Congratulations to our STAR award winners:


Congratulations to Mr Sha-Nawaz Ruhomauly, latest winner of a Gold Star Award. Mr Ruhomauly was nominated by a patient, who said,

"This is now my time to express my sincere gratitude for being not only my ‘Life Saver’ but for all your kindness, compassion and empathy you have shown me during the last 8 years.I remember March 2014 when you had to tell me I had breast cancer and I cried in your office with the lovely Nancy in the room. From that point forward I knew there was no one else I wanted looking after me, my life was in your hands and the trust I immediately found in you at that point has remained there the last 8 years and grown stronger. From your personal words of comfort, coming to see me just before I went down for surgery, throughout my treatment process and any time when new pains, or urgent scans have been needed, addressing during the last 8 years, you made sure I was seen in clinic immediately and arranged everything, even called me personally when you were able to give me good news that the cancer had not spread. You have always said to me it has been ‘team work’ and I think we have made a fabulous team. Your support, guidance and reassurance has been totally invaluable. So here is the hard bit for me, to say ‘goodbye to you’, as I write this once again I have tears, this time they are tears of another new chapter in life ‘no longer being on cancer medication’ and heartfelt thanks to you. I will ‘miss you’ and forever remember you with the kindness and compassion you always have given me. You enabled my life to continue and become the person I am today."

Well done Sha-Nawaz!

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Congratulations to Neil Williams, who is the latest winner of a Gold Star Award! Neil was nominated by a patient who said:

"I am writing to thank the members of staff in the A&E department who provided me with truly exceptional care yesterday, despite clearly working in extremely busy circumstances. Each member of staff I interacted with, from the moment I walked through the door to the time I left the hospital, was kind and caring towards me. I had been sent to A&E by my dentist, as I had had a tooth extraction issue which would not stop bleeding. I was in a lot of pain, and the staff were all very sympathetic to this. I would like to make specific mention of Neil Williams, the clinician who I was in the care of most. He was exceptionally thoughtful and provided me with some of the best care I have received at a hospital. Considering my issue was really a dental one, he took my bloods to rule out this as the reason for my excessive bleeding, and then spoke to many colleagues about potential ways to help me. Medically, I understood there was not much that could be done for me by the staff at the hospital, but Neil found a few innovative ways to reduce the issue slightly. Once he was able to find a specialist to look at my mouth, they concluded together that I should be sent back to the dentist. Not only did Neil speak to my dentist on the phone to ensure they understood that it was their responsibility to care for me, but he also handwrote a letter for me to take along. Throughout this very stressful experience, Neil was kind, upbeat, and clearly concerned for my personal well-being. It was encouraging hearing him ask for advice from colleagues, because this kind of humility and team-work in the face of an odd problem always leads to the best outcome. The supportive, personalised and professional care I received from Neil and everyone else in the team made me feel incredibly safe and much less scared than I had been"

Well done Neil!

teresa award 2.jpgTeresa works hard every day and is always busy helping members of the team.

Recently, whilst the department was under pressure, Teresa managed the department on her own.

Whilst managing the department, a staff member became ill and had to attend A&E. Teresa made sure they were okay and accompanied to A&E by another member of staff.

Teresa carried on throughout the day making sure the work was being done and checking that orders for theatres and clinics were up to date.

I am pleased to say that no operations were cancelled and every department received what they requested, despite all of the complications.

Teresa continuously strives for excellence, she cares deeply about our patients and always has their best interests at heart. She is professional and respectful to other members of staff at all times.

Nominated by Lisa Smith.


Congratulations to Neil Perry, latest winner of a Gold Star Award! Neil was nominated by Andrew Hartopp, who said:

"Neil in his role as Chief Information Officer has been pivotal in helping the anaesthetic department to secure national funding for the digitalisation of anaesthesia. He has spent a considerable amount of time, learning about our niche area and the nuances of how we operate. As a result of his work, negotiating skills and leadership, the ICS was successful in its application for a multi-million pound grant to procure a Best in Klas system known as i-Procedures. The announcement of funds and nationally imposed deadlines had exceedingly short timelines which created a huge challenge. He successfully negotiated these obstacles, to coordinate a successful bid application in conjunction with the other CIOs in the region.

