Brave hospital blaze team given boss’s award

Evacuation team from the fire on ward four at Stoke Mandeville Hospital in June 2013 with Anne Eden
Evacuation team from the fire on ward four at Stoke Mandeville Hospital in June 2013 with Anne Eden
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Staff at Stoke Mandeville Hospital who helped evacuate patients during a fire have been handed a special award.

Fifty-three people had to be rushed to safety after the blaze took hold in Ward 4 in June.

However, thanks to the efforts of staff, only three people had to be treated for the effects of smoke inhalation, one of whom also suffered burns to his hands.

Bucks Healthcare NHS Trust boss Anne Eden presented the chief executive’s award to the team during a bash at the Waterside Theatre earlier this week.

She said: “Thanks to the amazing courage and quick actions of staff that morning, only a handful of patients and staff were treated for smoke inhalation and minor injuries.

“Staff remained calm throughout and put the care of their patients first at all times. The team, including other staff from the trust and also support staff from Sodexo, demonstrated true excellence.”

The ninth annual staff awards evening also celebrated many other trust workers.

This year saw the introduction of the ‘patient choice award’ which was selected from public nominations for the monthly ‘going the extra mile’ staff awards.

There were two winners:

Ian Benson, a physiotherapist, was nominated by the daughter of a patient who suffered a spinal injury following a fall. As well as helping the patient retain physical strength in his muscles and movement in his body, Ian was also praised for the emotional support he gave, even learning Urdu so that he could communicate with him. The family were grateful for all of Ian’s support and even nicknamed Ian ‘Mr Motivator’.

Jill Mowforth, a cancer nurse specialist, was nominated by a relative who praised her for going more than the extra mile when her husband was waiting to be transferred to another hospital for emergency surgery. During the heavy snowfall last winter, she waited with the patient and his wife for almost eight hours even after her shift had finished. She also continued to be there for both the patient and his wife after treatment, offering advice and comfort during difficult times.

Mrs Eden said:“Each month I read through dozens of nominations from patients and relatives who have received truly excellent care from our staff.

“There are many individuals and teams across our hospitals and community services that really care about their patients and are willing to go that extra mile to ensure they receive the care they deserve.”

She added: “It was a truly wonderful evening and fantastic way to celebrate some of the amazing staff that we have across our organisation.

“Despite some ups and downs over the past few years, I am incredibly proud of our staff who demonstrate that we provide excellent care for our patients and strive to continue improving and developing our services.

“It gave us an opportunity to focus on what we do well.”

“All our staff were nominated by patients and their families or by their colleagues making them even more special.

“We heard some amazing and inspirational stories of staff going the extra mile for our patients and also recognised the volunteers and support staff that work in the background.”


Healthcare Professional of the Year Award

1st - Dr. Helen Pegrum, Palliative Care Physician

Healthcare Team of the Year Award

1st - Maternity Bereavement Team

Exceptional Contribution to Quality Award

1st - Community Diabetic Nurse Specialists

Outstanding Contribution Award

1st - Joanne Preston, Health Visitor

Team of the Year Award

1st - Wycombe Day Nursery Staff

Support Services Ambassador Award

1st - Carol Gyles, Administrator Aylesbury Adult Community Healthcare Team

Volunteer of the Year Award

1st - Carole Last, HR, Surgical Day Unit & Meet and Greet Service

Lifetime Achievement Award (jointly awarded)

Professor Paul Kennedy – Department of Clinical Psychology

Barbara Oxley – Medical HR

Jean Mytom – Patient Services / Bed


Patient Choice Award

Joint 1st - Ian Benson, Physiotherapist & Jill Mowforth, Lung Cancer CNS

Chief Executive’s Award

Evacuation Team from the fire on ward 4 at SMH in June 2013