Congratulations to our STAR award winners:

Lesley Wright - Star Award WinnerCongratulations to Lesley Wright, the latest winner of a Silver Star Award! Lesley was nominated by Carole Jones, who said:

"I take minutes for the safeguarding meetings and I am always so amazed at the good work Lesley does in supporting vulnerable maternity patients. She really goes the extra mile. At one time, her office looked like an Oxfam shop where she was collecting clothes/essentials for expectant mums and their new born babies who were living in temporary accommodation. She does so much to support these women. She is so kind, non-judgmental and she tries so hard to help them even when the situation is very challenging. There are so many wonderful things that Lesley does and I cannot recommend her highly enough for an award."

Well done Lesley!

Jane DixonCongratulations to Maternity Secretary, Jane Dixon, who has recently been awarded a Bronze STAR Award.

Jane's nomination reads:

"Jane is the Maternity Secretary who has been managing the role of two people for the last few months on her own due to sickness. She is exemplary in her role.
She has to manage the rapid changing support that is needed within the department, ensuring that all staff are in the right place at the right time for meetings.
She goes beyond her job by doing something as simple as going out of her way to make sure important letters, which need to get to patients by the next day, are delivered.
In a challenging environment, she does all this with her smiles; she never gets flustered and is such a valuable member of the team. I am sure that the whole department would fall to pieces without her.
She truly deserves a start award in recognition of her hard work and dedication."

Well done, Jane!

SALCongratulations to the Surgical Admissions Lounge team, the latest winners of a Bronze Star Award. The team were nominated by Cat Siggery, who said:

"I have worked alongside the surgical admissions lounge since I started working at Darent Valley Hospital as the Learning Disability Liaison Nurse. 

The Staff in the department have always demonstrated the trusts values, care with compassion, respect and dignity, striving to excel, professional standards and working together and all with a smile and a great sense of humour.

Today however, working together came to the fore with one of my most vulnerable patients. I had previously briefed the ward, explained the hospital passport and information I knew about the patient and his family, one of the issues being that English was not the patient's first language, as well as having complex needs and being needle phobic. 

All information was acted on and it resulted in a piece of work that went like clockwork - despite my sleepless night and not only this, the patient had a very positive experience, meaning he will be happy and willing to attend Darent Valley hospital again in the future. 

A great example of collaborative working and I look forward to working alongside the department in the future. Thank you."

Well done team!

Karen WoodCongratulations to Karen Wood, winner of a Gold Star Award! Karen was nominated by a patient's relative, who said:

"We began our journey by having Eleanor with Karen booking us in, while with the Community Midwife Team. She instantly struck us with her kind, friendly and professional nature; this has evolved and become a cornerstone of our maternity experience. Whether it be a standard midwife appointment or a consultant lead appointment, Karen was there, always offering support and guidance. Her knowledge was fantastic, putting certain complex aspects and explaining them in a simple manner for us to understand. I have worked in the emergency services for several years and have come across a number of NHS workers, whether they be paramedics, midwives, nurses or doctors. Karen is one of the best I’ve come across, and to know she’s only a second-year student is unbelievable. There was never a silly question for Karen, who fielded several concerns and anxieties I had. She was polite, calm and alongside my wife, a core support for me to enjoy the birth of our daughter. Having had real issues with depression after our first, Karen has enabled me to enjoy my wife’s pregnancy and my daughter in ways I couldn’t with my son and no words can truly express my gratitude. My wife had our daughter by C-Section and again, Karen was there checking on us all. Her patient care and knowledge are clearly recognised by her colleagues, who appeared to regularly ask her questions or allow her independence to work. This is also apparent in her recent OSCE exam, where she achieved 100%. Karen is and has been an amazing midwife and throughout all her work we can’t find the words to thank her enough. She is a real credit to the NHS and I just hope this email enables Karen to be provided with the recognition that she duly deserves."

Well done Karen!

Hayley LucasCongratulations to Hayley Lucas (left), winner of a Bronze Star Award! Hayley was nominated by Gary Hickinson, who said:

"I feel Hayley deserves recognition for going over and above her duties to help me with a difficult and sensitive subject.
Her extensive knowledge and expertise in the matter were invaluable and she made sure I felt supported and informed every step of the way. 
Throughout the entire process Hayley maintained the utmost professionalism, whilst also demonstrating incredible empathy and understanding. 
In conclusion, I cannot praise Hayley enough for her exceptional contributions and is an example of what our Trust values mean."

Well done Hayley!

Gina Tomlin & Sue GovierCongratulations to Gina Tomlin (left) and Sue Govier (right), the latest winners of a Silver Star Award! Gina and Sue were nominated by the Safeguarding teams, who said: 


"We would like to nominate Sue and Gina because they are always striving to bring the Safeguarding, Mental Health, HIDVA and Learning Disability teams together as one team, including relentlessly trying to secure a dedicated working space for all the teams to be based in. 

Sue and Gina prioritise the well-being of their teams, often over their own well-being, to ensure that we all feel supported in our work lives and personal lives, especially when managing distressing situations. 

They will always try to find solutions to all difficulties that arise (usually on a day-to-day basis) and are on hand to all DVH staff for support and guidance when needed. 