Furthermore, as a result of his behind the scenes hard work, and his understanding of our needs, particularly with respect to data analytics, he ensured that Dartford and Gravesham received a larger proportion of the grant so that we were able to have all of the iProcedures modules from pre-assessment to recovery, which no other Trust in the country has managed to secure. As a department we are highly indebted to him for all that he done for us thus far."

Well done Neil!


Congratulations to Joanna Porter, latest winner of a Gold Star Award! Joanna was nominated by Laura Waller, who said:

"Jo joined the gynae team just over a year ago as a junior sister, and then stepped up to band 7 senior sister earlier this year. She has had such a positive impact since she arrived and has been pivotal in a number of projects.

Jo has managed to phase out our paper diary for clinics and created an online 'live' diary which all clinic staff are able to view - when you have a 5 week clinic rota, this is no mean feat!  Jo also put out a poster calling for bank staff to come and visit the department as we were struggling to fill bank shifts - possibly due to staff being unsure of the unknown - and from that we have got some regular bank staff and one of them was even successful in getting a permanent position within the team.

Jo is so supportive and approachable and nothing is too much trouble for her. Jo is always happy to help and often goes above and beyond for her patients and staff. I've lost track of the number of times that I've heard Jo say, 'the patient comes first!'.

Jo has been an incredible support to me personally, too. She's always there to offer a listening ear or a hug - that is the same for all of her staff.

Jo is so enthusiastic and passionate about women's health. She is always keen to try new things and new ways of working.

Despite being heavily pregnant, Jo is always the first to offer help.  Jo is always doing things from home or coming in out of hours to check on things (despite being told to rest!!).

I have received lots of wonderful feedback from staff and patients alike and would like to say a huge thank you to her for her wonderful attitude and her commitment to her staff and patients.

She really is a star to me!"

Well done Joanna!

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Congratulations to Charlotte Paterson, who is the latest winner of a Silver Star Award! Charlotte was nominated by Samara Small, who said:

"Recently in the general medical team within the Occupational therapy team we have been extremely understaffed.Charlotte is the band 7 team lead and never fails to inspire and encourage the team to remain positive. She works as hard as the ward therapist.She takes time out of her schedule to not only support and lead the team, but to offer advice and care for patients.This also involves seeing patients each day face to face.She is professional, caring and motivates our team to move forward, to learn and progress and be resilient. She is always helping and supporting the team to advocate for patients, treating patients and staff with dignity and respect. Her attitude in the workplace is simply amazing her positivity is infectious and I feel her hard work and dedication to the team and patients’ needs to be recognised and rewarded"

Well done Charlotte!

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Congratulations to Tina Mitchell, the latest winner of a Silver Star Award! Tina was nominated by Kim Pennington, who said:

"Tina is a highly experienced Urology CNS, who is highly thought of and respected and much valued by the teams she works in and for She has recently taken on the role as lead CNS for the unit and is relishing every aspect of her new role and as such she is helping us to redesign certain aspects of the service as well as review clinic utilisation to support our 2 week wait target whilst improving the patient pathway allowing for a better patient experience.

Tina works across both sites delivering a much needed cystoscopy and urodynamic service whilst helping the service to deliver on our cystoscopy targets by working extra shifts supported by the wider team She is an asset to the team and her new ideas and her knowledgeable personable approach make her the ideal lead for the service."

Well done Tina!

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Congratulations to Pramod Zantye, who is the latest winner of a Gold Star Award! Pramod was nominated by Ning Tse, who said

"Pramod Zantye is my practice assessor in ITU. He is not only a brilliant experienced ITU nurse but also a fantastic practice assessor for nursing students. He has gone above and beyond to help me with my ITU learning experience. For the first shift with him, he already laid out a plan with me together for my learning.

Since my first day working with him, He has been fantastic. He made me feel included in what was going on. I have learnt a lot from him about critical care nursing. I have flourished. I have built up my competency and consolidated many nursing skills. He is always so calm and patient with all my questions and also provides many great learning opportunities. He has supported me to get my skills signed which helped me to continue to take the next steps in my nursing degree. He helped me to improved my confidence massively as well. I have thoroughly enjoyed every single shift in ITU shadowing with him. He is amazing to provide care to patients under the challenge of working during high-stress and intense situations. I have felt so privileged to learn from Pramod.

