ECCH Staff Awards 2017

A specialist tuberculosis nurse who went to the aid of the victims of a serious road traffic accident she witnessed has been given an award for delivering exceptional care at East Coast Community Healthcare’s (ECCH) annual staff awards ceremony in Lowestoft.

Tracey Sutton is responsible for advising and caring for adults and children who have been diagnosed with TB in Great Yarmouth and Waveney. She meets patients in their own homes as well as clinics and frequently faces challenging situations. She recently suffered abuse from someone in her care but still continues to treat them.

ECCH chief executive Jonathan Williams said: “We have many exceptional members of staff but Tracey stood out after providing care in some of the most testing situations this year. Not only was she one of the first on the scene of a terrible accident but, in the course of her normal work, she was verbally abused by a patient and chased down the street. Despite being badly shaken, she continues to treat that individual, with extra safety measures in place. She always puts her patients first because she knows any break in their treatment could prove fatal and that is the type of outstanding commitment that makes me very proud of her and all our clinicians.”

Nine awards were presented at the event which was held at the Hotel Victoria in Lowestoft. The award for Inspirational Leader was shared between two staff members - Clinical Locality Manager Amanda Wheeler was recognised for leading the ECCH Health Visitors to be the highest performing team in the East of England and Community Nurse Lisa Judge received the award for her positive impact on the District Nursing team in the face of high levels of demand.

The Team of the Year award was presented to the Hospice at Home team who support patients with life limiting illnesses and their families. This year they received an Outstanding rating after an inspection by the Care Quality Commission who commended them for ‘going the extra mile’ to meet each patient’s individual needs and preferences.

The Lifetime Achievement Award went to Maureen Underdown who, at 73 years old, has had a career in nursing for 40 years, starting in community hospitals and now as a Community Nurse in Lowestoft. \On receiving the award, she said she loves her job and has no intention of retiring, every day making sure she comes to work with a smile knowing how important that is to her patients. ECCH Chair Tony Osmanski, who presented her award said: “Maureen is a real inspiration. She has a wealth of experience and an amazing ‘can do’ attitude that makes her popular with her patients and colleagues alike. She frequently goes above and beyond to provide the highest standard of healthcare and she is also an immense support to her team. 

The Innovation Award was given to three members of staff who came up with a training programme which combined baby weaning and infant resuscitation advice for parents in the Lowestoft and Waveney area. Health visitors Holly Calverly-Crabtree and Andrea Collins came up with the idea after parents told them they were often nervous about introducing lumpy food to babies in case they choked. The pair organised sessions at local Children’s Centres where they discussed heathy eating options before specialist trainer Simon Drewett helped parents practise the correct procedure for clearing an airway, using a simulator. The classes have all been booked to capacity and have received very positive feedback.

Rebecca Blackstone, a Project Support Officer with the Adult Services Directorate received the Unsung Hero award and the Emerging Talent award went to Community Nurse Alice Bond. The award for Making a Difference was awarded to Rosanna Shackleton and Jamie Weavers from the Business Intelligence Team for developing an improved data collection programme for ECCH’s Speech and Language Therapy service.

Two ‘ECCH Champion’ awards were given to members of staff whose commitment and professionalism make them ambassadors for the organisation. The winners were Su Flynn, an administrator from Sole Bay Health Centre, and Roxy King from ECCH’s Training and Development team.

Jonathan Williams said: “Our awards recognise the exceptional compassion and dedication that our staff demonstrate every day in caring for those in the communities we serve. They strive to provide the highest quality care and they are also extremely supportive of each other. I feel honoured to work with such skilled, forward-thinking and enthusiastic teams of people.”

ECCH would like to thank the event's sponsors James Hallam Insurance Brokers, Ontex, the Hotel Victoria, The IT Supplier and Kcom.