Hidden Heroes

Bili and Julie - Blood Tests

A mother would just like to thank Bili and Julie in Blood Tests for such a positive experience.

Her son is 6 and has Autism, and today was the first time he has ever had bloods taken. Both ladies were brilliant with him. They spoke to him directly and ensured they asked his permission to hold his arm etc.

They took things at his pace and Julie talked to him during the test. They then made lots of fuss of him afterwards for being so good- he was very pleased with his sticker, lego cards and choice of certificate!

The family felt really respected and the mother said: "If he ever needs another blood test I think he'd be more than happy to return!"

Ellie Ockwell

A mother would like to nominate midwife Ellie Ockwell as a Hidden Hero.

Ellie is an absolutely fantastic midwife and the family will never forget the care and support she showed them after what was a difficult labour. 

Paula Williams

Thank you to Paula, Healthcare Assistant on Wren, for always being so helpful and friendly. 

Nothing is ever too much trouble and you truly are a Hidden Hero.

Jenny Kinch

A mother would like to nominate Jenny Kinch, a midwife on the delivery suite, for being so patient and supportive during the birth of her son. She was encouraging and positive through the whole of her labour and made the mother feel confident and positive in everything that was happening. 

Jenny stayed with the family throughout the delivery and remained at the mothers side giving  words of encouragement the whole time.

Jenny also stayed past the end of her shift to ensure the family was OK, and popped in to see them on Hazel the following evening to check in on how they were doing.

"Not only was Jenny such a rock to me during labour and delivery, she also supported my husband throughout the whole experience. Jenny Kinch is a true #HiddenHero and I'm sure that anyone who has Jenny as their midwife through childbirth will agree," said the new mother.

A positive birthing experience

A new mother has had such a great experience during their first baby birth at GWH in January 2019.

They would like to nominate Hannah Summers  and Emma Sweeting from Delivery Suite and Ciara Fitzerald from Hazel ward as Hidden Heroes as they made the families experience, starting from induction through to final discharge, a life time memory.

"Whenever me and my husband talk about those days, it makes our eyes wet." said the happy new mother.  

"There is such a great passion these ladies have for their job in midwifery and birthing. Salute to them!"

A very positive experience

A member of staff would like to share their positive birthing experience: "I recently gave birth to a baby boy at GWH. I spent two days on Hazel ward being induced and then on day three my baby arrived. From the moment I stepped on the ward I was made to feel welcome, cared for and at home. I work in GWH and knew it was a fantastic hospital but I didn't realise just how amazing it was. The staff are incredible and I'll never be able to thank them enough.

"I was seen through labour by Laura Shepherd. She was brilliant, she made the experience calm, she made us feel at ease and we even shared some laughs through it. The end of the labour unfortunately was slightly more complicated medically but having Laura there made a huge difference, her kindness and professionalism made what was a scary experience a lot easier.

"A few days after birth unfortunately I found things not so easy. In a desperate state and suffering from post natal depression I called the midwife helpline at 8pm and spoke to Tracy Reynolds. She reassured me that what I was feeling was normal and she recommend that I come in to see her at the hospital. 

"I was seen quickly by a doctor who referred me to the mental health team. On discharge later that evening, after being prescribed medication and passed on to a community health team, Tracey told me that she was working again that night and if I wanted to call just for a chat I could.

"Since then I have had mental health teams calling, popping in, midwives doing the same, doctors monitoring, it has been like having a new little family to support me and I couldn't have done it without them. GWH is fantastic and every single person made me feel so at ease and that it was OK to feel the way I was feeling.

"There were so many other staff that helped along the way, including Michelle McShane, the community midwife who took me under her wing, the Intensive Mental Health Team and Millie, the student midwife on Hazel who was a pleasure to meet."

Claire Parks

A member of the public would like to nominate Claire, the Trusts Play Specialist on the children's ward. 

The nominee has a daughter who has spent time in a number of Trusts across the south west. Her daughter has coped so well with almost everything that has been thrown at her since her diagnosis, but she finds blood tests a little scary. 

Other Trusts have been unable to take the young girl's blood tests, but Claire has been a saving grace. Claire has been the only person who can calm the patient, and has an amazing ability to help the nominee's daughter feel brave and reassured. 

Claire has been able to relax the child in a way that no one else has been able to, and this member of the public would like to thank Claire so much for being an absolute rock to her and her daughter.  

Claire, you make the hospital experience of many children a lot easier with your smile, encouragements and play, Thank you for being a Hidden Hero. 

Severn Freewheelers

Severn FreewheelersSevern Freewheelers are one of the nationwide blood bike groups that provides a free service to the NHS. The GWH group is in its 11th year of service, and carried out in excess of 1200 jobs in 2018.