They themselves have an extremely challenging and often sensitive caseload, where they maintain composure and continue with their day despite how it may have affected them emotionally.

Both Sue and Gina have so much knowledge regarding safeguarding across the whole trust, providing support and backup to all staff and especially their team members. As a side note, they provide endless entertainment daily!

Thank you for everything you both do for all of us; we would not be the team we are without your dedication to us, the Trust and the patients."


Well done both!

Health RecordsCongratulations to the Health Records Team, who are the latest winners of a Silver Star Award! The team were nominated by Paul Wilson, who said: 

"I would like to nominate the Health Records team for their outstanding effort and hard work. The department has been extremely challenged working tirelessly to reduce a back log in scanning that had built up following a major technical problem back at the turn of the year, this whilst also dealing with an increased scanning demand on the service of 24% on last put this in context the department are scanning and quality checking close to half a million images a month. On top this the team have continued to maintain a faultless approach to maintaining their high standards this being emphasised by the team successfully obtaining their BSI 10008:2020 Accreditation on Friday 22nd September. A real achievement that the team should be immensely proud of as they play a key role in the Trust."

Lisa WakeCongratulations to Lisa Wake, the latest winner of a Silver Star award! Lisa was nominated by Felicity Canning, who said:

"I would like to nominate Lisa for a STAR award. Lisa has been a long-standing member of the Trust, but my particular reason for nominating her is that she is an unsung hero in her role as Divisional PA. Lisa consistently goes above and beyond to ensure that WCR DMT works efficiently and effectively with kindness and compassion. Lisa is very caring to staff members outside of the division and is always extremely helpful in everything she does. Nothing is ever too much trouble and she is often helping to troubleshoot or support other projects or tasks with a sense of humour and diligence, ensuring we can all do our very best as a team. Lisa is extremely diligent and caring in her role as our divisional PA, and she has contributed positively to some of our other divisional actions. She will always offer to volunteer to help support the team and some of the examples are:

  • Took on extra tasks to help the division with the improvements needed in the Trust’s auto-discharge work. Without her help this would have taken longer. Getting the auto-discharge work completed was important in delivering safe patient care, which required a lot of administration support. Lisa’s contribution helped us achieve this in the agreed time scales.
  • Volunteered to help with some of the tasks to support the colposcopy service development. This improvement work was presented in our CQC engagement meeting in June.
  • Lisa helps coordinate the divisional GEM award (Going the Extra Mile); this is an internal divisional award where staff recognise other staff for their contributions.
  • Facilitating conferences and away days, ensuring these run smoothly and using everyone’s time efficiently.

Lisa strongly upholds the Trust values and is a model employee; we all need more Lisas."

Well done Lisa!

kerry roberts.jpgCongratulations to Kerry Norris Smith, who has been awarded a Gold STAR award by Siobhan Callanan, Chief Nurse.

Kerry is an amazing receptionist, courteous, professional and always goes above and beyond her role. Patients absolutely love her!

Kerry only joined the Trust a year ago and now it is hard to imagine QMH Radiology without her!

We have received feedback all of which is extremely positive:

‘Kerry in reception was extremely welcoming and had a lovely welcome to several patients that were attending.  She offered to help those that were struggling with the booking in machine and nothing appeared too much trouble for her.  It was really pleasing to watch her work. She seemed genuinely happy to be there.’

‘I visited QMH this afternoon for an x-ray. A lovely bubbly receptionist (Kerry) took my papers and told me to take a seat.   I only waited 30 minutes or so but during that time Kerry was so thoughtful and, I believe, went above and beyond her duties. 

Kerry came out of reception to a man waiting in a wheelchair and asked if he wanted a drink or anything and if he needed anything to just ask her, she checked he'd got phone reception to text transport but said he could use the phone if needed. 


Soon after an older lady came by and again were waiting for transport, Kerry offered her a tea and when the elderly lady declined saying she was starving Kerry offered the lady her banana from her lunch box.  What an absolute breath of fresh air and joy to see.  Well done Kerry, please never change!’ 

Kerry will often make Patients Tea/Coffee if awaiting Transport and will call for updates and has been known to go downstairs to get a Sandwich for Patients when they have been sat there for some time or if they are Diabetic etc.

She really is an inspiration and makes the department a happy place!

Nominated by: Nina Philips

Parbati GurungCongratulations to Parbati Gurung, the latest winner of a Bronze Star Award. Parbati was nominated by The Meet and Greet Volunteers, who said: 

"Standing in the Entrance to the Hospital for extended periods of time as Meet and Greet Volunteers, we can observe life as it goes on around us. One continual observation is the role played by Parbati. Parbati is rarely standing still and always has something in her hand, be it a cleaning cloth, a sweeper, a vacuum cleaner nozzles or other implements. She is the definition of Perpetual Motion, as she moves from task to task unnoticed by most, but always noticed by the Meet and Greet Team. Parbati is the reason that the Entrance to the Hospital is maintained to a high standard of cleanliness. First impressions for visitors are very important and she should be applauded for her personal drive and contribution to the hospital. Parbati impresses us every time she is on duty!" Well done Parbati!

