. This was in recognition of the role he took in personally administering DBTH’s internal Facebook group, acting as a reliable font of all knowledge and giving colleagues an open forum through which they could raise their concerns or ask questions. Over the past year, Adam has worked tirelessly to ensure that all information is easily accessible and signposted in the group and that any queries are addressed so that clinical staff can concentrate on providing excellent care.

Finally, the ‘’Outstanding Contribution’’ Award was presented to the entirety of Team DBTH, for continuing to deliver phenomenal patient care in the face of such challenging circumstances. Whilst specific areas were nominated in this category – including our multi-disciplinary team of Respiratory, Critical Care and Intensive Care, as well as our Assessment Units, Pathology and Emergency Department – singling out an individual service proved to be very difficult. So, to show everyone the appreciation they deserve, the award was ultimately bestowed upon the whole Trust.

Speaking about the ceremony, Suzy Brain England OBE, Trust Chair, said: ‘’This past year, every single member of Team DBTH has made me incredibly proud and they have gone far beyond what we would normally ask of them. With that in mind, I would like to congratulate each of the winners and nominees for their hard-earned awards, as well as everyone else who has been doing such amazing work at the Trust. The resilience you have shown over the past 12 months has been truly inspirational and, on behalf of the local population, I would like to offer my thanks.’’ 

Outside of the special NHS only awards, DBTH was also nominated in the ‘’Excellence in People Development’’ and ‘’Apprentice of the Year’’ categories.  The full list of winners can be found on the Doncaster Chamber’s website, alongside a recording of the ceremony itself.