Pramod is not only a huge credit to ITU team but also to D&G Trust. I am sure all the invaluable skills that I’ve learnt from him, will support my whole nursing career journey."

Well done Pramod!

Lynn McSorley

Lynn provides exceptional support to the division, and manages the Governance of Paediatrics, Gynae and Radiology. In the last year she has overhauled the entire Governance process in radiology.

She consistently works over and above her contracted hours to ensure that she is there for staff and patients alike. She helps to keep things proceeding in a timely manner, making sure that we are all on track with our complaints responses, PALS responses, Datix and GIRFT.

Lynn is unrelenting in her approach and keeps us all on our toes, always ensuring that the needs of the patient are put first.

We honestly don’t know what we would do without her in the Division and we are so very grateful for all that she does.

We would be so grateful if she could be recognised for always going above and beyond what is expected.

Nominated by: Laura Waller and Emily Bell

Matt DunckleyMatt is the embodiment of Trust values in all areas of his work.

Matt wears many ‘hats’ within his role in the Surgical Division, from establishing and continuing to be the lead clinician and driving force behind the successful Surgical Assessment Unit to Divisional Mortality Lead and Consultant Governance Lead for Surgery, Matt shows integrity, respect and an affable approach to the multidisciplinary team who have the pleasure of working with him.

He is a well-respected clinician amongst his peers, but also the wider Trust and the ‘go to’ for all things patient safety for surgery.

Improvements to patient safety and patient experience is at the core of all things Matt does. He strives and succeeds in always identifying learning and most importantly embed areas for change to improve process and practice for staff and our patients.

Matt has also outstandingly represented the Trust at national and international complaint summits to aid his medical colleagues in a very challenging and sometimes exceptionally difficult topic, but he does this with empathy and always with improvement in mind, not blame.

Matt is and remains an exceptional asset to the Surgical Division and is a worthy winner of a Trust star award.

Nominated by: Kim Pennington and Abhi Gupta


Congratulations to Paula Beard, who is the latest winner of a Silver Star Award! Paula was nominated by Sukie Gill, who said

"Paula has been employed within the Surgical Division for 12 months. Her service is instrumental in ensuring Infection Prevention and Control standards in Housekeeping are achieved throughout the surgical division.She is primarily based on Acer unit; however, she is often deployed to other areas to provide support, assistance, guidance and training.

Although this can be a challenging role at times, she is passionate about her responsibilities and always attempts to resolve any issues or concerns within a timely manner. She has been pivotal in working closely with the infection prevention and control team developing a cleaning schedule, which was rolled out across the surgical division. She is keen to make a positive impact not only for the patients but also for their relatives and for the staff. Having a clean and safe environment for all is not good for the bugs and bacteria but great for our patients and staff. Paula acted beyond in being the lead housekeeper for the Surgical Division, furthermore she has been called upon to provide her housekeeping expertise in preparing our surgical wards, namely Redwood, Acer, Juniper, Rowan and Cherry for their ward accreditations. Maple ward is patiently awaiting her support and guidance as they have their ward accreditation in the next few weeks.

Thank You Paula for all you hard work and keeping our ward areas clean. If we could bottle Paula she would be a sell out, however she is not for sale."

Well done Paula!

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Chestnut ward have received a silver star award for the experience they gave to a trainee nursing associate (TNA). This TNA is external to the Trust and who usually works with a GP practice but as part of her programme required a placement in the acute trust and was allocated to Chestnut ward. She wrote the following:

"From the day I started I felt so at ease and was given a introduction to the ward, I was assigned a supervisor and assessor on the ward straight away.

This has hands down been the best placement I have been on over my whole programme as they really supported me and helped me boost my confidence in many ways. Everyone on the ward was brilliant but I would like to give a special mention to, Debbie, Faith, Sam and Cleo. I really did learn so much on this placement and it is an experience I will never forget."

 Denise Aspland (right) as Head of Clinical Education presented the award to Faith O’Neill (left) on the ward – giving Congratulations to the staff on the ward and thanking them for the support they show to students and learners. Well done Chestnut Ward!

