June 22, 2024

South West News

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London Care Workers Scoop Top Prizes at Health and Social Care Awards

Care workers from London are celebrating after scooping top prizes at a national health and social care awards.

The Cygnet Group Achievement Awards are a day of celebration for caring, dedicated and hard-working colleagues across the sector.

The company, Cygnet Group, is a leading provider of health and social care services for young people and adults with mental health needs, acquired brain injuries, eating disorders, autism and learning disabilities within the UK.

Held last year for the first time, the awards are open to 11,000 staff across Healthcare, Social Care and Support Services, to honour colleagues across all departments and job roles who go above and beyond to ensure service users receive the highest quality care.

The awards took place at the Edgbaston Cricket Ground in Birmingham and recognised the individuals and teams who made outstanding contributions. Colleagues were able to nominate one another and there were nearly 1,200 nominations across 15 categories, all judged by different, independent panels recognising the range of skills across the Cygnet workforce – including support workers, clinicians, chefs, IT, nursing and all the other vital roles.

Florence Ajibade is a Staff Co-ordinator at Cygnet Hospital Beckton, on Tunnan Leys, which has four different specialist wards including mental health with learning disability, personality disorder and an acute admissions service.

She won the Care (Joy in Work) award recognised a team or individual who demonstrates an outstanding commitment to making Cygnet a great place to work. Judges were looking for evidence of initiatives that bring ‘joy in work’, build community spirit and inject fun into the workplace.

The nomination script for Florence read: “Florence is outstanding in terms of staff support. She has been amazing at welcoming new international nurses to the hospital – supporting them to settle in, guiding them through induction and always being there for them, every step of the way.

“Florence brings about laughter, dancing, fun and cake to the workplace! She is outstanding in terms of staff support. Florence’s motto is always to be positive, no matter what.”

Upon receiving the award, Florence said: “I’m so proud to be winner of this award, I’m really grateful and I’m quite emotional because I feel so proud of myself for the recognition given to me.

“We are like a family here and I do anything I can to boost morale and to put a smile on everybody’s faces.”

Emma Hahn, an Occupational Therapist at Cygnet Hospital Churchill, on Lambeth Road, a mental health hospital for men, was awarded the Trust, Helping Hand award which recognised an individual who has shown how they work flexibly together with a clear commitment to co-production, overcoming barriers and innovating to make Cygnet services even better.

Judges looked for evidence of a collaborative approach to improving care and services and how they have engaged others to develop new initiatives, ways of working or delivering care. They also wanted examples of how their work is inspiring others through sharing learning, best practice and experience.

Jon Van Niekerk, Group Clinical Director at Cygnet Group, said: “Emma is a professional who consistently goes above and beyond her role, demonstrating unwavering dedication and compassion.

“Recognising that the discharge process is a pivotal point in a patient’s recovery, Emma works tirelessly to ensure patients have the necessary resources and support systems in place when they return home. She collaborates closely with other healthcare professionals, family members, and community organisations to establish a robust network of support for her patients. By doing so, she significantly enhances their chances of continued progress and successful reintegration into their daily lives.”

After collecting her award, Emma said: “I wasn’t expecting this at all, it feels amazing to be recognised. Every day is a joy going to work and making a positive difference to people’s lives.

To be recognised for doing a good job is an incredible feeling and I do work with the most amazing team.

It’s a fast paced job but I am working with a team that’s really dynamic and there’s incredible experience around me.”

David Sanchez-Heredia is a senior support worker at Cygnet Hospital Churchill and scooped the Learner of the Year award, given to an individual who has applied their learning or research within the last year to make positive improvements.

Mandy Blanchard, Head of Learning and Development at Cygnet Group, said: “David is a highly respected member of staff who has overcome so many barriers to develop the refined expertise and leadership qualities he displays.

“He has completed his apprenticeship course and has begun his journey onto the Nurse Associate programme. He recently achieved 100% in his OSCE exam and his colleagues say he will be a valued member of any nursing team in the future.”

Dr Tony Romero, CEO of Cygnet Group, said: “These awards are incredibly uplifting, hearing the countless stories about how so many of our staff have provided life-changing care and support.

 “Cygnet has a proud, 35-year history of providing quality care to some of society’s most vulnerable. From the very beginning, back in 1988, it has been the caring nature of our staff who have played the greatest role in ensuring we change lives for the better. Their hard work and dedication are the foundation of our success, and I am proud to work alongside such exceptional individuals and teams. They really do go above and beyond to give our service users hope of a brighter future.”