Outstanding individuals and exceptional teams working and volunteering across Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust (LPT) were recognised for their efforts at a glittering awards ceremony on Friday evening.

The annual Celebrating Excellence Awards, held at the Athena in Leicester, brought some of the brightest stars of the Trust together to shine a light on their achievements over the last 12-months.

Hosted by Leicester poet Rob Gee, who also banks as a mental health nurse with LPT, the evening saw staff and teams presented with awards celebrating their extraordinary contribution to providing high quality care and wellbeing for all, after being nominated by the public, patients, service-users, carers, and colleagues.

Angela Hillery, chief executive of LPT, said: “Our staff and volunteers are our greatest asset, demonstrating compassionate care for all on a daily basis. These awards are our opportunity to thank them for their outstanding commitment to the people who use our services, to our LPT family, and to the NHS.”

LPT stars nominated from 13 categories took to the stage to pick up trophies reflecting their commitment to the Trust’s values of compassion, respect, integrity and trust.

In an unexpected twist, one category saw two separate winners invited on stage.

The Delivering Exceptional Care Award was presented to both the non-cancer lymphoedema service and therapeutic liaison workers Mohammed Kabbah and Damola Hazzan.

Mohamed and Damola were nominated on behalf of a member of the public after they went above and beyond to support a service-user at the Bradgate mental health unit to attend a family funeral.

The following awards were presented on the night to those teams and individuals who exemplify excellence and show what it means to be an LPT star.

Delivering Exceptional Care Award – presented to the non-cancer lymphoedema service and Mohamed Kabbah and Damola Hazzan.

The non-cancer lymphoedema service has been delivering exceptional care where there was previously a gap in provision. This innovative service, using trained podiatrists rather than nurses, has been developed from scratch by involving patients in designing it. The service has been so successful for non-cancer lymphoedema patients that it is now a permanent service LPT are able to offer.

Last November Mohamed and Damola made it possible for one of their patients, who was in the Bradgate Mental Health Unit, to attend the funeral of their partner. They facilitated this despite the funeral falling on a day when they were not in work and despite the extensive planning required. Their exceptional dedication to care towards their patient was recognised by the judges who decided to award two winners in this category.

Team of the Year Award – presented to the Specialist Autism team.

The Specialist Autism team was nominated for their outstanding commitment to delivering high quality care for autistic young people and adults across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland. Despite limited national evidence of best practice in the field, this team have developed a shared vision to ensure the service reflects the needs of autistic people through continued evaluation. Over the last year they have introduced a new confidential text messaging service called ChatAutism, and developed an online area called Autism Space on the LPT website. Despite being relatively new their impact is significant already.

Excellence in Quality Improvement or Innovation Award – presented to the Tissue Viability Service.

This community health service has introduced an innovative way of treating non-healing wounds faster in the community. Between May-September 2022 the service trained over 373 staff across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland, and captured data to measure the outcomes of patient’s progression pathways. Early results show a significant improvement in healing rates.

Excellence in Research Award – presented to DECODE Research team.

Running until the end of 2024, this research project – in partnership with Loughborough University – aims to harness artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies to help people with intellectual disabilities (1 in 100 of the population) who also have multiple long-term conditions (which may include diabetes and heart problems). Harnessing AI (artificial intelligence) and machine learning technologies, this research project has helped capture ‘actionable insights’ into designing better management approaches, clinical pathways, and addressing health inequalities experienced by the population of Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland.

Excellence in Partnerships Award – presented to Unscheduled Care Coordination Hub.

The care coordination hub was set up in April 2022 with the aim of taking responsibility for managing the needs of sub-acute patients who are not seriously ill but are at immediate risk of attending hospital or needing an ambulance. To date the hub, which is made up of multiple organisations across the NHS and social care, has been able to manage more than 3,500 patients, diverting away from an East Midlands Ambulance Service (EMAS) call out and providing advice, support and intervention instantly to support patients to remain safely at home. The hub can divert almost all cases they receive to alternative pathways, avoiding an EMAS call out.

Excellence in Enabling Services Award – presented to the Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) team.

The IPC team have worked in extraordinary circumstances to enable and support LPT to deliver high quality, safe care, often working at times outside of normal working hours to ensure rapidly changing clinical guidance is updated and communicated, both throughout and following the Covid pandemic.

Group Excellence Award – presented to the WeImproveQ team.

Over the last 12-months the WeImproveQ team have developed a new training model for quality improvement which is being implemented across both LPT and our ‘buddy’ Trust – Northamptonshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust (NHFT). This has resulted in a more seamless approach and mutual benefits when working on joint quality improvement projects across the Group.

Excellence in Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Award – presented to Aleem Jaffer.

Aleem has gone above and beyond in establishing a staff neurodiversity network within LPT. He set-up the group which he now chairs and has grown the membership so that more staff feel supported.

Excellence in Leadership Award – presented to Caroline Wears.

Caroline’s leadership of the Heart Failure team is so effective that her team are motivated, engaged and invested in delivering the high standards of care. She led the team with setting up the community health First Response service which aims to reduce hospital readmissions within the Heart Failure service.

Learner of the Year Award – presented to Catrina O’Regan.

Cat, who is a clinical team leader for learning disability services, has demonstrated commitment, motivation and compassion which has not only received positive feedback from people with learning disabilities and their families, but has led to improvements in patient care, having identified numerous unmet health needs. Her end-of-year evaluation report has led to reasonable adjustment recommendations being made for 223 patients.

Unsung Hero of the Year Award – presented to Patsy Huband.

Over the past year, Patsy, who is a community hospitals practice development nurse, has given full commitment to our ward teams, in particularly our international recruited nurses working side-by-side with them and supporting the many requests from the senior nursing team. Patsy can be tenacious and always does the right thing by her patients and teams, she fully embodies our Trust values of compassion, respect, integrity and trust.

Volunteer of the Year Award – presented to Azar Richardson.

Azar sits on a Quality Improvement Design Huddle as an expert by experience, and enables discussions around the benefits and opportunities of meaningful service-user involvement in quality improvement initiatives across LPT services.  This means that at the very beginning of a project there is consideration for service-user involvement and how that could work for the project team, and what benefits that would bring for the outcomes of the projects.

Excellence in Patient or Involvement Award – presented to Emily Robertshaw and LPT Youth Advisory Board (YAB) Members.

Emily, who works in LPT’s patient involvement and experience team, has been instrumental in providing opportunities to the young people who volunteer in the Trust’s Youth Advisory Board (YAB) The YAB have provided incredible insight on co-designing patient pathways, contributed to ‘youth proofing’ patient information and co-designing training for staff, including a transgender awareness video.

Thank you to our sponsors who made the evening possible – headline sponsor Dunelm and event sponsor Tilbury Douglas, plus award category sponsors – HCRG and CPC Drive in partnership with Tusker, and drinks reception sponsor Lexmark.