So, what do you do if you’re planning a big event and then find yourself in a pandemic lockdown? That was the question Wirral Community Health and Care NHS Foundation Trust asked itself back in March just days before it was due to hold its annual Heart Awards event which had to be postponed due to COVID-19.
The event celebrates and recognises the achievements of NHS staff and would have brought together 300 colleagues from the community trust to present a number of awards for the following categories; Exceptional Care, Innovation, Excellence in Partnership, Volunteer of the Year, Inspirational Leadership, Quality Improvement, Outstanding Achievement and the People’s Heart Award.
With no realistic expectations on when the event might be held due to COVID-19 and social distancing, the Trust hit on the innovative idea to do them virtually and stream the presentations live on YouTube to all the staff and surprise each winner in their place of work.
So over eight days, Trust Chief Executive, Karen Howell presented each award live and on location to those colleagues and teams who had won a Heart Award for their respective category. Compered by Roger Johnson from BBC North West, staff could tune in and watch live each day at 12 noon and share in the amazing work being done by colleagues.
The final award, the People’s Heart Award was promoted in the Wirral Globe back in January and invited the public to nominate a member of staff or a team from the community trust who had given them outstanding care. This year’s winner was Sheila Nugent, Specialist Palliative Care Nurse who received her award live with Karen at Wirral’s St John’s Hospice. You can watch Sheila’s presentation here!
Chief Executive, Karen Howell said: “Doing our Heart Awards virtually has meant that we’ve been able to recognise our staff in a timely and safe way following the postponement of the event back in March. It’s been wonderful to be able to share their achievements across our Trust and allow as many of our staff as possible watch live and join in during these challenging times. Staff have really engaged with it and the videos so far have had nearly 2000 views!”
Sheila Nugent, Specialist Palliative Care Nurse said: “It’s an absolute privilege to be nominated by the patients, carers and the public, it just means the world. We do this job day in day out and every day and we’re so lucky to be able to make a difference to people’s lives and I know all my colleagues would say the same.”
Sheila went on to thank her family for their support and said that they’d be delighted to see her receive this award.
Thank you to the following organisations for their sponsorship and support: Wirral Globe, Hill Dickinson, Innovation Agency, Assista Consulting, Yellowfin and Elerbanks Ltd.