Congratulations to Parbati Gurung, the latest winner of a Bronze Star Award. Parbati was nominated by The Meet and Greet Volunteers, who said:  "Standing in the Entrance to the Hospital for extended periods of time as Meet and Greet Volunteers, we can observe life as it goes on around us. One continual observation is the role played by Parbati. Parbati is rarely standing still and always has something in her hand, be it a cleaning cloth, a sweeper, a vacuum cleaner nozzles or other implements. She is the definition of Perpetual Motion, as she moves from task to task unnoticed by most, but always noticed by the Meet and Greet Team. Parbati is the reason that the Entrance to the Hospital is maintained to a high standard of cleanliness. First impressions for visitors are very important and she should be applauded for her personal drive and contribution to the hospital. Parbati impresses us every time she is on duty!"

Well done Parbati!

IMG_0905.jpegCongratulations to our latest Silver STAR Award winner, Senior Sister Annie McKenna. 

Annie was nominated by her colleague Gideon Amoah who said:

"I would like to nominate Senior Sister Annie McKenna as a special manager and a special person.
I have been under the leadership of Sister Annie since January 2023. Sister Annie stepped in as Ward Manager of Maple ward at a time when the ward needed a great leader.
She came in with the introduction of many policies and showed great dedication and love for her patients and staff. With her competent guidance and leadership, the ward has recently won a Silver Ward Accreditation and also won Certificate of Achievement for Best Placement Area 2023. With the introduction of a monthly ward newsletter, it gives us a picture of how the ward is progressing and the things we need to improve upon. Within less than 7 months in office as a Ward Manager, the staff wellbeing has improved and even the Sister's office has received a massive face-lift.
She has a wonderful way of making a stressful situation calming. She is professional and caring but has the humour and constant positive attitude that helps the stress of a situation be bearable.   She makes sure all her patients and staff are healthy and is always ready to listen to help any staff member who has an issue. She keeps us informed and is in constant contact with all her staff to catch up on how we are doing and how she can help us improve. She is instantly available for questions, direction, and as a sounding board any time of the day and weekends. She makes us feel at ease and opens the line of communication, which is important in maintaining good health. Not forgetting the chocolates, she gives to us!
I nominate Senior Sister Annie McKenna because she is the best manager I have ever worked with."

Well done, Annie!

Catherine & SharronCongratulations to Catherine May (left) and Sharron Chattenton (right), the latest Bronze Star Award winners! They were nominated by a patient who said:

"I am writing to thank the members of staff who provided me with truly exceptional care today and in the weeks leading up to my procedure. Sharron liaised closely with me prior to the procedure organised for my procedure to be done at DVH instead of QMS. She even offered to meet with me and take me down to endoscopy. From the moment I walked into the time I left the hospital, I had been treated by staff that displayed all of our trust values. I was having a really simple procedure but had huge anxiety due to a previous complication my head was telling me I needed the procedure my heart was telling me to run as fast as possible! I was treated with the upmost respect and dignity and exceptional care and compassion. I was never made to feel stupid or a nuisance they both supported me to ensure I was at as much ease as possible, they updated me all the time. While I am extremely grateful to Dr Grasso for doing the procedure, I honestly feel that without Sharron and Catherine’s support I would not have had the procedure and would have backed out. They are both a credit to the organisation."

Well done Catherine & Sharron!

Bola Ayodele - SilverCongratulations to Bola Ayodele, the latest winner of a Silver Star Award! Bola was nominated by a patient's relative, who said:

"I would like to nominate Bola - Staff Nurse from A&E for a STAR Award. I recently had to attend the emergency department in Darent Valley Hospital with my 77-year-old mum with a suspected stroke. As soon as we got to ED and were triaged, the nurse bleeped the stroke team and within 10 minutes, we were being seen by them. My mum had to have lots of scans/blood tests which confirmed she had had a stroke and then had to wait in a very busy A&E department for a bed on Ebony Ward. While we were there, the department was extremely busy and chaotic and most staff seemed rushed off their feet however, that did not stop Bola from being amazing. She was friendly, kind-hearted and approachable. Nearly two years ago, we lost my Dad and I felt extremely fearful being in the hospital with my mum, who looked so poorly and vulnerable when she was always the strong and healthy one looking after my Dad. It was so scary to see her like this, but Bola really put not only my mum but me at ease. She never made my mum or me, with my many questions, feel like an inconvenience. She dealt with any ‘accidents’ with a smile on her face and acted like they never happened, which helped my mum not to feel embarrassed. My mum also has COPD and was struggling to breathe, but Bola helped calm her down and made sure to get her extra pillows, so she was upright and felt more comfortable. Even though she was being called here, there and everywhere, she remained calm, patient and respectful. She calmed my mum down when she was petrified and made sure to explain everything that was going on with mum to put me at ease too. She went above and beyond for us and I can’t thank you enough. She is a credit to the hospital and truly deserves recognition!"

Well done Bola!

Bronze star template (3).png‚ÄčCongratulations to Michelle Hemple, the latest winner of a Bronze STAR Award. 

