Emotional night for NHS award winner

Valerie Ronis and Jade Etherington
Valerie Ronis and Jade Etherington

The brainchild behind an innovative NHS project bagged two titles on an emotional awards night.

Valerie Ronis picked up both the Time To Care and overall Chief Executive titles at Lincolnshire Community Health Services NHS Trust’s annual Celebrating Success Awards.

It was a moving occasion for the Donington 55-year-old, whose dad’s funeral had taken place just one week before.

She said: “My dad instilled in me the ethic to work hard and he gave me the determination to succeed.

“He was aware I had been asked to the attend Celebrating Success and had been nominated in the top three for the Time to Care award. He would have been so proud. This makes receiving the awards all the more poignant at this time.

“From a low to a very high in one week.”

The workforce development manager has led the way after with a training programme since the trust was awarded £20,000 from the Skills for Health and the UK Commission for Employment and Skills (Employer Investment Fund).

Under her leadership healthcare support workers were given extra training to carry out some of the tasks traditionally carried out by community nurses.

The project has freed up nurses to deal with more complex and specialist cases – and has meant patients do not have to wait for two or three visits to get they care they need at home.

Following a pilot in South Holland, the project is now being rolled out across Lincolnshire.

That work ensured she won not only in her category, but also the overall prize picked out by trust chief executive Andrew Morgan.

Valerie added: “I am so happy to have won these awards but humbled by all the hard work put in by everyone nominated. It really makes me proud to be part of ‘Team LCHS’.

“I believe the work we have done to develop the role of healthcare support workers will improve the quality of care for our patients by making care delivery more efficient and it enables teams to have a skills mix which supports having the right skills, at the right time and in the right place.

“Our staff can also show how they put their learning and application of skills into practice.”

Paralympic skier Jade Etherington opened the event and joined trust Chairman Dr Don White to present the awards.

Jade said: “It’s great to have an event which recognises the achievements of those who work in our NHS services in the community.

“It was wonderful to hear their stories. They are all worthwhile winners.”

LCHS Chief Executive Andrew Morgan said: “We are very proud of the services we offer in Lincolnshire and Peterborough, and this year wanted to share our successes with the communities we serve. We had more than 150 nominations in total for our Celebrating Success Awards and I would like to congratulate each of our winners and finalists.

“They all make significant contributions to supporting our patients and their families on a daily basis and their selfless dedication is what helps to make LCHS so special.”