They carry anything that will fit on their bikes, but most typically they carry drugs, samples, patients notes and equipment as necessary.

They also carry breast milk which has been donated by mums and take it to the John Radcliffe Hospital at Oxford to be pasteurised and tested before it can be given to premature babies.

The Freewheelers operate between 7:00pm and 5:00am on weekdays and 24 hours on bank holidays, which includes Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year's Day. The work from each biker is also completely voluntary. 

Thank you so much to these amazing Hidden Heroes, who give up their time to transport the important drugs and documents across the country. Your work is truly invaluable and our staff are so grateful to you all. 


A member of the public would like to nominate all the porters as Hidden Heroes.

They are the most dedicated and professional people with a such caring attitudes.

The porters are like a large family that look after the whole hospital - they  are just amazing.

The whole midwifery team are amazing

A new mother would really would like to share how amazing her, and fellow parents alike, think the whole midwifery department are. 

From the midwives, consultants and admin staff she met on the Women's Health Team while pregnant, every single member of staff has only given her the utmost care and respect for the time she was with them. This mum said her and her family were made to feel like the most important people!

Of course, she would like to have a special mention for the amazing Martina, who delivered her little boy in March! She would recommend to any friend the maternity care given at the GWH.

Unfortunately, after just a few days at home with their new baby, this family ended up needing a short stay on the children's ward because their little man wasn't gaining weight.

The nurses and staff on this ward were also super supportive and completely understanding at this worrying time! They met Dr Rose again, and she remembered them from the newborn checks she had carried out on their baby just a few days before! 

Again this made them feel completely at ease and the only people that mattered in what could have been an easily stressful situation.

This new mum feels these amazing people are far too kind and caring to be human, the whole of GWH should feel proud of every single member of staff!

All of the parents who pass through our maternity services are forever thankful!

Wonderful care from ED

A patient would like to thank our ED staff for the wonderful care that she received on Monday last week, Friday this week and again this morning.

She has a heart-felt gratitude to the staff on the acute medical ward and coronary care unit.

Despite being exceptionally busy in A&E when she was first admitted, she was cared for very well.

An extra well done to Su Berry for juggling so many patients at any given time. Our patient are so grateful.

Amy from ED - inspiring a young patient

A patient who visited ED on 17 November and 21 November would like to thank ED for saving her life. She would like to particularly recognise Amy, saying: "Without her, I think I'd still be a mess.

"She helped me so much and just made me realise the reason I was alive and I am so, so happy for this.

"She has impacted me in so many ways. 

"Because of Amy, I want to work at the hospital when I leave school."

The Dove Unit - one large family

A patient would like to nominate all of the staff from the Dove Unit as Hidden Heroes. 

He has had the pleasure of their company over a period of almost three months over five stays this year and has told us that they are the most dedicated and professional people he has ever met. 

There is such a caring and over and above attitude in each if them. It truly is humbling. 

Dove Unit feels like a large family - just fabulous.

Amanda Horton

Amanda, COPD Clinical Lead Physiotherapist, has been nominated by a family member of a patient. 

The family member has explained that, her father is chronically & terminally ill with end stage COPD and he has been receiving care and support at home.

The family would like to thank Amanda as she is the most diligent, professional and caring  health care professional they have ever met.

She is proactive and responsive and she offers support & reassurance consistently to the patient and his family. Amanda uses language that is understandable to all and shows nothing but the utmost respect care and compassion to all.

She is reactive when it comes to engaging with other health care professionals and is always reliable.

Her expert knowledge of this disease has certainly given the patient extra months of life that he can enjoy with his family and grandchildren. Amanda is exceptional.

As a family, they cannot thank her enough and would like to recognise her as a Hidden Hero as a way of saying thank you. 

Cardiac Cath Lab - GWH's very own pit stop crew!

Helen Good, Paediatric Oncology nurse, would like to express her, and her husband's, gratitude for the excellent care received during his recent hospital stay. From linnet ward where he was initially admitted, then to CCU where he stayed overnight before surgery for a pacemaker.

A particularly huge thank you to the team in Cardiac Cath Lab. Without their skill and expertise, the outcome could have been different. Helen's husband was impressed by how the team worked together and even likened them to a pit stop crew! Each individual knew their role and performed it confidently.

To be discharged on the same day is without doubt revolutionary with such treatments now being available.

Georgie Mackie-Forrest - unwavering support

Care Home liason nurse, Georgie, should be recognised for her professional attitude towards her patients and their families.

Lynne Johnstone, Breast Clinic Admin, said: "She is such a lovely, caring person who has been so good with helping me cope with my mum who has dementia.

"Georgie visits my mum in the care home and reports back.

"Also Georgie's colleague Catherine has been an absolute godsend and I know that I can call on them at anytime when I need help or advice."