Michelle was nominated by Jey Nicholas who said:

"I am nominating Michelle Hemple, our Rota Manager, for a STAR Award in recognition of her exceptional dedication and commitment to her work, as demonstrated by some examples below:

Recent events presented some challenges for our division, particularly in relation to the management of staffing rotas. Despite the difficulties, Michelle rose to the occasion and demonstrated exceptional leadership and organisational skills.

Michelle has also covered the absence of our other part-time Rota Manager due to maternity and annual leave and has worked additional hours in the evenings and weekends over this period. 

Her dedication and commitment is truly inspiring, her positive attitude and professionalism has been a support for all of us in the division."


Ellie GibbsCongratulations to Ellie Gibbs, the latest winner of a Gold Star Award! Ellie received 2 nominations from Laura Waller and Lisa Wake, who said:

"Ellie is always happy to help and regularly goes above and beyond for our patients. She is supportive and approachable and nothing is too much trouble for her. Like other specialities within the Trust, gynaecology has a large surgical backlog following Covid. Part of Ellie's role is managing this and liaising with the surgical division to maximise theatre capacity.

Ellie worked hard and was instrumental in preparing for the junior doctors' strikes, organising cover for the clinics to reduce the disruption to patients and the impact on patients who were already booked into clinics. Ellie has a great relationship with our consultants and nursing team and works collaboratively with them to achieve all of this. I believe Ellie personifies the Trust Values and deserves a gold star!"

"She is the most efficient person I know. She never says “no” to anyone and will go out of her way to help others – patients and staff. She shows caring, compassion and empathy to all. Her attitude to work is exceptional and she puts 110% effort into everything she produces. She will work long hours without complaint, even though she has a young family to look after too. Ellie will work the CRC Reception when short-staffed, even though she may have management deadlines to complete elsewhere. She will multi-task to ensure all work is completed to date and to a high standard.
She has developed/been involved in many projects in the Women, Children and Radiology Division, which has improved patient care and is always forward thinking for the next new initiative."

Well done Ellie!

Leyla Clarke - BronzeCongratulations to Leyla Clarke who was nominated for a Bronze STAR Award by Leigh Wiltshire, who said:

"Leyla has a real can-do attitude and will always go the extra mile when supporting colleagues within the clinical division.
No job is too big or too small and Leyla will look to resolve and ensure the right outcome.

Leyla’s commitment to getting the job done builds an excellent atmosphere within the team.
Leyla really does go the extra mile. In return, this creates a better working environment for all our staff working within our NHS.

Leyla drives the trust values, Striving to excel/Professional standards/working together; these three values are demonstrated daily and for that reason, I would like to nominate Leila for a star award."

Well done Leyla!

Anna, Martina, Dan - BronzeCongratulations to Anna Witak, Martina Duracic, Dan Babos and the Emergency Department (ED) team who were nominated for a Bronze STAR Award by AHP Learning Environment Lead, Sarah Conchie, for their facilitation of a student placement.

Sarah nominated the team after receiving the student's email below:

"I am writing to thank everyone for organising my A&E placement this year. It has been such an amazing experience which I will never forget. The skills and knowledge I gained from just six days were beyond limits, which made me just realise more how much I still need to explore and grow in my career.
Working with Anna has been an immense pleasure and I cannot thank her enough for having me by her side during all the night shifts, even when things did get busy sometimes. She has been very supportive and kind, and ensured I knew what I was doing and why. Her way of working and caring for patients really inspired me to be like her, and I aspire to develop the same confidence and positive attitude in my clinical practice.
I did not get the chance to work with Sister Martina, but I am very grateful to her for being there and ensuring that I was getting on well throughout my placement.
I also would like to thank Dan Babos for organising an opportunity for me to work in Paediatric A&E, even if for just one day. It was still an amazing experience where I learned a lot about paediatric care. All the staff members looked after me really well and ensured I was always learning.
Last but not least, a big thank you to Sarah and Alan for giving me the great opportunity to undertake an A&E placement at such a short notice. I know I told you that I really wanted to experience it, but I was not sure whether it was possible. Nonetheless, I do not regret one single minute spent in A&E. 
A big thank you again to everyone."

Well done, team!

ColinaCongratulations to Colina Crowley-Nicol (4th in from left), winner of a Gold Star Award! Colina was nominated by Milan Gamble, who said:

"I would like to nominate the surgical matron Colina Crowley-Nicol for the Star Award to express my heartfelt gratitude and appreciation for all her support and guidance she has given over the last few months during my difficult times. A few months back, I suddenly became ill and therefore, I had to be off work for a period of time This phase of my life had an extremely negative impact on my physical as-well as mental wellbeing. During this tough time Colina has been my backbone with her kind words and unwavering support. Her kindness, compassion and dedication in her role as a matron have made all the difference in my recovery. During this time I had turned to a ‘google doctor’ which lead me to be very distressed and unable express myself to anyone. But Colina’s out of hours phone calls, her reassuring words, and your kind gestures meant so much to me. She went above and beyond to ensure that I received the best possible support from her as a manager, and I am grateful for her unending support throughout my recovery. While being amazing towards individual staff members, Colina, in her role as a matron, has been invaluable. She creates a positive and collaborative work environment that allows people to work together as a team to achieve their goals. Her guidance and encouragement have helped me to develop my skills and knowledge, and her attention to detail has been a great example for us to follow. Colina's dedication to the nursing profession and the hospital community is truly remarkable, and I am honoured to work under her leadership. Thank you for your dedication and unwavering commitment to excellence. Colina, you truly deserve the Gold Star Award, and I am proud to nominate her for this prestigious honour."

