Tallaght University Hospital Celebrates 20 Years of Care with Inaugural Employee Awards

TUH Heroes21st June 2018 Tallaght University Hospital today celebrated its 20th anniversary with the first annual Hero Awards. The employee recognition scheme was announced earlier this year to celebrate the individuals and teams who go the extra mile and make a real difference to patients and families.

Nine awards were handed out to individuals and teams under a number of categories including Unsung Hero, Service Excellence and Teamwork Award. Individuals and teams recognised at the inaugural Tallaght University Hospital Hero Awards represented the wide variety of roles involved in the care of the patient. This included a Haematology Nurse, Porter, Consultant Surgeon, Catering Assistant and Dialysis Team.

The aim of the awards, which calls for staff nominations from their peers, is to celebrate hospital staff from every discipline who contribute to the care of patients and support the Hospital ethos of People Caring for People.

The 20th anniversary of Tallaght University Hospital was celebrated with a concert, staff lunch and culminated in the Hero Awards.

Speaking about the 20th anniversary celebration and the Hospital Hero Awards, Tallaght University Hospital CEO David Slevin said, “We are really proud to celebrate 20 years of exceptional care here today in Tallaght University Hospital. Over the past two decades we have grown and transformed to become one of Ireland’s largest acute teaching hospitals with deeply rooted connections throughout the community we serve. Today we also celebrated the first awards ceremony in recognition of the staff who provide essential and compassionate patient care and it was a fitting end to the 20th anniversary celebration.

“The awards recognised the individuals and teams who work tirelessly every day and contribute to the care of patients and the overall running of a very busy hospital and I want to congratulate all of the individuals and teams who have won awards this year.”

Also commenting on the Tallaght Hospital Hero Awards, Sharon Larkin, HR Director at Tallaght University Hospital said, “The first Tallaght University Hospital Heroes Awards has had a really positive impact and created a sense of achievement amongst the 3,000 staff that work here. Working in a hospital can be challenging and extremely busy, so it has been very rewarding to be able to be able to formally acknowledge staff who continually go above and beyond to ensure patients and their families are cared for.”

Award categories and winners
Patient Experience – Liz O’Connell, Haematology Nurse Co-Ordinator 

The Patient Experience Award was open to the community to nominate a person who demonstrated the finer ideals of caring through extraordinary service to a patient and or their family. A person that went beyond the expectations of the care the patient / family expected and delivered and ‘exceptional patient experience’.

Liz was nominated by a patient who said in her submission ‘Liz is the definition of ‘People Caring for People’ she was my first point of contact after my diagnosis. If anyone is to make you feel calm, at ease and well looked after, it’s Liz. She is an angel. She was always at the end of the phone or around without hesitation if needed. She is always on the go and multitasking. Nothing is ever too much for her. I’m glad I met Liz even through unfortunate circumstances.”

People Caring for People – Susanne Foxton, CNM2 Adult ED
This category called for nominations of a staff member who exemplifies all of the Hospital’s core values. Submissions were made by a number of Susanne’s colleagues in the Emergency Department who felt “she not only cares for patients but also for the wellbeing of her staff too and are an inspiration and role model for other nurses.’

Unsung Hero - Gerry Tyrell, Porter and Marian Rock, Oncology Day Ward
The Unsung Hero category was open to members of staff who demonstrate exceptional service to the organisation. The category attracted a large volume of entries and the judging panel decided there should be two awards.

Gerry Tyrell, Porter – Physiotherapy
Submissions were made by a number of Gerry’s colleagues in the Physiotherapy Department who felt “the high-quality care and heartfelt interaction he has with every patient he deals with makes their stay in Tallaght University Hospital a better experience.”

Marian Rock, Health Care Assistant - Oncology Day Ward
The Oncology Day Ward team nominated Marian who ‘is a great advocated for the patients and their families. With her lovely bedside manner, everyone confides in her. She goes above and beyond the call of duty with patients and their families in so many ways and she is always willing to take on new tasks to improve the oncology service. She is one of the most generous people we know.’ Marian has been instrumental in devising a protocol for the most efficient and comfortable application and maintenance of the scalp cooling system for patients. This can be uncomfortable and stressful for patients but Marian’s meticulous attention to detail regard alleviates this to a large degree.

Service Excellence – Imelda Francis, Household Catering
This category called for nominations of a staff member who provides an outstanding service to patients or staff within Tallaght University Hospital. Patients and their families are greatly moved by the service they provide, and the compassion, respect and dignity shown to them by this person.

