Staff from the Northern Care Alliance NHS Foundation Trust have won three awards at this year’s Greater Manchester Health and Care Champion awards.
The NCA’s Cygnet team, who ensured no patient treated died alone during the pandemic at the NCA’s hospitals in Salford, Oldham, Bury and Rochdale, has won the Innovation Champion award.
Kathryn Haslam, a retuning nurse from Oldham Community Services, has won the Returning Champion Award.
A partnership between Salford Royal and Salford Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has won the Inclusion Champion award, for the Covid Vaccine Project for People with a Learning Disability.
Dr Owen Williams, NCA Trust Chief Executive, said:
“It is truly fantastic that these colleagues have been recognised for the part they are playing in saving and improving the lives of many people across Greater Manchester. They are an inspiration to me and many other colleagues from across the Northern Care Alliance and it is a real honour and privilege to work alongside them.”
Fiona Murphy MBE, NCA Group Director of Nursing, Palliative, End of Life and Bereavement said:
“I am so proud of the Cygnets and all they have achieved throughout the pandemic and afterwards. Nobody should have to die alone and the work they are doing makes a huge difference to end of life patients and their families. Well done!”
More about the winners
The Cygnet Team was developed as a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic. With restrictions in place, families and friends weren’t able to visit loved ones in hospitals and care homes resulting in people dying alone.
The Cygnets were recruited across a variety of services that were no longer able to function, including medical students and volunteers.
Passionate about supporting end of life care throughout the pandemic, the team provided essential and compassionate care and support for people as they approached the last days of life.
Each Cygnet carried a backpack with everything needed to fulfil their role and facilitate memory making, comfort, faith, and cultural beliefs.
Kathryn Haslam returned to the NHS during the pandemic after she left six years ago to set up a new business. Wanting to give back and help at the time of crisis she joined the Cygnet Team.
Supporting patients at their end of life she also helped support their families who were left behind. As well as being a Cygnet she would volunteer at her local community covid facility carrying out clinical shifts.
She’s since been promoted to unit sister and is always wearing a smile and motivating others.
The Salford CCG and the Covid Vaccine Project for People with a Learning Difficulty project was set up because the death rate from Covid-19 over 4.1 times higher for people living with a learning disability. The team were determined that having a learning disability would not become a barrier to having a vaccination.
The team trained up nurses, created easy to read COVID-19 vaccine leaflets and set up a dedicated vaccine booking line, and vaccines could be given either at home or at a vaccine centre, all making life easier for people living with a learning disability to understand COVID-19 and how to get support, advice and most importantly the vaccine.
About the awards
The Greater Manchester Health and Care Champion Awards 2021 took place on Thursday 11th November and due to the ongoing pandemic, the celebration was held virtually. Around 200 virtual guests, with friends and family, logged in to hear about the tremendous work of the 37 shortlisted candidates who have gone above and beyond during the pandemic.
The event was hosted by Manchester television presenter, Michelle Ackerley.
Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, said:
“What a superb night. It was a real honour to support this year’s awards and be part of the judging panel to select the winners. What these awards have shown us is that even when we are tested to our limits, like during a pandemic, people come together even more so to help improve the health and wellbeing of others. Without all these people the pandemic would have been more challenging - and our health and social care sector would be struggling. Congratulations to all of our winners – Greater Manchester is proud of you.”