Well done Colina!

Father PatCongratulations to Father Pat, winner of a Gold Star Award! Father Pat was nominated by the Paediatric Emergency Department team, who said: 

"As a team we feel it is so important to recognise the amazing effort and compassion that Father Pat demonstrates.
During a recent sensitive situation, the Paediatric ED were unable to get a chaplain for a family requiring religious representation, one of our colleagues called Father Pat who immediately re-prioritised his day's commitment's to attend the emergency department to support family when they needed him the most.
Father Pat continuously provides support to the paediatric ED and previously provided a whole blessing in Polish to a family who had just lost their child. Adding this personal touch during this heart-breaking time meant so much to the family and yet again demonstrates Father Pats' commitment to providing family centred care. In addition, Father Pat cares for the nursing staff that provide care for the families, which is at times the human caring interaction that is needed most. The chaplaincy service provided by Father Pat and the team is exceptional and provides essential support to families and staff, as a team we want them to know how special they are and are thankful to have Father Pat supporting the trust."

Well done Father Pat!

Hollie HeaslipCongratulations to Hollie Heaslip (Middle), the latest winner of a Gold Star Award! Hollie was nominated by Michael Brand, who said:

"Hollie is a hardworking, dedicated member of staff who is always putting the needs of the blood transfusion service and the patients first. She always puts herself forward for shifts and leads her team by example. Although she is clearly an excellent employee, this is not the main reason for her nomination. Hollie has recently organised a visit to the laboratory for children as part of the Harvey's Gang initiative. This helps children to understand and de-mystify their healthcare. Hollie organised the visit for eight children with Type 1 diabetes; she organised for all the children to have their own mini lab coat and a goodie bag and organised a tour of the laboratory at Medway so the children could see what happens to their blood samples. All the children thoroughly enjoyed their visit, as did all the staff, who were delighted to have the opportunity to showcase their laboratory. Hollie fully acknowledges the support of all the laboratory staff and especially Jasmine Walker, who is currently on maternity leave, but Hollie has done the lion’s share of the organisation and hopefully inspire the next generation of Biomedical Scientists. Hollie has clearly gone above and beyond to highlight the good work of the laboratory especially as she organised the visit whilst on leave. She would be worthy recipient of a Start Award. Please note; Hollie is based at the Medway laboratory of North Kent Pathology Service. This pathology service is managed by Dartford and Gravesham NHS Trust and all staff at the Medway laboratory are employees of Dartford and Gravesham NHS Trust."

Well done Hollie!

DSC_0519.JPGCongratulations to Tracey Wilkinson (middle), the latest winner of a Gold Star Award! Tracey was nominated by Sally George, who said:

"Tracey Wilkinson has dedicated herself to supporting Valley Hospital Charity’s Cancer Fighting Fund, and improving cancer care through her support for the Stride4Life campaign.

Tracey joined the volunteer Stride4Life Committee back in 2010, and supported Joan Warwick, the event founder who organised the first memorial walk in memory of her husband John who sadly lost his battle to bowel cancer in 2003. Joan wished to thank the hospital for John’s care and Stride4Life was born, which grew into not just walks for people of differing mobility, but a fun day too, which engaged the community and was a great day out raising funds for the hospital.

After 15 years and half a million pounds raised, Joan and all but Tracey from the Committee decided it was time to step down. Tracey has continued to fundraise all through the pandemic, selling second-hand items online through Facebook etc. and now has a stall at the hospital each month, in her own time, to sell good quality second-hand items. Every time Tracey comes in to run the stall she hands over £100s to the Charity for its Cancer Fighting Fund that she has raised since the last stall from online sales which to date totals £15,500. She is an absolute inspiration and we are so grateful for her support. Joan Warwick MBE, founder of Stride4Life remains on the Charity Management Board and shared some words too: “We, the other members of the Stride4Life committee, feel that Tracey Wilkinson who has raised £15,500 for Stride4Life and the Cancer Fighting Fund, deserves to be nominated to receive a Star Award for a member of staff who in her own time has gone above and beyond for all her hard work which is benefiting the Hospital’s Cancer Patients."

Well done Tracey!

Bronze star Dr AnugrahaCongratulations to Dr Anoop Anugraha, the latest winner of a Bronze Star Award! Dr Anugraha was nominated by a patient who said:

"I’ve had 2 foot surgeries and awaiting my third one. Mr Anugraha made me feel comfortable each time; he remembered even the smallest details I had told him about myself. He took the time to explain what would happen and how each time; he also wrote on my patient documents that I was afraid of needles. I wouldn’t have had the operation if it wasn't for him."

Well done Dr Anugraha!

