A paediatric healthcare assistant who coordinated an appeal for new toys for the children’s emergency waiting room and the head of the Trust’s patient experience team, who works to support carers and their families, are August’s You Made a Difference award winners.
Healthcare assistant, Ella Pettitt, started at the Trust in February 2015 working on ward D8 before joining the Paediatric Emergency Department in February 2017. As well as being described by colleagues as a great team member who is ‘a positive, happy and enthusiastic member of our team and an absolute joy to work with’ her team also say that ‘Ella is very resourceful and interacts well with colleagues and families alike.'
Ella’s resourcefulness was evident in her winning nomination: 'Ella made a local appeal on Facebook for toys to support children in the ED and also offered to collect the donations in her own time. The Facebook post attracted a lot of attention and was picked up by BBC Cambridgeshire who then came and interviewed Ella for the local news. Many children in the ED have enjoyed the new toys whilst in the department and the organisation has received some great publicity, all as a result of Ella's caring nature and wanting to do the best for our patients.’
Caring runs in the family, Ella’s father also works in the ED, her mother is a senior nurse and her sister has just completed her healthcare assistant training. Ella is leaving the Trust shortly to train as a secondary school PE teacher, one colleague said: ‘she will be missed but I also know she will succeed in anything she chooses to do.’
Nicola Hallows joined the Trust in August 2014 as the complaints and Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) manager and, additionally, in 2017 became the Trust’s head of patient experience.
Within her role, Nicola is responsible for supporting patients, families and members of the public in a variety of settings. She is described as a ‘conscientious and considerate member of staff, who has an unfailing commitment to improving patient and relative experience wherever possible.’
Her winning nomination read: ‘As chair of the carer plan group, Nicky always makes sure family carers are supported whilst their loved ones are patients at CUH. My husband who is living with complex medical conditions has received first class treatment at CUH. Nicky knows my husband’s conditions and has given me the gift of time and even provided my husband with his favourite biscuits. As this simple gesture made such a difference, Ian affectionately knows Nicky as “Biskit”.’
Although the PALS service does not provide direct patient care, Nicky ensures that patients, relatives and family carers are listened to and that the actions needed are followed through. I would like to thank Nicky for her professionalism and compassion.