December’s You Made A Difference award winners are a gastroenterology specialist nurse who ‘went the extra mile’ for a vulnerable patient and a healthcare team leader who offers support to patients when they need it most.
Catherine Hill (known as Cat) joined the Trust in 2007 and has worked in the dyspepsia team for the past four years. Her role involves seeing and supporting patients with dyspeptic symptoms and reviewing all the suspect oesophago-gastric cancer GP referrals. She makes sure the patients are also informed of their diagnosis in a clinic, supporting them throughout until they are safely under the care of the specialist team.
Her nomination said, ‘There are many other elements to Cat’s role but her real strengths lie in her kind, caring attitude and her willingness to go the extra mile to ensure patients feel safe and supported. She is always cheerful and is a pleasure to work with.’
‘Cat has recently shown exemplary care for a patient with learning difficulties who was diagnosed with oesophageal cancer. The patient found it difficult to understand her diagnosis and the extent of her illness, and also struggled to attend appointments. Cat showed a great deal of patience and concern and regularly called the patient to gently check her wellbeing. As a result, Cat was instrumental in arranging for the patient to be admitted on two occasions when the patient was not aware how extremely unwell she was.’
'Sadly the patient passed away as a result of her diagnosis but I have been really impressed to see the level of care that Cat provided, without which I am certain the patient would have had a much more difficult journey.’
When this happened, Cat stayed late at work to meet the patient as she arrived in the hospital and to ensure the ward staff understood her complex needs. After discharge Cat continued to show consistent high level support for this vulnerable patient.
Kate Sole joined the Trust as a healthcare assistant (HCA) in 2009 and began working as HCA team lead and chemotherapy coordinator five years ago. Her role involves prepping for the oncology and haematology day units, ensuring all chemotherapy is prescribed and has the relevant go-ahead for treatment. Kate also leads a team of band two and three healthcare assistants.
One of her winning nominations read, ‘Kate has been supporting my friend through chemotherapy for the past three and a half years. She has always listened to what she needs to ensure she can carry on living life to the full.'
'On a number of occasions Kate has moved things around and made time to ensure my friend can receive treatment and be able to go on holidays or make dates that are important to her. This plays a huge part in why she is able to keep going having had 83 rounds of chemotherapy so far.’
Her second nomination said, ‘Kate is an amazing person who repeatedly goes above and beyond to help patients get their treatment on time, or is simply there to support patients when needed. I had to see a distressed young woman who had travelled all the way from Birmingham for a second opinion and to seek treatment here. Kate stepped in and was able to support and react to the patient's needs and distress even though it took her away from her primary role. The patient was so grateful and transferred her care to us.'
She frequently has to make things happen and is one of those unseen "behind the scenes" workers, who rarely gets recognised.