Sally HallCongratulations to Sally Hall, the latest winner of a Silver Star Award! Sally was nominated by Leanne Hunt & Charlotte Paterson, who said:

"Sally Hall joined the therapy department as the AHP lead and head of therapies in September 2022, Since joining the trust, Sally has taken the time and effort to understand what matters to the AHP teams individually and collectively. Her enthusiasm and passion for clinical excellence has inspired so many staff members and brought positive energy to the department. Sally has worked to bring AHPs together and to be more integrated as a collective to improve professional standards and patient care. Sally has worked hard to improve the AHP profile within the trust successfully, representing what AHPs can offer and contribute to patient care. Sally has made a huge impact in the short time she has been at DGT and we look forward to the future.  

  • Introduced monthly therapy leads clinical governance and performance meetings to encourage standardisation and integration across therapies           
  • Introduced monthly 'meet the senior therapies leadership team' increasing accessibility for all staff to senior management
  • Introduced quarterly "celebrating clinical excellence in therapies" meetings showcasing work across therapies, sharing best practice and ideas across departments, joint working, and staff awards
  • Encouraged and supporting the celebration of AHP day           
  • Being present, talking to staff on a daily basis, advocating for AHPs at wider senior leadership meetings"

Well done Sally!

Dr Lee - BronzeCongratulations to Dr Joe Lee, the latest winner of a Bronze Star Award! Dr Lee was nominated by Nicky Batchelor, who said:

"I would like to nominate Dr Lee for a silver star award. My mum is one of the Haematology patients and was diagnosed with CLL. Dr Lee had a telephone consultation with my mum and was very kind and compassionate explaining what the next steps in her treatment would be. My mum was due to have a CT scan in May but Dr Lee brought the appointment forward and she received a confirmation letter two days later to say she had a scan the following week. Dr Lee responded to my mums concerns and showed empathy towards her in a very kind way."

Well done Dr Lee!

Mark Cullen Silver

In Autumn 2022 the Valley Hospital Charity's Lollipop Fund, which supports sick children from babies to teens, became depleted of funds after the Charity spent just shy of £90k over the preceding 12 months on equipment, resources and environment to improve patient care in paediatrics. Raising funds for Valley Hospital Charity's Lollipop Fund has become to priority for the Charity in 2023, but Mark has taken it upon himself to schedule static bike fundraisers in the entrance of local supermarkets, in his own time, to help encourage awareness and donations to the Fund.

Mark is a great champion for the Charity, in and out of work time, and I know has felt privileged to have heard many stories from families who have received care at Darent Valley and Queen Mary's and their emotional outcomes, some happy, some sad, so I think his efforts have drained him emotionally as well as physically.

Not only is Mark continuing to strengthen our relationship with the Community Champions within our local supermarkets, he is also raising awareness of the good work of the Trust and the Charity, and raising a fantastic amount for our Lollipop Fund, which means we can deliver more for our young patients. Thank you Mark!

Payroll Star Award - Team 1.png Payroll Star Award - Team 2.pngCongratulations to our Payroll Department for being selected a Bronze winner in our STAR Awards. Claire Evans said, "I would like to nominate the Payroll Department for a STAR award for their tireless work undertaken every single day to make sure that the staff of the Trust is paid each week and month. 

Running the Payroll for the Trust is always a thankless task, and the team never gets praised enough for their work.  Over the past few months, the team has had numerous changes thrown at them about Pay Awards, Pension Rate changes and the Pension re-enrolment process, all of which have been done without complaint and on time without most staff realising what has happened. 

Throughout their roles, they always deal with employee queries with care and respect, even when that same care and concern is not shown to them. Every week and month, staff are paid on time and accurately with the information provided to the team leading to the professional standards that are expected of them by both the trust as a whole and by the staff. 

When things are thrown at the department on short notice, the team will always rally around, working together to complete the job. I personally would like to see the team thanked by the Trust for all the hard work they do and continue to do to keep the staff paid, along with a personal thanks from myself."

Image.jpegCongratulations to Gideon Anoah, winner of the latest Silver STAR award. Gideon's nominator said "Gideon is a hardworking nurse who has been helping staff on the ward. He is hardworking and always ensures that his patients are comfortable and that all their needs are met. He always goes the extra mile to ensure the staff are okay and always puts a smile on everyone's face." Well done Gideon.Congratulations to Gideon Anoah, winner of the latest Silver STAR award. Gideon's nominator said "Gideon is a hardworking nurse who has been helping staff on the ward. He is hardworking and always ensures that his patients are comfortable and that all their needs are met. He always goes the extra mile to ensure the staff are okay and always puts a smile on everyone's face."

Well done Gideon.

Ruma Bronze AwardCongratulations to Ruma Debnath (right), the latest winner of a Bronze Star Award! Ruma was nominated by Lisa Edwards and Libby Garner, who said:

"Ruma started with the Speech and Language Therapy team as a newly qualified therapist. She has worked diligently throughout the year to successfully complete her preceptorship and level B dysphagia competencies. She has shown great resilience, addressing challenges with a strong work ethic and determination to excel. Ruma demonstrates a systematic and comprehensive approach to her work, always with the patient at the centre. Throughout the year, Ruma’s role has changed to meet the needs of the service and currently works across both the Acute and Stroke SLT teams. She has proven to be a huge asset to the team, she is proactive and always quick to volunteer. In particular, Ruma’s approach to the development of a SLT ‘new starter’ pack and completion of a review of ‘practice programme’ resources are commendable. Ruma definitely demonstrates all the Trust values."