Well done do this brilliant duo for their unwavering support to patients and their families.

Integrated Community Equipment Store - the backbone to our community services

The Intergrated Community Equipment Store (ICES) are the backbone to community services.

Without their dedication, discharging and supporting patients within their own homes would be more difficult.

They work extended hours to ensure a patient is able to pass away at home, and avoid an uneccessary hospital admission where a patient wants to remain at home to be cared for.

Nothing is too much and they certainly put the patient at the heart of what they do - thank you ICES, you are appreciated and your work valued.

Thanks to all those who work in labs

A patient would like to nominate and thank every single person who works in the labs to process bloods and samples tirelessly round the clock so patients can get their results as quickly as possible.

Often, it is the clinicians who share the results with a patient but we believe it is important that you are not overlooked as the hard work that goes on behind the scenes to test samples and record the results is impeccable. 

Thank you labs!

Liz Day - a truly helpful hero 

Liz is the administrator for the sleep clinic. Liz Daly

She is always very friendly and helpful to any patient who telephones or visits the clinic.

Without her, the clinic would not run as efficiently as it does. She deals with all the e-referrals, appointments, messages and books all sleep nurse clinic appointments.

Thank you Liz for all your hard work and dedication!


Thanks from a patient to Surgeon Richard Payne

A patient has nominated Richard Payne as a Hidden Hero.

If it wasn't for surgeon Richard, the patient would not have seen his 28th birthday. Thanks to the hard work from Richard, he is now 32 years old, with a 16 month old daughter. He feels the fittest and healthiest he has ever done and loves his life. 

After the bleak news that the patient received, Richard did all he could to save his patients life. By carrying out yearly check up's, he makes sure things don't return for him and that they are caught early on if they do. 

The patient cannot thank Richard Payne enough for all he has done. He is a lifesaver and a true Hidden Hero. 

Royal College of Midwives thanks our maternity support workers

This week is Maternity Support Workers week and we want to raise recognition for our maternity staff. 

Today, 13 November, a drop in session was held for our maternity support workers to be thanked for their continued hard work over a cup of tea and a slice of cake.

Maternity Support Workers

There was information available from the RMC and staff were encouraged to share what they loved most about their maternity support workers. 

"They are the backbone to our team," one member of staff said.

"Always working flat out, they are a huge support to all of the midwifery team and we couldn't  do our job without them."

Cheryl, a maternity support worker, said: "I enjoy making a difference to new mums and their babies.

"I also enjoy being part of a team that puts ladies, their babies and their families first. 

"Our care is paramount." 

'Great Pathology Bake Off'

To celebrate National Pathology week (5-11 November), individuals from across Pathology participated in a 'Great Pathology Bake Off'.

Pathology Bake Off

The standard of the bakes produced were exceptional, extremely creative and certainly delicious!!

The idea sprung from Trudi Carey, Pathology Quality and Customer Engagement Manager, as she wanted to find a way for the team to celebrate National Pathology week and felt that the team all needed a giggle and a morale boost!   

The labs very rarely mingle with one another and a little inter-lab competition seemed like a good plan! The turnout was amazing - Trudi does not think she has ever seen so many of the team from the differing disciplines together in one room! It was great to see everyone having so much fun. 

Judges Angus Waddell and Alex Sternberg added to the humour with their very professional bake off descriptions of each entry- Pathology's very own Paul Hollywod's. 

Once judging was complete, the individuals took their cakes back to their respective teams to enjoy.

The Pathology team work tirelessly behind the scenes to provide a high quality service to its users and their hard work and dedication, not to mention great team spirit, deserves recognition.


Louise White and Sarah Kirwan - proactive occupational therapy leads

Our proactive occupational therapy leads, Louise White and Sarah Kirwan have been nominated for the OT Show's Outstanding Occupational Therapy Leadership and Innovation award!


They go above and beyond for their teams, ensuring that everyone feels appreciated and supported in such a fast paced environment.

Our occupational therapists are always trying to make life sweeter for our patients.

During occupational therapy week #OTWeek2018, the acute and community rehabilitation team had a cake sale and raised a total of £195 for the Brighter Futures radiotherapy appeal!

We're so fortunate to have an incredibly generous team of occupational therapists!

Natalie Harris - thank you from a patient

A patient would like to nominate Natalie Harris, Pain Clinic Secretary, as she is so lovely and helpful.

She is really understanding that people phoning her are likely to be experiencing awful times or will be in pain.

She listens, reassures and makes the patient's distressing experience with chronic pain much more relaxed simply by speaking with Natalie.

She puts the patient's mind at rest, works so hard and is an asset to such a team.

Sue Sheriffs -  amazing ward clerk

Sue Sheriffs, the ward clerk on Beech ward, is amazing!

