Celebrating excellence in North Yorkshire’s health and adult services

Staff members who go the extra mile to support older and disabled adults, people with mental health issues and the wider community in North Yorkshire have been publicly thanked and awarded.

staff from health and adult services at the awards celebration

North Yorkshire County Council’s Health and Adult Services Awards are an important way of saying thank you to adult social care and public health staff who work above and beyond in their line of duty and make a real difference to keeping people independent and well and in providing care and support when it is needed.

At a time when health and social care nationally is acutely stretched, the County Council continues to develop frontline and prevention services , tackling social isolation and helping people to stay independent in their own communities for as long as possible. 

Andrea Sutcliffe, chief inspector of adult social care for the Care Quality Commission, sent a message to the awards event stating she was “inspired by the good practice” being celebrated.

She said: “Adult social care comes to public attention usually when things are going wrong, so it is so important to have occasions like this where we can celebrate good leadership, hard work and a relentless focus on improving the lives of the people we care for and their families.”

“Good quality in care is about people” said Dr Andrew Furber, regional director of Public Health for Yorkshire and the Humber.  “It is about the quality of people caring and delivering that care in the best way possible. That is why it is so important that we are celebrating the achievements of staff in this way.”

“North Yorkshire has brilliant people working in adult social care and public health who are totally dedicated, motivated and professional” said County Councillor Michael Harrison, Executive Member for adult social care and health integration. “It’s one of the main reasons why these services are so appreciated and highly-valued.

“North Yorkshire continues to invest in improving adult social care and public health services, but we could not achieve excellence without the commitment of our staff who constantly look for better ways of improving people’s lives   Each of these awards tells a story of impressive and deep commitment to others in the community.”

The awards cover 14 categories, including customer excellence, outstanding leadership, innovation and improvement, making a difference behind the scenes and mental and physical health and well-being. Over 135 nominations from 40 teams were made in 14 categories.

“These awards inspire staff” said Anne Morgan, a reablement worker in the upper Dales who provides intensive care packages to help people back to independence. She was a winner last year and one of the judges this year. “As frontline staff we are passionate about treating people we care for with dignity and respect. Being a judge this year was such an eye-opener.  We have fabulous staff out there doing great things year after year to make lives better for people.”

The awards were based on the ‘votes’ of people who use services and of staff, and were presented by Amy Oakden and Neil Green of BBC Radio Tees at a recent ceremony at Solberge Hall.

County Councillor Caroline Dickinson, Executive Member for Public Health, said: “Our staff and our managers do a fantastic job at a time of real challenges through years of austerity. It is a privilege to be associated with such professionalism in what are two of the most vital services the council provides – social care and public health.’’ 

Photo shows:  Health and Adult Services staff and Executive councillors gather for their awards ceremony

Award winners

Hambleton and Richmondshire locality achievement of the year

Samantha Remmer, re-ablement care and support worker

Samantha has taken on the role of Dementia Champion in her team and worked tirelessly to promote understanding and respect for people with dementia as well as organising many fund-raising events to raise money for dementia charities – including getting the whole care team to undertake the Three Peak challenge.

Selby locality achievement of the year

York Hospital Discharge hub team

A partnership team involving county council assessment staff, working with acute hospital staff, City of York and East Riding of Yorkshire staff. The Selby team has contributed to a strong partnership, putting forward new ideas to develop practice and provide timelier sharing of information and discharge.

Countywide achievement of the year

Care and support team in the customer resolution centre

They carry out highly effective work as a triage team to make sure adult safeguarding concerns and alerts are dealt with by the right people in the right way, giving vital support for managing demand in the service.

Craven locality achievement of the year

Jane O’Neill, Deputy Manager

Jane offered immense support to Jubilee Lodge in absence of a manager there and has still managed to do her day job in another service over many months. She has gone more than the extra mile to keep the show on the road at Jubilee Lodge. Jane's down to earth pragmatism, determination, energy and enthusiasm, has been so helpful to the staff there and the wider management team.