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Congratulations to Shannon Jee, who has won a Silver Star Award! Shannon was nominated by Leslieann, who said

"I am nominating Shannon for her amazing skills in leading the DGT Doers. Shannon joined the Trust as a Doer and was successfully appointed into the Wellbeing Team to lead the Doers just a few months ago. Shannon manages the complexity of organising the shifts alongside the ever changing requests from the organisation with a calm and confident approach. Managing a large group of young people brings a unique set of challenges, but Shannon has shown a maturity beyond her years in managing these. She has acted as a mentor to many of the Doers, supporting them through both personal and work concerns. As part of the now integrated Wellbeing and Occupational Health team, Shannon often works beyond her remit in helping the wider team, supporting a number of our events and even returns to Doer duties when we are short staffed, which can sometimes happen at very short notice. Shannon always keeps the needs of the organisation at the forefront of her role and is brilliant in a crisis, which for such a young person is inspirational and I am sure she will continue to grow and be an asset to the organisation."

Well done Shannon!


Congratulations to Alex Santiago, latest winner of a Gold Star Award! Alex was nominated by Julie Stevens and Rosanna Bettencourt, who said

"Alex has worked for the trust for 20 years since he came from the Philippines. He is the most conscientious and caring nurse you could ever meet and treats everyone with care and compassion. He treats all his patients with the utmost respect and ensures he makes them feel at ease when they are at their most vunerable. He is very supportive of staff within the dept and nothing is too much trouble. He sings to the elderly patients and even if confused or unsure of where they are it helps them, I feel we are very fortunate to have Alex in the Emergency department and would like him to be recognised for this. He keeps himself updated professionally and has very high standards. He embodies all of the trust values and strives to ensure he lives by these. Alex always makes the day brighter when working alongside him. Alex is one of the most caring and sweet nurses that I know."

DSC_0003.JPGI would like to nominate Telma for her recent intervention in ensuring that the funeral of one of our deceased patients was carried out as per her wishes.

You may not be aware that when a patient dies without a next of kin we ask the ‘heir hunters’ to try and find someone who can hopefully step in to ensure their death can be registered.

If they don’t find anyone then it falls to the Trust to register the death and inevitably this role is fulfilled by the Bereavement team, in this case Telma registered the death and arranged her cremation.

During the service (which she also attended) Telma was notified by this lady’s neighbour that her dying wish was to be scattered with her husband.

As a result, Telma liaised with the church and funeral directors to ensure her wishes were met and again attended the ceremony.

Thank-you so much Telma for caring about a lady who you had never met or known but still took the time and effort to treat her as if she were one of your own.

This epitomizes our values in caring with compassion and supporting her death with respect and dignity, you're an absolute credit to the Trust - thank-you!

Nominated by: Wendy Glazier

DSC_1333.JPGThe entire staff of the Acute Medical Unit have consistently demonstrated their achievement of the Trust's values and behaviours as evidenced by feedback from patients and their relatives, expressing their satisfaction and gratitude around the quality of care, dedication, compassion and the level of dignity accorded to them during their hospital stay.

The effort of the ward management in ensuring that staff training is up to date and instigating several team building initiatives cannot be overemphasised.

I am therefore delighted to nominate the entire members of staff in the Acute Medical Unit to ensure that their consistent acts of meeting the Trust's standards do not go unnoticed.

Nominated by: Swapna Sukumaran

DG - Award July 2022.jpgCongratulations to our Medirest colleague, David Gaynor, who was nominated for a Silver Award by Dr Sajeev Ranmuthu who said: "Dave always shows huge energy with lots of enthusiasm in the x-ray department, lots of coordination with a can-do attitude and always willing to go the extra mile. I have witnessed on many occasions where David has shown empathy to our patients going to x-ray or returning to the wards. Dave does this in a professional manner making sure that the patient's journey is top priority, Dave also loves his job which has reflected on colleagues working in x-ray. Especially during the second wave of COVID-19, his friendly demeanour, helpful attitude and professionalism gave myself and the junior doctors a much welcome lift when times were often quite bleak on the ward."

Kevin TaylorCongratulations to Kevin Taylor from our Recruitment Team on being awarded a silver STAR award. Kevin was nominated by April Bedford who said "Kevin exceeds my expectations in all aspects of his work. His hard work and commitment isn't only recognised by me, as I get stopped in the corridor, receive emails, phone calls and teams calls specifically to tell me how much of a great service Kevin provides not only to the Trust but also to our candidates. His name is also mentioned in feedback surveys saying how great a service he provides. Kevin is flourishing in his new role. The support he provides to his peers is fantastic, and he is extremely proactive and takes so much pride in everything that he does. He certainly deserves to be recognised for this. Well done Kevin!"