Well done Ruma!

Victor - Gold Star AwardCongratulations to Victor Mbaegbu, Healthcare Assistant on Oak Ward who was nominated by a patient’s son for the kind, compassionate and family-centred care given to his father by Victor:

"My dad recently moved from Linden to Oak, Linden did an excellent job with my dad and I was really happy with his care, the nurses were lovely and polite.

After five weeks, my dad was moved to Oak and on my first trip in I met Victor. I have to say that in my 52 years I have never come across anyone so helpful and compassionate as him in the health service. He was fabulous at explaining my dad’s personal care and what to except when he gets home, he had me assisting him with the easy stuff and his manner was fabulous. Whilst doing all of this, he was giving me advice and knowledge that comes from his years of experience, which is common sense but I just had not thought of. Whilst doing this, he was still talking to my dad and really linking us together again. I loved his "you are a warrior (my dad) you brought up your son and now you need help so you must let your son help you", brought a tear to my eye.

After my dad being there for so long, this is the first time that I actually came away enthused rather than drained. I really hope you can share this feedback with him and if there are any awards or special mentions for people then 100% he gets my vote and my thanks. Like most people I am driven more by criticism when things go wrong but in this case I just felt the need for Victor to get his merit!"

Well done, Victor!

Dru OreeCongratulations to Dru Oree, the latest winner of a Gold Star Award! Dru was nominated by a patient, who said:

"I was admitted to DVH last October and ended on Linden ward. Dru went over and above his role.

I came into A&E a broken person as my mum passed away and dad went into a nursing house in Wilmington.

I ended up admitted to Linden ward and I met Dru. His professionalism, care, and empathy towards me was second to none. I was in Linden Ward for a while. The way he spoke to patients, especially the elderly ladies, was just unbelievable. Unfortunately, due to Covid, these elderly ladies were so scared and didn't know what was happening, but Dru just put them at ease and they loved him.

He so deserves a DVH Gold Star as Dru went over and above his call of duty of care."

Well done Dru!

DSC_0084.JPGCongratulations to Ben Lewis (left), the latest winner of a Gold Star Award!

Lee Barnes has nominated Ben for displaying bravery and courage during an incident that occurred on-site in the rear car park.

Well done, Ben!

DSC_0082.JPGCongratulations to Dr Burhan Khan (right), who was nominated for a Silver Star Award by a patient! The patient said:

"Today we had an outpatient appointment and visit,  with Dr  B Khan.  After years of visiting the hospital, we finally felt that we were with a caring doctor, who did give himself the time, to talk to his patients, explain in detail all the possibilities of treatment available, organising detailed information to his patient, going through a fantastic  sensitive way of explanation… And organizing future appointments, in relation to the findings from the past.. Comparing  scans from 2015, and recent one.. explaining and showing  all possible ways of dealing with my wife’s case.. In short, a dedicated doctor, caring for the patient, putting the patient at ease, without giving false hopes…  Letting us assist to hear his  findings, and actions planned, dictated in his dictaphone..      All together, a fantastic doctors appointment, where the patient is cared for and be brought at ease, even if the results would be negative.  If all doctors would be like that, the NHS relation between patients and doctors would be an improvement of  thousand percent..  The doctor was also very positive about his dedicated nurses, and even did give us the phone number of the Macmillan Lung CNS staff, for us to be able to ring, whenever we needed, and made us very comfortable…  For that reason, I would like to report this very positive visit to you, and even  ask you to hand over a copy of this mail to him.. His attitude deserves to be  applauded, and brought to the attention of the Hospital.. I thank him, as where I walked in his study, I never thought that such a human treatment existed..     Please bring this mail over, to whoever is in charge,  and please make sure dr Kahn receives a copy.. I thank him from my heart.."

Well done Dr Khan!

Donna Underhill.jpgCongratulations to Donna Underhill, who is the latest winner of a Gold Star Award! Donna was nominated by her neighbour, who said:

"My neighbour Donna Underhill works on Mulberry Ward as a ward host and she goes above and beyond to esnure that the patients get the best care and treatment they could possibly get, she is very hard working, and as well as working on Mulberry Ward, she has recently gone above and beyond over the last few weeks for our lovely neighbour, who was brought into your hospital after suffering a heart attack. She's visited him everyday after her shift, regularly checking in on him, she's visited him during her breaks making sure he is OK and checking whether he needed anything, she's taken him up toiletries, food, cards, she brought him some books to sit and read. He is an elderly man and has recently lost his wife. He lives on his own and doesn't have much contact with his family as they don't live near. Without Donna, he would have been all by himself, and he would be going through his treatment alone. Donna has kept him going whilst he has been in hospital and given him a purpose to keep going and keep positive. Her compassion and her empathy know no bounds. She's also recently lost her husband Paul, but she is showing a true fighting spirit and we are all immensely proud of her and would be very grateful if you could acknowledge her for this incredible act of kindness. Myself, my neighbours, my family and Donna's Daughter are immensely proud to have someone like Donna and we think she is a truly incredible inspirational woman."

Well done Donna!