Professional, organised, friendly and always works incredibly hard. She is exceptional with patients and their families too. 

She is a team player and truly the nicest, friendliest ward clerk.

Planned Care Secretaries - forever working tirelessly 

The Secretaries in Planned Care work tirelessly typing clinic letters to ensure patient's journeys aren't interrupted and ensuring changes in medications are known to the patient's GP.

They also speak with patients on the phone everyday, ensuring appointments and operations are in the pipeline, and if needs be new information is passed to the consultant.

Alongside this, they also ensure their consultants have everything they need and are kept happy. The consultants could not do their job as well as they do without their hard-working secretaries.

Walter Fernandez - always happy to lend a hand

Walter used to work as a Porter in Pharmacy and carried out bag runs throughout the day. 

He always had a smile on his face and always asked how the team and their families were. 

Walter is a much loved member of staff, and is always willing to come back to the Trust to lend a hand when needed.

He loves coming back to help, and the Pharmacy team love having him back. 

Amy Smith does an amazing job

Amy Smith, Patient Safety and Clinical Quality Information Analyst, works tirelessly in clinical risk to ensure the safety of patients.

It is a difficult job, but Amy is always so helpful. You only have to speak to her to brighten up your day. 

Amy, we couldn't do it without you!  

Cherwell Unit - Fantastic visual displays

Thank you to the Cherwell Team for their fantastic visual displays in their reception area.

Whatever the event, Easter, Summer, 70th Birthdays or Halloween, their displays brighten up the unit.

There is always something seasonal on show; from printed flip flops in August to a spooky, ghostly display in November. Staff and patients are always commenting on their hard work.

Thank you Cherwell!  

Walk in Centre - three awards!

The Walk in Centre team has won three awards recently:

  • Adult Nursing (Swindon) Placement of The Year 2018
  • Health Education England (South West) Placement of The Year 2018
  • Winner and overall Placement of The Year 2018 (from Oxford to Land's End), from 168 nominations of Midwives, OT's, physio's, paramedics, social workers, nurses etc.

Walk in Centre

Lisa Peplow (ENP), Tina Craig (ENP) and Katie Blackmore (student nurse) collected the awards at Oxford Brookes University in June on behalf of everybody at the Walk in Centre.

This was a great achievement for the Walk in Centre as they work so hard with students who love coming to the WIC for their placements.

For the team, it was about being recognised for the hard work they put in to the students' placements - they are our nurses of tomorrow. 


Enrico Sibunga - A Heroic Deed

When Theatre scrub nurse Marilou Paras' husband suffered a cardiac arrest during a basketball game in September 2013 at New College, they did not have a defibrillator machine or any emergency staff on hand to help.

Enrico, Cardiac Catheter Lab Nurse, jumped to action and carried out immediate and continuous CPR while waiting for the ambulance crew to arrive.

Edgardo Paras, who has been a Theatre Scrub Nurse for 14 years, made a full recovery with thanks to the heroic actions of Enrico and suffered no further complications.

Enrico acted with confidence, efficiency and dedication when carrying out the live-saving practice on Edgardo.   

"Enrico saved my husbands life," said Marilou.  

"My family and I can't thank him enough. I still have my husband and my children still have their father, all because of Encrico's help.

"I have long been waiting for his heroic deed to be recognised and want to take this opportunity to highlight what he did." 

Richard Pooley - Pharmacy Star Award

Every month, the pharmacy team recognises a member of staff who's gone the extra mile in supporting the department and this month's award goes to the ever shy, but lovely Richard Pooley. 

Richard Pooley

Richard plays an integral role in pharmacy as a Stores Ordering Clerk.

He goes above and beyond in supporting dispensary with requests and orders.

He always comes in early especially when a bulk order's been delivered because he knows that his team needs him now, more than ever.

He's also the first point of contact for staff and does not hesitate to help his team, even if it means added pressure on himself. 

He's known as the most generous member of staff in pharmacy and is well loved by his team. 

"We couldn't do it without you, Richard!"

Carole Nicholl, our Director of Governance and Assurance thanked Richard for doing such an amazing job.

She also admires how selfless he is and how he's always willing to lend a helping hand.   

Aramintta Creasey - Ede and Ravenscroft Scholarship AwardAramintta Creasey

Aramintta has just completed a two-year foundation degree at the University of Gloucester, as well as her placement on the Teal Ward at the Trust.

She was presented with this award after achieving the highest academic mark out of all students in the School of Nursing at Gloucester.

She attended a champagne reception and was presented with the award, joined by her tutor.

Aramintta is continuing with open university nursing and a further placement on Teal.


Nominate a Hidden Hero

Anyone can make a nomination - please just email us at gwh.comms@nhs.net.

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