289709036_5526094840747437_8586948540462121253_n.jpgCongratulations Giovanna (G) Richards, winner of a gold STAR award. G was nominated by Leslieann Osborne who said "I would like to nominate G for a Star Award for her amazing contribution and leadership in developing the Trust's Mental Health support for staff.

G is only contracted to work 3 days a week but regularly over the past 2 years has worked on her days off, evenings, weekends and bank holidays to support staff.

In addition, during wave 1, G joined the bank and worked throughout the pandemic in the Prone Team on the days she's wasn't in the Wellbeing Team, to ensure she was able to support directly one of the teams at the forefront of the pandemic and the patients they cared for.

G has been the inspiration behind the Time to Talk Team and has championed our desire to have our mental health support on site and face to face since the start of the pandemic.

Probably the most profound work she has done, is to share her own personal Mental Health struggles, challenges and coping strategies. Many staff have felt able to open up and seek help after reading G's Mental Health message in the Wellbeing Bulletins, which we know has saved lives.

Over and above her role as the Mental Health lead, she also set up and ran the Personal Safety Classes, drawing on her experience in the Met Police to ensure our female staff have the skills and knowledge to protect themselves.

G has supported the Wellbeing of the Trust, way above and beyond what her roles requires her to do.

This nomination comes with my own personal, heartfelt thanks as she has been pivotal to the Wellbeing we've been able to offer our staff."

Kate Knightley-Jones and Carley ThomlinCongratulations to Kate Knightley-Jones and Carley Thomlin on winning a silver STAR Award. They were nominated by Mark Waterson who said "Kate and Carley were instrumental in organising a Charity Touch Rugby match hosted at Gravesend Rugby Club.

The aim was to raise funds and awareness for both Male mental health with particular reference to new fathers and for the Little Bunds Fund.

Despite having no specific knowledge of rugby they both managed to organise a great event which was very well-attended and raised a large amount of money.

They even managed to rope me in to referee! This effort should be rewarded and encouraged."

sabine.jpgCongratulations Sabine Heshmati, winner of a silver STAR Award. Sabine was nominated by Jo Porter who said "Sabine has been the specialist nurse in Colposcopy for 8 years now and in this this time she has developed the service so much by supporting patients with abnormal smears and offering treatment and advice to all.

Sabine has such a kind and caring nature with her patients and always takes the time to explain what’s happening to her patients in way they can understand.

She is committed and is often here past her hours and on her days off to ensure a high level of patient experience is achieved. Without Sabine this service would not be what it is today. I just wanted to say a massive Thank you to her for her dedication and contribution over the years."

April.jpgCongratulations to April Bedford, winner of a bronze STAR Award. April was nominated by Bolanle Olowookere who said "I would like to nominate April Bedford as I believe she embodies the Trust values and it would be great for her to be recognised.

Since I started working at the Trust, April has always:

  • Shown me compassion
  • Shown me respect
  • Encouraged me to excel

She demonstrates integrity in the way she approaches me and always works with me. I can always approach her because as a Manager she represents all the Trust values which make for a better work environment."

DSC_0934.JPGCongratulations to Lee Barnes, who was nominated by 4 colleagues for a Gold STAR Award! Lee’s colleagues said:

“We would like to nominate Lee Barnes, Operational Security and Car Parking Manager from the Estates, Facilities and Capital Projects Team for a STAR award. He is always so approachable and happy to help. He is supportive and knowledgeable - he really is a team player. He consistently takes on projects outside his job role and has recently been involved with projects and meetings to review difficulties regarding delays with new phone lines going into the hospital. He has also assisted with the new arrangements for inter hospital pathology transfers and supported the transition from Serco to Medirest.

Lee is a fabulous colleague, and a great asset to our department. He is a wonderful member of our team and is so deserving of this award.”

Thelma.jpg Telma goes above and beyond demonstrating all of the Trust values and increasing moral and motivation of her team. 

