John Somers, Chief Executive presenting award to Getahun Tamrat.JPG

The first virtual Sheffield Children’s Star Awards event took place on Friday (16 October 2020), celebrating colleagues across the Trust for their exceptional work and dedication.

A member of the domestic team at Sheffield Children’s has been awarded the publicly nominated Children’s Star Award for his work inspiring and cheering up patients, families and staff. Nominated as “The most genuinely kind hearted person I’ve ever met” Getahun Tamrat has been presented with the prestigious award nominated by patients and their families.

One person who nominated Getahun said, “He told them (the children) inspirational stories about how he came from an orphanage in Ethiopia and how they could do anything they wished if they tried hard. He turned tears into smiles and even cheered the parents and staff up.”

“World class” staff in the Eye Department who “no matter what has happened they always greet us with a smile and bend over backwards to help us” have been awarded the team Children’s Star award for their work for young patients with cataracts and supporting them through treatment from an early age.

One parent said: “these people do so much more than just a job they provide families with a positive future. We have a very long road ahead…that’s ok because they are world class and we are so very very lucky to have this on our doorstep.”

Another described how they taught their son age seven to do his own contact lenses which gave him independence and added “They do an amazing job getting babies/toddlers to engage in vision tests!”

The Sheffield Children’s Star Awards recognised staff from across the Trust from porters providing excellent patient experience, doctors in paediatric research, behind the scenes administrative work, nursing staff keeping colleagues learning and many other teams and individuals doing amazing work and going above and beyond their roles.

The 2020 Star Awards are brought to us with the sponsorship of NHS Professionals and GMB Union.

Nicola McQueen, CEO, NHS Professionals, said: “NHS Professionals is once again delighted to support the Star Awards. This is a great way to recognise all the exceptional staff who have gone the extra mile in supporting and caring for children and young people. 2020 has been an extraordinary year, so a huge well done and thank you to all the nominees and winners!"

Sarah Young, GMB Union, Sheffield Health Branch Secretary,  said: “We are really proud to support the Star Awards and recognise the amazing work everyone does across the Trust.

“We also sponsored the outstanding colleague award, to recognise the exceptional work an individual has done. It’s disappointing we couldn’t all be together to celebrate the work Sheffield Children’s does. We will make the most of a virtual celebration and congratulations to everyone who was nominated, thank you for all your fantastic work.”


Full list of award winners and highly commended awards:


Patient Experience Award

Winner (individual) - Paul Bower
Nomination quote: “Paul is a theatre escort who does magic tricks to distract patients going for surgery. The fun he brings to an anxious moment is wonderful, and he has been teaching other theatre escorts how to do tricks too, to spread the magic a little further!”
You can watch a video about Paul, here:


Winner (team) - The Direct Discharge Team

Nomination quote: “Direct Discharge is an innovative pathway which aims to streamline discharges of specific groups of patients undergoing simple daycase procedures. Patients are identified by the surgeon/anaesthetist as being suitable for discharge directly from Post Anaesthetic Care Unit. Nursing staff then work with a robust discharge criteria checklist in order to ensure the patients are fit for discharge, whilst giving appropriate discharge advice. This service allows us to improve patient experience and satisfaction, as proven by the extensive feedback we have sought from parents/carers in regards to this new service. Feedback has proven that patients and their families don't want to be in hospital longer than necessary, and Direct Discharge allows us to facilitate this in a safe way. We have received outstanding feedback around Direct Discharge and we really feel that this service makes a difference to our patients and their families. Direct Discharge was shortlisted as a finalist for a National award in April, at the HSJ Awards, where some of the team travelled to present our service in London. This was a huge achievement and we were extremely proud of this. We have also presented Direct Discharge at the Trust Executive Board which was extremely well received. Also, in the recent CQC inspection, the inspector who visited PACU expressed how impressed he was with the service.”


