The outstanding work of UHBW staff has been recognised by local MPs, with two award wins at the South West NHS Parliamentary Awards.
Joshua Bell, a nursing assistant at Weston General Hospital, has won the ‘NHS Rising Star Award’, and the ‘Excellence in Urgent and Emergency Care Award’ has gone to the South West Critical Care Transfer Service.
The South West Critical Care Transfer Service was piloted in April 2020 to help relieve pressure on the region’s hospitals during the COVID-19 pandemic, by safely moving critically ill patients between intensive care units.
Dr Scott Grier, the South West Critical Care Network (SWCCN) Lead for Transfer, was tasked with developing this service and, incredibly, it was ready to launch in just nine days.
Collaborating with the South West Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SWASFT) and the Nightingale Hospital Bristol, hosted by North Bristol NHS Trust, they developed the concept and brought together components of the SWCCN, Great Western Air Ambulance Charity, Wiltshire Air Ambulance Charity and the SWAFT Hazardous Area Response Team (HART).
The service utilised dedicated vehicles, medical staff and equipment, reducing demand on hospital resources, and supported by a team of specialist paramedics redeployed from the air ambulances and HART.
This ground-breaking service operated for four weeks before being put on standby, ready to respond in case of a second wave. In that short time it transported a total of 35 patients, visiting every intensive care hospital in the Severn region (Bristol, Gloucester, Cheltenham, Swindon, Bath, Weston-super-Mare, Taunton) as well as London, Wales and Devon.
Following the success of the pilot and the extremely high standard it was able to operate at, the concept was developed further and led to the commissioning and launch of Retrieve, a dedicated South West Adult Critical Care Transfer Service, which is one of the first of its kind in England.
Retrieve, which is now hosted at UHBW, will transfer adults aged 16 and above and compliments WATCh (Wales & West Acute Transport for Children Service) and NEST (Newborn Emergency Stabilisation and Transport Team), which provide similar services for children and newborns and are also hosted by the Trust.
Dr Scott Grier, lead consultant for the Retrieve service, said:
“I am delighted that the South West Adult Critical Care Transfer Service has been nominated for an NHS Parliamentary Award.
“This service was a collaboration between the South West Critical Care Network, South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust and the Nightingale Hospitals in the South West to deliver a new critical care transfer service to enable COVID-19 patients to be moved around our region.
“This temporary service has led to the development of Retrieve, an NHS commissioned Adult Critical Care Transfer Service for the South West – one of the first in the country.
“It has been a privilege to work with a large number of colleagues and partners in the region to develop such a positive legacy from the pandemic, fundamentally changing the way critically ill and injured patients are transferring around the South West.”
Jack Lopresti, MP for Filton and Bradley Stoke, put forward the South West Critical Care Transfer Service’s nomination. He said:
“I am absolutely delighted that the South West Critical Care Transfer Service has been named a regional champion in the Excellence in Urgent and Emergency Care Award Category for the NHS Parliamentary Awards, and are on the shortlist for a national award next year.
“The Service was rapidly set up over the summer and has since been vital in our region’s response to the coronavirus pandemic. The staff work incredibly hard and should be very proud of their achievements this year. It was an honour to be able to nominate them for this important award.”
Josh Bell is nursing assistant who is known across the Trust for his passion for healthcare. As a young child he received lifesaving treatment at Bristol Royal Hospital for Children (BRHC) and has been dedicated to giving back to the NHS ever since.
He’s worked both at Weston General Hospital and at Bristol Royal Hospital for Children, and has a particular interest in emergency and intensive care, especially in looking after patients with sepsis.
He has had to quickly adapt and learn throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, sometimes working at short notice and always providing the best patient care. Having been a patient throughout his childhood he is able to understand the needs of those he cares for, taking a holistic approach.
His dedication is further illustrated by the voluntary roles which Josh has taken on. He is the sepsis ambassador and champion at Weston General Hospital, a volunteer clinical educator for the UK’s Sepsis Trust, a Freedom to Speak Up advocate and, outside of the Trust, is an operational first aider with St John Ambulance. Josh has also supported the work of the lead resuscitation officer and the lead nurse for sepsis and deterioration of patients.
Simply put, Josh is an outstanding role model and a shining example of what perseverance, hard work and commitment can achieve.
Upon finding out about his award win, Josh said:
“It was a shock to say the least!”
“Being a nursing assistant in the NHS is an incredible career and I have met the most amazing people within my various teams.”
“Being able to support patients holistically and in their hour of need, especially in the emergency department, through my involvement with St John Ambulance and also supporting patients and their families who have been diagnosed with sepsis, is such a rewarding job to do too.”
“I can honestly say that working in the NHS, for me, is the best type of career and I would recommend it to anyone.”
“Particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic, I have seen that teamwork really does make the dream work, and I feel privileged to have been given this award for doing a career that I have wanted to do all my life.”
“I hope to go on to become a paramedic in the near future and also develop a sepsis support service to provide support for both staff and the patients and their families that we serve in our local communities.”
John Penrose, MP for Weston-super-Mare, submitted Joshua’s nomination to the NHS Parliamentary Awards. He said:
“Huge congratulations to Joshua, our very own NHS Rising Star!
“Winning this kind of award is impressive in normal times, but in the middle of a pandemic it’s outstandingly good.
“Many thanks Joshua; we’re all proud of you!”
Robert Woolley, chief executive of University Hospitals Bristol and Weston NHS Foundation Trust, said
“This is a fantastic achievement and I would like to congratulate both of our winners on receiving this recognition from our local MPs.
“They have proved themselves to be dedicated to providing the highest level of patient care, and are a credit to our Trust and the wider NHS.
“I would like to wish Josh and the South West Critical Care Transfer Service team the very best of luck for the national awards; we are very proud to call them members of Team UHBW.”