‘HEALTHCARE heroes’ have been honoured at special awards ceremony.

The event was held to celebrate the work of Airedale NHS Foundation Trust staff.

Around 350 people attended the gathering – the fifth annual Pride of Airedale Awards.

As well as the presentations, the event – at the Rendezvous Hotel in Skipton – also included a reception, dinner and disco.

Awards were handed out across 11 categories, including team of the year, unsung hero and the Isobel Scarborough Award for outstanding patient experience.

Nominations totalled more than 270.

Brendan Brown, the trust’s chief executive, said: “This was my first experience of the Pride of Airedale Awards.

“The stories we have heard about our people going the extra mile to support patients, families and their own colleagues have been incredible. I am proud of everyone who was nominated.

“I was touched by the commitment of our teams, and in seeing how colleagues have developed and fulfilled their potential within their roles.”

One of the big winners was specialist nurse Pat Dyminski, the driving force behind a new mobile cancer unit, who scooped a hattrick of accolades – the Excellence in Innovation, Isobel Scarborough and Partnership awards.

“I am completely overwhelmed – to get awards for doing a job I love is humbling,” said Pat, from Low Utley.

“I work with some amazing people who give me lots of support and I couldn’t have done it without them.”

She won the Partnership Award with patient service manager Ian Donoghue, from Skipton.

He said: “Partnership working is what it’s all about.

“The only way we could have ever got the mobile cancer care unit set-up was by several partners coming together with their different skillsets and a shared vision of providing the best possible care for our patients.”

Other winners were:

* Ward of the Year – Ward 4

The elderly care ward was chosen in recognition of its commitment to high standards of care and keeping patients safe.

Senior sister Sarah Irving said: “This award is down to teamwork. We work hard and do our best in what can sometimes be very difficult circumstances, and we all look after each other. This award is for the entire team and I’m really proud of them all.”

* Colleague of the Year – Ridhdhi Desai

Ridhdhi was described as “extremely hard working, professional and passionate about dietetics, making sure patients get the right care at the right time." Her nomination said: “Her determination and scrutiny of detail will improve the lives of many of our community patients.”

She said she was shocked to receive the award. She added: “I love my job. I’m lucky to have a great manager and team, and I wake up every morning looking forward to coming to work. To win an award for doing a job I enjoy is amazing.”

* Apprentice of the Year – Kirsty Suleman

Kirsty, from Skipton, won the award for her “can do attitude and for the initiative she has shown – especially in developing a support package for carers, which was her own idea and implementation”. Her nomination said: “She certainly knows the meaning of the phrase ‘making every contact count’.”

Kirsty was an apprentice health care support worker but has now moved on to the trust’s nursing associates development programme, working with district nursing teams in Craven.

She said: “I’m so proud to win this award, and proud to be working with the district nurses – they’re amazing and make a massive difference to people’s lives.”

* Unsung Hero – Shakeel Rashid

Shakeel was recognised because he “continues to show hard work and dedication, going the extra mile”. His nomination said: “Shakeel is well respected, seen as supportive and approachable and provides an excellent role model for the team."

Shakeel, from Skipton, said: “I’m overwhelmed by the award – I did a double take when my name was called out! I never expected to win. It’s great to be recognised and the credit should go to my managers who have supported me to develop my role.”

* Leader of the Year – Jenny Nolan

Jenny is lead nurse in critical care.

Her nomination said: “She is fair and has high integrity, dealing with mistakes and excellence in a supportive manner. Jenny is justifiably popular with her staff. She is happy to roll-up her sleeves and muck in to any situation across the trust and continues to drive forward, leading from the front.”

Jenny said: “I was absolutely thrilled to be nominated and didn’t expect to win. It is very much a team effort, I’ve got a lovely bunch of people around me so I accept it on behalf of everyone in the unit!”

* Annual Pride Award – Dr Emily Jackson

Emily works in orthogeriatrics.

Her nomination said: “Emily started working at Airedale in 2017 and immediately began work on a quality improvement project regarding the use of SystmOne for safer patient handover. Emily goes above and beyond in her role in orthogeriatrics, taking everything in her stride, and even finds time to work in the emergency department at weekends.”

* Volunteer of the Year – David and Margaret Anthony

Volunteers with the Friends of Airedale, their nomination stated “their caring and helpful dispositions are always evident through their caring attitude” and “they cover shifts at short notice and in all weathers. Their help is priceless”.

Friends president, Eileen Proud, said: “David and Margaret were absolutely thrilled with the award. I was delighted too because they work so hard for us and they are ‘front of house’, which is always the beginning of the experience of the hospital.”

* Team of the Year – the bereavement midwifery team

Its nomination described how it “rises above adversity and transforms a sad event into a beautiful memory. The team recognised the isolation and emptiness felt by bereaved parents and formed the Sunbeam Support Group, which brings together families who have incurred miscarriage, stillbirth and neonatal losses to share memories of their cherished babies.”

The awards event was fully funded by donations from sponsors, and thanks were expressed by the trust’s director of human resources and workforce, Nick Parker.

“Without them it wouldn’t be possible,” he said.

Mr Parker added: “Our Pride of Airedale Awards are one of the ways we are able to say thank-you to our people for the great work they do every day to care for patients and our local population.

“It’s a great opportunity for people right across the trust to come together and celebrate the achievements of colleagues.”