Harrogate locality achievement of the year

Helen Wise, learning disability support worker

Helen works in the Meadow Bank unit in Harrogate day services and has done a great deal to raise awareness in the local community about the work of the service through fund raising events.  She is now working on a sensory garden for the people she supports.

Scarborough/Whitby/Ryedale locality achievement of the year

Ashfield Elderly Person’s Home, Malton

All staff, from carers through to cooks and laundry staff, give an excellent standard of service for residents who have an active voice on how the service runs.  Great care is taken to consult residents about their care plans, their meals, how they wish to spend their time with a variety of events and activities taking place throughout the year. 

Making a difference behind the scenes

Louis Williamson, handyman , Ashfield Elderly Person’s Home, Malton

Louis is always friendly with a smile and a joke for everybody and ensures Ashfield is home from home, keeping paintwork refreshed and making sure furniture is suitable and safe for the needs of every resident. He maintains the grounds and always makes the home welcoming and relaxing.  

Mental health and wellbeing achievement of the year (two winners)

Julie Wood, Support Time & Recovery Worker

Julie has set up a skills volunteering group for people with mental health issues. Historically, people recovering from a mental health crisis were encouraged to take up voluntary work. Julie believes that people recover better if they undertake volunteering work together as a group with peers. Julie has set up a number of volunteering opportunities with the group, joining in the work with them, volunteering to help with community coffee mornings and planning to work in community libraries. The group has developed a great sense of self-worth through this project, has increased their confidence and enabled them to see a different way forward.

Donna Mills, Support Time & Recovery Worker

Donna has demonstrated excellent person centred recovery work with an individual with complex needs. Donna has helped this individual to achieve many recovery focused goals. With Donna’s support, they have been able to achieve many personal goals including: feeling safer, self-harming less, seeing an elephant in real life and contributing to a BBC documentary about hearing voices.

Physical Health and Wellbeing Achievement of the Year

Glen Hilton, Support Time & Recovery Worker

Glen has set up numerous activity groups in and around the Northallerton area, including: an Athletics club for youngsters, a walking and running group for people with mental health issues, and a cycling group due to start this autumn - going as far as to provide second hand bicycles to those who did not have their own. Glen’s positive and all-inclusive attitude is felt by the community as a whole.

Outstanding leadership (two winners)

Kate Allanson, Services Manager

Kate has inspired her team and colleagues with her inclusive and innovative approach to meet service need, all the while supporting her staff with compassion, warmth and dedication. She actively encourages staff to further their learning and improve both professionally and personally.

Stefanie Simpson, Team Manager

Stef consistently encourages cohesion and a shared sense of purpose within her team, while making every individual feel valued and empowered to do their best. Stef’s proactive approach is infectious and she has a passion to deliver the best outcomes to service users, who are often in challenging circumstances.

Customer excellence

Colin Kitching, Cook, 5 Whitby Road Elderly Person’s Home, Pickering

Colin has gone above and beyond his duties by creating new dishes for residents, often purchasing ingredients in his own time. He has taken care to learn about the residents’ individual needs and provides them with a large variety of personalised meals. He puts residents first by suggesting new menu items at residents meetings and even providing food outside of regular mealtimes.

Social Care Practitioner of the Year

Samantha Rowley, Social Care Assessor

When a care home was due to close, Sam reassessed the affected individuals, liaised with family, the care home and advocates within a very tight timescale. She always had the best interests of the individual at the focus of her work and promoted their independence, choices and wishes throughout.

Public Health Practitioner of the Year

Emma Davis, Health Improvement Manager

Emma was nominated for driving communication work in the Public Health team to deliver health improvement. She was also nominated for her work in promoting a Smokefree Generation and has lead on tackling concerns regarding the service provision in this area.

Innovation and Improvement

Harrogate and Craven Living Well Team

The team, which works in innovative ways to overcome people's social isolation and loneliness, has enthusiastically coordinated with partners in GP practices to ensure that people receive effective prevention services.

This story was published 4 October 2018