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High Sheriffs celebrate dedication and compassion of Broadmoor Hospital staff

13 Mar 2018

The first ever High Sheriff’s Awards at Broadmoor Hospital took place on Monday 12 March 2018 (yesterday).

The Trust was honoured to welcome not just one but three High Sheriffs to the hospital. We were joined by the High Sheriff of The Royal County of Berkshire, Sarah Scrope; the High Sheriff of Oxfordshire, Jane Cranston; and the High Sheriff of Buckinghamshire, Peter Kara to present awards to six outstanding members of staff.

The awards came about when Leeanne McGee, the Trust’s Executive Director of High Secure and Forensic Services, spoke at the Berkshire Magistrates Association in 2017 where she met Sarah Scrope and offered a visit to local magistrates and district judges. Four visits were organised plus a separate session for the three High Sheriffs who visited Broadmoor in September. The High Sheriffs sent some very positive feedback to Leanne and said they were struck by the “dedication, professionalism, warmth and empathy of so many of your team” and wanted to recognise this.

At a ceremony in Broadmoor Hospital, the following staff were presented with awards to celebrate work over and above their job descriptions.

Dr Charles (Bob) Gordon, Specialty Doctor
Dr Gordon, who works on the highest security ward, won an award for delivering excellent care for his patients, displaying integrity, staying calm in challenging situations, and always being willing to support others. He shows commitment and dedication to his job and regularly goes beyond the call of duty.

Ken Wakatama, Clinical Nurse Specialist, Reducing Restrictive Practice
Ken, who has worked at Broadmoor Hospital for over 20 years, was recognised for always putting patients at the centre of everything he does. He is not afraid of making unpopular decisions that are for the long-term benefits of patients and embraces new ways of working. Leanne McGee commented: “Ken is one of the best nurses I have ever had the pleasure to work with.”

Paul Robertson, Assistant Practitioner
Paul is committed to continually improving the outcomes for patients through his enthusiasm, embracing best evidence-based practice and showing resilience and tenacity in driving change to services. A role model for other staff he displays all the characteristics that make an excellent practitioner: humour, pragmatism, anticipation of what may come next, a genuine interest in people, integrity and empathy. When faced by serious and unexpected events, he has shown a capacity to remain resilient.

Sheila Hale, Patients Benefit Manager
Sheila works over and above her job description to support patients to liaise with the Department for Work and Pensions and to manage their finances. She is committed to providing an accessible service and has introduced a dedicated phone line for patients to discuss their bank balance and benefits entitlements. Sheila also meets with patients individually on the wards to discuss their benefit claims, hospital accounts, savings accounts and property.

Venus Kan, Vocational Services Manager
Venus manages the areas of the hospital where patients gain work experience including the carpentry workshop, enterprises, occupational skills workshop and the patients’ shop and café. Venus has taken on the challenge of including patients who previously were considered too great a risk to use the service by grading activities and tools. She has also set up shorter ‘off ward’ sessions which have been warmly welcomed by patients. The Trust also benefits from Venus’ skills as an occupational therapist trained in psychotherapy and reflective practice.

Wendy Pickford, Domestic Assistant
Wendy was nominated for her friendly, professional and unassuming manner and for exceeding expectations. She is committed to the highest standards of cleanliness and has a very ‘can-do’ attitude where nothing is too much trouble for staff or patients alike. Wendy also works in the catering department with good humour, grace, professionalism and an approach of ‘is there anything more I can do?’ She often stays on over lunch breaks or after her contracted hours to finish a job so that patients receive an excellent service.

Carolyn Regan, Chief Executive, commented: “We are delighted to welcome the High Sheriffs back to Broadmoor Hospital and I would like to thank them for instigating this important event. One aspect of the role of High Sheriffs is taking part in initiatives to unite communities. This is where I feel there is a resonance with our work as we seek to reintegrate patients back into their communities when it is safe to do so, and to maintain positive community relations.

“We are very honoured that the High Sheriffs have chosen to recognise the work of staff in mental health services, which can be a hidden and misunderstood area of work. We have a huge number of unsung heroes in West London Mental Health NHS Trust, especially in Broadmoor Hospital, where we treat people with mental illness and personality disorders who represent a high degree of risk to themselves or to others. The work can be very demanding but a significant number of staff members choose to devote many years, or even their whole career, to caring for patients here.

“Although it can be a challenging place to work at times, it’s also extremely rewarding, and I am thrilled that we are celebrating these dedicated and unassuming staff today.”

The High Sheriff of The Royal County of Berkshire, Sarah Scrope said: “Our visit to Broadmoor opened our eyes to the incredible work that you do to better the lives of those in your care. We came away from here feeling impressed by the individual acts of dedication and compassion shown by many of those whom we met, who do their jobs not just with great professionalism, but with warmth and empathy too.

“We realised after our visit here that your vital, valuable work might, perhaps, be seldom acknowledged and more importantly appreciated by those in our communities.

“And that is why the three of us felt that some of your acts of exemplary service needed to be acknowledged and celebrated. We can go out into our communities and tell people we meet about the important and exceptional work that you are all doing. It is a privilege for us to be able to come here today and say, on behalf of our communities, well done and thank you to each and every one of you.”