Highly Commended (individual) - Louise Kay, Pamela Rudkin

Highly Commended (team) - Sheffield Children’s Volunteers, The Haematology and Oncology Team


Leading & Inspiring Award

Winner - Dave Threlfall

Nomination quote: “Dave has led the physiotherapy and occupational therapy service for 17 years and is the kindest, most committed and inspiring leader I have ever known. He is known by everyone, everywhere in the Trust because he is so friendly and helpful. He truly cares for the children and their families we serve and has never lost his sense of fun, always chatting and laughing with children in the departments he visits. Over the years he has supported and encouraged the physio and OT service and its staff to grow and flourish so that they deliver excellence in all areas. He pulls people and teams together, caring for his staff with compassion and integrity and always encouraging accountability for our actions. He is an inspirational role model to other leaders and a rock that we lean on. He brings stability and reassurance during turbulent times, he brings passion and enthusiasm when we've run out of ideas, he brings warmth, care and compassion in times of sadness and he continually celebrates our achievements.”


Highly Commended - Kate Sanderson, Nicola Ennis


Keep Learning Award

Winner - Claire Reeve

Nomination quote: “Claire has recently taken over the role as PLF. Practice Learning Facilitator between SCH and Sheffield Hallam University. There have been huge changes in Nursing training. Claire has managed to train a large number of staff, support qualified staff through this and support student nurses through this change. At the same time as maintaining a clinical role on the ward. Claire is very patient and always happy to answer any questions of her. Education and development is really important to Claire and she strives to do the best for all. She is really focused on helping staff and students produce the next generation of nurse at SCH.”


Highly Commended - Pauline Athwal, Fiona Price


Award for Research & Innovation

Winner (individual) - Michael Cork

Nomination quote: “Prof Cork is a world leader in the field of paediatric dermatology. The Clinical Research Facility has over the last few years worked on a number of clinical trials led locally by Prof Cork. The results of these have been literally life saving for some of the patients who have participated or have gained access to therapies as a result of the outcomes of trials which have run in our hospital. This award would recognise the excellent work Prof Cork and his team have undertaken in the field of paediatric dermatology research at our Trust.”


Winner (team) - The Achondroplasia Team

Nomination quote: “The number of trials in this condition was 0 a few years ago. We now have multiple trials for patients with this condition and many patients are on trials exploring two new drugs with a 3rd on the way. The team are frequently praised in our patient feedback forms and clearly go above and beyond to make these trials work for the patients and their families who are very grateful.”


Highly Commended (individual) - Paul Arundel, Anton Mayer

Highly Commended (team) - The Haematology and Oncology Research Delivery Team, The Dermatology Team


The Children’s Hospital Charity Award For Fundraising

Winner - The Paediatric Critical Care Unit


Service Improvement Award

Winner (individual) - Clare O’Connell

Nomination quote: “Clare arranged, led on and delivered the first ever live major incident exercise to be carried out within the context of a Children's Hospital. This tested almost every aspect of the system of the Major Trauma and Major Incident pathways including pre-hospital, all in-hospital teams and tested as well the responses from laboratories, radiology, theatres and beyond. Due to this wide ranging remit it was a mammoth organisational task. Many months of planning and preparing went into its delivery. Multiple learning points arose which have fed back into improved pathways. It was an outstanding piece of work which I believe warrants recognition and which is still continuing as Clare develops further her role as Trust Major Trauma lead.”


Winner (team) - The Autism Team

Nomination quote: “Over the past 12 months the autism team has developed significantly, we are a growing team of specialist nurses and support workers. Due to the increase in the team it has enabled us to reduce waiting times to see patients in our nurse led clinics. This has had a positive effect on our families as they are seen in a timely manner and given the help and advice needed, which reduces stress and anxiety within the whole family. It has also enabled us to run more ASD workshops, these give lots of information around what autism is, understanding autism and your child’s behaviour and strategies to help support your child. We work closely with other professionals including Dr.s and psychologists and are in the process of working with other departments across the trust in their understanding of ASD and how they can best support the children and families, we also provide training for departments who require it. We also have 2 support workers who have developed a new service, providing post diagnostic support to families following their ASD diagnosis. Families are contacted 2-3 weeks after diagnosis and offered a home visit to discuss services and support available to them and are also given a post diagnostic pack to keep, which is full of information discussed and other services and support available to them. This is a new service which started in September 2019 and the feedback from parents has been extremely positive.”


