TUH Celebrates 25th Anniversary with Staff Hero Awards

25th Anniversary medal presentation - aerial shot
(June 21st 2023)  On this day 25 years ago 115 patients were transferred from the base hospitals of the Meath, Adelaide and National Children’s Hospitals with 1,500 staff to Tallaght University Hospital. As the Hospital celebrates its 25th Anniversary today, the Hospital now employs over 3,000 staff with over 60 nationalities represented in its workforce and is one of the largest employers in the Tallaght.

In the last 25 years the Hospital has not stood still in its growth and development of services but also its physical infrastructure. Over €75M has been invested in physical expansions that enabled the Hospital to provide more services to patients. The developments have included an expansion of its Emergency Department; opening of clinics offsite in the Simms building; ICU extension; Vartry Renal Unit, Tymon North (rehabilitation beds), Reeves Day Surgery Centre, CRY, significant redevelopments of the Oncology, Haematology wards and Rynd building for phlebotomy and infusions.

Commenting on the 25th Anniversary of the Hospital opening, CEO Lucy Nugent said “I am delighted that our Hero Awards is taking place on the anniversary of the Hospital opening, we are nothing without our staff and the event gives our patients, their families and colleagues a chance to say thank you to them for all that they do.

The last 25 years have presented us with some incredible challenges which have at times truly tested us but it is testament to the spirit and determination of our staff that we have risen to those challenges. As we look to the next 25 years I am confident that we will continue to build our presence in the Tallaght community and look forward to developing innovative ways of delivering healthcare to those within our physical hospital walls and those beyond."

The 2023 TUH Hero Award Categories and winners are as follows:

Patient Experience Award – Larry Untoy, Clinical Nurse Manager 2 Stoma Care

This category is open to our patients, their families and our staff to nominate an individual/team who for that patient demonstrated the finer ideals of caring through extraordinary service, as they delivered an exceptional healthcare experience to a patient and their family.

In the patients nomination for this award they commented: “Larry's compassion and care for his patients is truly remarkable.Larry is a true healthcare hero who deserves recognition for his outstanding service and commitment to his patients. His unwavering dedication to providing the best possible care and support to his patients is a testament to his professionalism and compassion."

People Caring for People Award – Darren Doyle, Health Care Assistant
This category is for a staff member who exemplifies the core values of TUH. This year the award is being presented to Darren Doyle

In their nomination, for the winner of the People Caring for People Award, colleague reflected that: “Darren has been responsible for the enhanced care of numerous patients on Burkitt Ward, with challenging behavioural and psychological symptoms. Throughout he goes above and beyond to understand the patients' needs and to ensure that they are always treated with respect and dignity. He has a remarkable ability to reassure patients and de-escalate situations. He also ensures that other health care professionals caring for these patients are made aware of what the patient likes, dislikes and what de-escalation 
techniques work best. He is truly remarkable and has added significantly to the care of patients.”

Winner of the Unsung Hero Award – Loreto Brady, Emergency Department Administrator

This award is for a staff member who demonstrates exceptional service to the organisation. In their nomination, Loreto who joined the Hospital from the Meath is a very popular member of staff.

Paying tribute to the winner of the Unsung Hero Award and their colleague the nomination form read as follows: ​“Loreto is the absolute hero of our ED. Every day she goes above and beyond in looking after NCHDs, patients and the public. Ever a listening ear to everyone in the ED and to patients and their families who ring Loreto constantly with their queries and concerns. Loreto is kind, caring, patient and a gentle advocate for patients using the ED. Without Loreto's management skills, the ED would not function as well and as efficiently as it does."

Service Excellence Award – Dr. Rama Soondron, Nephrology Registrar

This award is for a staff member who provides outstanding service to patients or staff within our Hospital.

In a tribute, one colleague described Dr. Soondron in the following way: “Rama has been a valued member of our department for the last few years, with whom the renal service has heavily relied on for both inpatients and outpatients.  He is highly regarded by all members of the multi-disciplinary team and always liaises with nurses with respect, communication and validation of our concerns, treatment plans or suggestions. He is a kind, calm, approachable and highly skilled doctor who we all admire and respect greatly. His bedside manner is the best and he is well loved by our regular patients throughout their varied interactions with him and I know they place a great amount of trust in his hands, and rightly so! Rama goes above and beyond for our team members and his patients and I couldn't think of anyone who is more deserving of this award. He is an absolute asset to this Hospital and we as a renal dept. are so lucky to work with him.".

Mentoring Award – Claire Ralph, Theatre Nurse

This category is for a staff member who demonstrates outstanding teaching skills and serves as a role model and mentor to their colleagues.

After nominating Claire one colleague remarked “Claire is an absolutely brilliant mentor. She has taught me so much since I began working in theatre almost five years ago. Claire is so patient and understanding and teaches not just nurses, but nursing students, medical students and so many more staff that come through the department. She is thoughtful, bubbly, funny and has so much knowledge that she is always willing to share. Claire is a pleasure to work with, and is so deserving of this award!"

Teamwork Award – Caitriona Whelan, Social Work Team Leader the GEDI Team

This award is for a valued team player that will always ask how they can help.

In a tribute to Caitriona who won the teamwork award, one colleague said “Caitriona is always available to us providing advice on whatever issue we may have. She always puts others first, not only her patients but also her co-workers. She guides us on how to tackle issues without doing the work for us, thus it is a great learning experience. She is always educating on the different services & options available to our patients. She is our 'go to' for complicated issues. When you work with her, she inspires us to be better at our jobs. She is so compassionate with her patients, she oozes kindness. A really great leader, the captain of our ship, guiding us, empowering us and so deserving of this award."

Winner of Team of the Year – Portering Team

This category is for a new team that demonstrates excellence in teamwork. 

Speaking about this year’s Team of the Year winner one colleague remarked: “Moving is stressful whether it is in your home or work life. During a recent move the portering team showed up for a few weeks they moved and lifted, they did everything that they were asked and a whole lot more. Whilst they could not take away the ‘moving stress’ they went a very long way in reducing it which was greatly appreciated by my colleague’s and myself. Thank you."

CEO Awards

There were two further awards nominated by Chief Executive Lucy Nugent and the management team to recognise individuals who go above and beyond, often behind the scenes, which may not be evident to all staff.

The first recipient of this award was Ms. Amy Gillis, Consultant General Surgeon. In her tribute, Ms Nugent said: “Each year Amy embodies the spirit of Christmas. She attracts likeminded Christmas souls and under her direction they create the most wonderful themed Christmas tree in the atrium. Christmas can be an incredibly difficult time for many people, patients in hospital, staff that are away from home and families visiting the Hospital. This was so acutely felt during the pandemic with Amy making an extra special effort with Amy involving staff across the Hospital in decorating their own decorations for the tree.”

The second CEO Award was for the Scan4Safety team led by John Donovan and David Addie, Head of Inventory & Logistics and Deputy Director of Finance for the collaborative, multidisciplinary approach they took in  implementing the Scan4Safety system which gives the Hospital complete traceability of items used during surgical procedures. This system has both improved patient safety, operational efficiency and reduced costs for the Hospital.