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You Made a Difference - February 2024

A security officer who is so passionate about mental health he will be doing a parachute jump for CUH and a local co-ordinator for the newborn hearing screening programme (NHSP) are our winners of the February You Made a Difference awards.

Martyn Grass - YMAD Feb 2024 award winner
Martyn Grass, security officer

Martyn Grass has worked at CUH since October 2021. In that time he has become an integral part of the security team who is always looking at ways to improve the service the security team provide and will support others in any way he can.

Martyn is passionate about his role and giving the best service to patients, staff and visitors.

One area of excellence is Martyn’s passion towards mental health and supporting patients who attend the emergency department (ED) feeling they have nowhere to turn. Martyn will always give these patients the time they need and will often sit with them, just listening to their troubles and never judging. This, in turn, allows the medical teams to continue supporting other patients.

Over the last year, Martyn’s passion and commitment to mental health have shown as he and colleague Mark Byatt have discussed ways they can highlight the issues surrounding mental health - especially in young people.

These discussions led Martyn and Mark to arrange a tandem parachute jump to raise money for CUH through our charity, Addenbrooke’s Charitable Trust. Since the initial discussions, Martyn and Mark have managed to convince 10 other members of the security team to take part, with the parachute jump due to take place on Monday 13 May 2024. This shows just how dedicated Marytn is to CUH and our patients.

MartynGrass - YMAD Feb 2024 winner - skydive
Martyn and colleagues who will take part in the skydive for CUH

Below are extracts from Martyn’s nomination, which was submitted by a patient and endorsed by a colleague in the emergency department.

The patient said: “I would just like to say that even though I had to wait 15 hours, I thoroughly enjoyed my trip to the accident and emergency department.

“This is because of the lovely security officer, Martyn. He sat there and spoke to me when I was obviously upset and overwhelmed about my mental health, and he told me to never look back and keep looking forward.”

He is the loveliest, most compassionate man and I hope he sees this review personally. I'd like him to know that he made a big difference in my life and he is awesome.

Martyn’s emergency department colleague said: “I think this feedback is such a credit to Martyn who has gone above and beyond his role, showing kindness and compassion. Martyn truly made a difference to this patient's life and made what could have been an awful experience, a bearable one.”

If you’d like to find out more about Martyn and the team’s skydive please visit their JustGiving page here. (opens in a new tab)

MartynGrass and colleagues - YMAD feb 2024 winner
Martyn Grass and colleagues

Vicki started in her job as local co-ordinator for the newborn hearing screening programme (NHSP) in April 2009 and currently leads a team of 12 part-time newborn hearing screeners.

Vicki Banks YMAD Feb 2024
Vicki Banks, local co-ordinator, newborn hearing screening programme (NHSP)

Vicki is hardworking, looks after her team and is a fantastic lead. She runs the newborn hearing screening programme effectively and maintains outstanding performance levels.

Vicki is such an asset to the Rosie, especially when you include her work with the Cytomegalovirus (CMV) testing for newborns, which follows two failed hearing responses. CUH is the first Trust in England to offer this screening.

Vicki has now offered the services of the NHSP and the newborn hearing screeners to support the Digital Imaging versus Ophthalmoscopy Study’ (DIvO) – a pioneering cataract test for babies that has worldwide potential and has recently been featured on ITV News.

The digital camera used during the DIvO Study (opens in a new tab), called a Neocam, was invented by Consultant Paediatric Ophthalmologist, Dr Louise Allen from CUH. You can read more about the pioneering cataract test for babies on the CUH website here.

Vicki Banks YMAD Feb 2024 and colleagues
Vicki Banks and colleagues

Extracts from Vicki’s nomination, submitted by a colleague, said:

“Vicki has shown amazing leadership during a study to detect eye problems in newborn babies at the time of the newborn hearing screen.

We couldn't have run the study without her and her team's enthusiastic participation in the study, which is unfunded and must not go unrecognised.

“Vicki is an example of how NHS staff at CUH go above and beyond their roles to support innovation and research in the Trust, to the benefit of our patients.

“This is an on-going long-term commitment which started in August 2023 and will continue until August 2025.”