Karen Crouch.jpegCongratulations to Karen Crouch, the latest winner of a Gold Star Award! Karen was nominated by Jackie O'Brien, who said:

"One particular member of the clerical team has managed to stand out even amongst her stellar colleagues. Her name is Karen Crouch and she is the CT Clerical lead and is responsible for maintaining the CT diaries for both DVH and QMH. She is also regularly seconded to book Nuclear Medicine, DEXA and Fluoroscopy examinations. We were recently tasked with booking all CT scan appointments for cancer patients within 3-4 days. We also experienced a surge in referrals for Virtual Colonoscopy (VCT) examinations that resulted in us having a waiting list for the first time since pre-COVID days. With her eye for detail, focus on providing a patient-centred service and exceptional organisational skills, she is booking cancer patients within 3-4 days (unless the patient chooses not to accept), we are doing extra VCT scans both here and QMH and, thanks to her Herculean efforts, we are meeting virtually all the service demands of our many referrers - urgent, routine and future appointments. She will contact patients by phone to ensure they will attend those examinations that have specific, sometimes complex preparation. She will take into account a patient's age, location, relevant medical history (if provided by referrer) and always try to provide an appointment date and time that best meets the patient's circumstances, not just their clinical needs. She is kind, empathetic, well-informed and conscientious. She takes pride in a job well done. I cannot emphasise enough the contribution Karen makes in supporting the CT Dept to meet the demands of all Trust clinicians. By improving the organisation of the CT diaries, she has advanced and progressed the CT service we offer which ultimately leads to a better patient-experience of the CT Department, Radiology and the Trust."

Well done Karen!

Shelley Yong Star AwardCongratulations to Shelley Yong, the latest winner of a Silver Star Award! Shelley was nominated by Lynn McSorley, who said:

"I would like to nominate Shelly (2nd in from left) for a star award as she personifies the Trust values. I have seen Shelly in several roles and regardless of what she is asked to do she does it with enthusiasm and professionalism and always to the best of her ability. She gives 100% to any task / project she takes on and can be relied on the finish the job to a very high standard. She is always striving to excel in any role she holds. She has recently been appointed as the children's hospital at home team lead and as with all roles she has, she has excelled. The service is going from strength to strength and this is not in any small way a result of Shelley's dedication and hard work. In developing this service she has saved many bed days on the inpatient ward which has been a massive help during the recent surge in activity. She is always supportive of the team and the directorate and updates the directorate with developments. With regards to being professional Shelley looks and conducts herself in a highly professional manner and is responsible and accountable for the success and work of her team. She is responsive and very aware of any issues that arise and escalates at the first opportunity. She is also approachable and willing to listen to ideas and suggestions or advice. If it were possible to clone Shelly the NHS would be in fine shape."

Well done Shelley!

Medical Staffing Team

Congratulations to the Medical Staffing team, who were nominated for a Bronze Star Award! The team were nominated by Sarah James-Whatman, who said:

"I would like to nominate the members of the Medical Staffing team for a Star award. The team have faced significant challenges over the last few months including covering vacancies, unplanned absence, a service review and expansion of their remit. In the face of these challenges the team have come together to deliver priorities, have made improvements to working practices, quality and our Drs experience. The team have achieved this by working together with colleagues across teams and Divisions, caring for one another our colleagues, our new trainee and substantive Drs and striving to excel for our Medical stakeholders.

In the midst of all of the pressure the team have made time to reflect, asses performance, actively participate in projects, have welcomed a new member to the team. and began to set out their vision and standards for the future of our services. They are the epitome of all of our Trust values.

Unsolicited feedback from colleagues includes 'they are lovely', boxes of chocolates have arrived and our new starters describe the support they received as 'outstanding.'"

Well done team!

Ken Bailey star awardCongratulations to Ken Bailey (middle), the latest winner of a Silver Star Award! Ken was nominated by, Kayleigh Stevens, Kate Earth and the NHS Monitoring Team, who said:

"I would like to nominate Ken for a star award given most recent compliments from my NHS colleagues which are detailed below. Compliment from NHS Monitoring Team: ‘When we are carrying out monitoring audits throughout the hospital we often see Ken undertaking his portering duties. Ken has an infectious personality, we see him interacting with visitors, patients and colleagues always with a smile and a positive attitude. Sometimes greeting people with a song. The song ‘Happy’ (Pharrell Williams) could have been written with Ken in mind. Clap along if you feel like happiness is the truth (Because I’m happy) Clap along if you know what happiness is to you (Because I’m happy) Ken epitomises the Trust’s values and makes those who encounter him feel uplifted.’

Compliment from Kate Earth, Associate Director of CQI.

‘I wanted to let you know that I met a member of the stores team called Ken this morning. Not only was Ken so passionate about his job, he went over and above to help me with a stranded patient, who was unable to find a Portering chair for 30mins. Please let me know how I can help get a shout out to Ken for his exemplary service.’

I myself echo these compliments, Ken always goes above and beyond his call of duty, weather its taking five minutes to help move an item some is struggling with, directing a lost visitor or cheering up a colleague/patient/visitor with a tune or simply a smile and good morning, you certainly know when Ken is around and cannot help but smile. These little acts of kindness really boost the morale of anyone he meets."

Well done Ken!