She has been instrumental in making significant progress in relation to learning from deaths in her role as Advanced Practitioner for Mortality and has also recently taken on the additional role of management of bereavement services. Even at this early stage the benefits of her input are already clear to see by both staff and bereaved families. 

She not only strives to excel; she inspires a desire to excel within her team.  She is passionate about creating a culture of integrated team working to assist with the process of learning from deaths and continued improvement, due to her care and compassion. 

Telma is the glue that holds the team together and she is a real asset to the Trust.


Chris (Catering Manager Medirest) has always demonstrated excellent customer care not just to the Trust but more importantly to our patients.

When it comes to the patient dining experience, Chris constantly works with the trust looking at new ideas and using all types of innovations.

Chris will always speak to our patients regarding complaints and if any patient is disgruntled or dissatisfied with the food he will always look for alternative options.

He demonstrates respect and dignity when dealing with our patients, taking their concerns and complaints extremely serious, and always offering a solution which satisfies 99.9% of our patients staying here under the care of the NHS.

Whatever the problem – Chris will have an answer!

I believe that Christ truly embodies all the Trust Values

Kelly StockdaleKelly is one of our wonderful hard working cleaners who not only helps keep the department clean but she frequently helps the department staff with things above and beyond her duties.

As streaming nurses in A&E we often find ourselves with a queue of people out the door waiting to book in and patients needing care in the waiting room.

Without being asked and whilst carrying out her own duties Kelly will often help patients, get them food and drinks, alert the nursing team if someone becomes increasingly unwell, take patients property to them and generally make sure the nursing staff are ok.

She is very natural in A&E and her years of experience working in the hospital are so valuable.

Kelly is calm and caring and an asset to our team.

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Izzy joined our trust in November 2020 as a doer, where she volunteered to assist in high risk areas including ITU and the mortuary during the second wave of the pandemic.

Izzy joined the Cancer Services team in May 2021, initially as an admin assistant but quickly progressed to an Early Diagnosis Coordinator. She was involved in the implementation of the new diagnostic technology within the colorectal 2ww pathway, Quantitative Faecal Immunochemical Testing (qFIT).

Izzy sends these test kits out to patients who have been referred by their GP for suspected colorectal cancer. She tracks the patient’s results ensuring none are lost and then forwards these onto the clinicians and the GPs. This has now resulted in hundreds of patients not needing to have invasive endoscopic tests to rule out a cancer diagnosis.

Izzy faces every new challenge (of which there have been many in the cancer recovery effort from COVID-19) with optimism and a positive demeanour. She never loses focus on the patient, the person, who is on the other end of a ‘target’ date.

Izzy has contributed to many of the other processes and audits we have within the department. She takes slightly more than her fair share of the blame when things go wrong, and slightly less than her share of the credit when things go right.

Izzy upholds all of our trust values and we should celebrate people like this for being part of our organisation.

Victoria Ibeziako ImageCongratulations Victoria Ibeziako who is a winner of a Bronze STAR Award. Victoria was nominated by a patients relative who said "I would love to nominate Victoria for a Star Award after her recent care of my little sister. Victoria spent time with my sister explaining each medication before it was given (via IV) and explained what each one would do including any possible side effects.

At all times she kept smiling which reassured a scared and worried patient, every time she passed her bed she would check in to ensure my sister had enough fluids and they even got the chance to chat about the book my sister was reading. Being in hospital can be scary and lonely with no visitors allowed, so Victoria’s friendly and professional approach was much needed in a time of need." 

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Congratulations to Gemma Bull, Superintendent Radiographer who was presented with a Silver Star Award yesterday.  Gemma was nominated by Felicity Canning, who said "Gemma took on a new role as the Superintendent Radiographer for Breast Imaging services. This was not only a new role for Gemma but a completely new post. Gemma had been a long standing member of the team and became Superintendent in March.

Since taking on the role Gemma has shown real commitment to work through the issues facing the service. She has worked with a smile on her face in difficult times and has worked consistently to get the clinical cover and much needed support for the service this is not an easy task as there is a national shortage of breast radiologists. As a result, patients can now be referred into the breast one stop service with minimal delay which is a big improvement. Importantly Gemma is providing the support for staff working in this busy service.

Gemma deserves a STAR award in recognition for her excellent work. Her work is also recognised by both the Divisional Director of Operations and the Divisional Medical Director, Professor Sriprasad."