NHS heroes who worked through pandemic honoured at awards ceremony

More than 100 healthcare workers from Sandwell and Birmingham were honoured at an NHS Trust’s staff awards held at Aston Villa Football Club.

Chief executive Richard Beeken with winner Julie Booth
Chief executive Richard Beeken with winner Julie Booth

The Star Awards took place at Villa Park and saw staff from Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Trust recognised for their dedication throughout the pandemic.

Deputy director of infection control Julie Booth took the Employee of the Year crown for her work ensuring correct measures have been followed throughout the pandemic to keep patients and staff safe.

She was voted as the majority winner by the 7,000-strong staff from the trust.

Julie said: “I am so grateful to everyone who voted for me. It’s such an honour to win Employee of the Year. I am thrilled and delighted. I want to thank all my colleagues for all their hard work throughout the pandemic.”

Meanwhile, others who were recognised included Paula Arlington, who took home the Chairman’s Award.

Chairman Sir David Nicholson said of the event: “It was fantastic to be able to recognise all the efforts of individuals and teams from across the Trust. They have worked tirelessly throughout this pandemic and shown true passion and dedication to their jobs.”

He added: “This was my first Chairman’s award and I was pleased to have chosen someone who really made a difference to our most vulnerable patients during the pandemic.

“Paula started her NHS career at Rowley as a healthcare assistant in 1999 and over the years worked her way up through the ranks."

He added: “In 2018 she was successful in securing a post as lead nurse for quality and safety in care homes, working with Sandwell Council. This post was the first of its kind in Sandwell and has proved an important part of the Trust’s commitment to safer care for all patients.”

Others who won included the Bereavement Befriending Service who won the Volunteer of the Year gong, whilst Clinical Team of the Year for Adults went to the COVID Intensive Care team.

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