Recognising our unsung heroes | Our news

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Recognising our unsung heroes

Last week, it was announced that not one, but two members of staff from our hospital have been shortlisted for a national Unsung Hero Award. The awards, established in 2015 aim to promote a sense of personal well–being and promote non-medical / non-clinical NHS Staff and Volunteers. 

Mel Crawford, Operations Manager for Serco is shortlisted in the Estates & Ancillary category while Catriona Rowland, our hospitals’ wellbeing co-lead and a quality improvement manager, is shortlisted in the Mental Wellness Champion category.

“To see two members of our staff shortlisted for an Unsung Hero Award is amazing”, says Adam Sewell-Jones, Chief Executive of Newham Hospital. “Over the last 20 months both Catriona and Mel have gone above and beyond in their roles. Mel and her team have worked long, late hours, cleaning and moving beds and equipment all around the hospital in order to keep everything and everyone safe and keep the hospital running. I can’t thank them enough.

“Catriona has been remarkable in her work to improve the physical and mental health and wellbeing of staff. From pioneering cycling to work and getting more staff to do so, to making it so that we have an offer of free massages for staff, she has taken up the mantle of mental health lead and run with it. I’m extremely grateful.”

Andrew Kelso, medical director of Newham Hospital who nominated Mel and Catriona says: "Mel is one of the most dedicated and hard-working people that I've ever had the pleasure of knowing. During the first Covid peak, she was by my side consistently during some of our darkest hours, and never failed to pick up and complete even the hardest of jobs. One of my abiding memories will be Mel's quiet assurances from the back of our safety huddles. Even when everything seemed to be going wrong, Mel made it seem manageable just by being there. She is a huge asset to this hospital, and we are lucky to be able to call her our colleague."

Speaking about Catriona, he continues: "Catriona is a true force of nature. With a hard-wired passion for staff wellbeing and improvement, she has gone through this hospital with a breath of fresh air that was much needed to blow away the stale whiff of Covid. With an adaptable style and a true curiosity in people, her enthusiasm and hard graft has transformed the working experience of many of her colleagues. As would be expected from an experienced improvement advisor and coach, she has used robust quality improvement methodologies to embed and sustain some of the changes she has made in the hospital, thus role modelling the behaviours seen by a true improver."

A huge congratulations to Mel and Catriona on being shortlisted – it’s very well deserved!

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