Highly Commended (individual) - Janine Reynolds

Highly Commended (team) - The Neonatal Surgical Unit Continuing Care Team, The Day 1 Ready Team


Award for Inclusion & Diversity

Winner - The Rainbow Badge Team

Nomination quote: “A group of people in teams across the Trust have worked together to launch Rainbow Badges at Sheffield Children's. They have promoted a message of inclusion and diversity that is focused on showing compassion to LGBT+ patients and families. This has also had a boost for positive feelings among colleagues here. It's great to see so many people wearing the badges and supporting the cause. As well as this they're now looking at how they can continue the project by affecting issues like e-Systems, ward accommodations, and training which will make an ongoing difference to patient experience in the Trust. Good on them.”


Highly Commended - Deirdre O’Donnell, The Primary Mental Health Team


Award for Best Non-Clinical Support Service

Winner (individual) - Scott Heaton

Nomination quote: “Since Scott has been in post as Security Manager he has made significant progress and changes in the way ward staff are supported when dealing with difficult and challenging situations in clinical areas. He has been extremely supportive of clinical staff both on site and in patients' homes. He is proactive and instrumental in supporting staff in difficult situations. He shows enourmous passion and dedication, often working above and beyond and is an asset to this Trust.”


Winner (team) - The Centenary House Housekeeping Team

Nomination quote: “The team work so hard to keep Centenary House spotlessly clean for our families and the staff. They go over and above every day to ensure the clinical areas are clean and our offices are always clean. The team are friendly and always willing to help in any way they can. They care about the safety of the staff in the building and they are a pleasure to work with and are really valued members of the Community and Centenary House team.”


Highly Commended (individual) - Diane Kemshall, Kayleigh Burt

Highly Commended (team) - The SystmOne Support Team, The Security and Portering Team


Outstanding Colleague Award (Governors’ Award), sponsored by GMB

Winner - Amy Payne

Nomination quote: “Amy works in a non patient facing role in Legal & Governance. She manages requests from external agencies, including the Police, for patients records and staff statements. Amy significantly supported staff in a case this year and helped them through a difficult and stressful time. She worked over and above to continue her day to day role as well as support those staff. During this period her support for staff was acknowledge by the Medical Director and the staff involved. Amy's work and the support she provides every day to staff goes unnoticed by many and deserves to be recognised.”


Highly Commended - Cath Baker, Ullas Joseph


Direct Patient Care Award, sponsored by NHS Professionals

Winner (individual) - Julie Bell

Nomination quote: “Julie Bell is an outstanding nurse who delivers excellent care and support to babies on home oxygen across South Yorkshire. Professionally she has taken the speciality forward on a national level by developing new guidelines for the region and disseminating them via presentations and seminars. Julie shows compassion in all she does. She supports babies and families far beyond her scope of home oxygen nurse, and frequently works beyond her hours to deliver this optimal care and support across the region. The families love Julie and fully appreciate all her hard work, they are always devastated when their babies "graduate"" and no longer require her services. In difficult times when patients have sadly passed away Julie has continued to support the families though their difficult times, something which I know has been of great comfort for the families concerned. All patients and families see Julie as a shining light for the excellent services and values associated with Sheffield Children's Hospital.”


Winner (team) - The Off-Site General Anaesthetic Team

Nomination quote: “The team have been operating for the last 20 years providing general anaesthetics to children in the city’s adult hospitals; this allows SCH patients to access treatments which aren’t available at SCH such as radiotherapy, stereotactic radiosurgery and angiography. The work of the off-site GA team means that patients and families don’t have to travel to other cities to access these therapies, which for a course of radiotherapy can involve four to five weeks of daily treatment. 2019 has been a particularly busy year for the team with three treatments at Weston park running simultaneously and two stereotactic patients receiving treatment on the same day. A lot of planning and organisation goes into providing the service. To keep patients safe team members are required to undertake advanced life support training and carry with them a full inventory of emergency equipment which isn’t available in the adult units.”


Highly Commended (individual) - Ian Fitzpatrick, Rebecca Paling

Highly Commended (team) - The Speech & Language Therapy Team, The Radiology Team


Children’s Star Award

Winner (individual) - Getahun Tamrat (as above)

Winner (team) - The Eye Department (as above)

Highly Commended (individual) - Andrew Mills, Sufin Yap

Highly Commended (team) - The Rheumatology Team, The Sleep Team