In the submission received for Imelda there were a number of examples of the wonderful service she provides the patients that celebrates the uniqueness of the values and spirit of the Hospital. In summary her submission read ‘I could give examples of so many patients with whom Imelda has demonstrated compassionate person-centred care. Imelda is a wonderful example of kindness, she has a huge heart and a wonderful spirt of individual attention to the patients in her care.’

Mentoring Award – Professor Sean Tierney, Consultant Vascular Surgeon
The mentoring award category was for a staff member who demonstrated outstanding teaching skills and served as a role model and mentor to any member of staff.

Professor Tierney received a number of nominations from colleagues throughout the Perioperative Directorate. In summary ‘Professor Tierney is a great mentor, he is patient and helpful, always making time for those that need help or guidance. How he gets the time to teach so many doctors and nurses while caring for so many patients is just amazing. He is an excellent teacher and teaches with such kindness and humour never making the student feel like they are asking a ‘stupid’ question.’

Teamwork Award – Karen Massey, ERT Nurse
This award called for nominations for someone who is a valued team player. A staff member who rolls up their sleeves and asks, ‘what can I do?’ to make the jobs of others easier.
Submissions were made by a number of Karen’s colleagues for her “professional, caring and understanding ways. For the education she provides to her colleagues while inspiring them to have confidence in caring for their patients. Karen has the ability to calm and relax her patients she is always patient and caring.”

Special Merit Award – Dialysis Team
During the application process for the Awards, Storm Emma hit the country and brought it to a standstill but healthcare in an acute setting continued to happen. This was because many staff across all disciplines made herculean efforts to get to work and care for patients.

A large number of applications referred to the efforts by the Dialysis Team in the Hospital. The dialysis team run a very busy service as Tallaght University Hospital is the 2nd largest provider of dialysis in the country. Many members of this team stayed in the Hospital throughout Storm Emma to ensure patients who came in for dialysis received their treatment, demonstrating their caring skills in the face of adversity.

CEO Awards

There were two further awards nominated by the CEO on behalf of himself and the management team recognising individuals that go above and beyond, often behind the scenes that may not be evident to all staff.

Fr. John Kelly - Exceptional Dedication Award
The recipient of the CEO award was Fr. John Kelly, head of Pastoral Care. Commenting on this award, CEO of Tallaght University Hospital David Slevin said, “There are many staff who go above and beyond in providing patient care, but I believe John Kelly is an exception. He, and his team exemplify the core values of the organisation. I know the care and compassion he provides to patients and their families is greatly valued and appreciated. I am also aware of how this care extends to his colleagues throughout the organisation. Presenting this award to John is a gesture in recognising all that he does and the incredible commitment he has shown to the organisation over a long number of years. I appreciate the limelight is not something he would ever actively seek out, but I am delighted to present the Award to him and publicly thank him for his service and the exemplary care he provides to not just our patients but all of the staff in TUH.”

Special Merit Award 
The second recipient was Joanne Coffey, Communications Manager. Since she joined the organisation four years ago and has been instrumental in extending the Hospital’s calendar of events for both staff and the community to include Christmas Markets, Santa Visits, Staff Lunches and the Summer 99 Charity Cycle as well as been an integral part of bringing the Hospital out into the community by co-ordinating a series of talks on public health. The CEO summed up by saying “it gives me great pleasure to present this award to Joanne who goes above and beyond in terms of working tirelessly to ensure all events are coordinated to the finest detail, ensures that hospital wide recognition is given to individuals and departments for their achievements in terms of implementing projects, initiatives or awards received and also ensuring the Hospital’s profile both in the community and nationally receives the recognition for the staff and the services Tallaght University Hospital provides.”

About Tallaght University Hospital
Tallaght University Hospital is one of Ireland’s largest acute teaching hospitals, providing child-health, adult, mental health and age-related healthcare on one site. The hospital has 495 adult beds and 67 paediatric bed with over 3,000 people on staff. The Hospital is a provider of local, regional and national specialities. It is also a national urology centre, the second largest provider of dialysis services in the country and a regional orthopaedic trauma centre.

Tallaght University Hospital is one of the two main teaching hospitals of Trinity College Dublin - specialising in the training and professional development of staff in areas such as nursing, health and social care professionals, emergency medicine and surgery, amongst many others. Tallaght University Hospital is uniquely part of both the Dublin Midlands Hospital Group and the Children’s Hospital Group which serves a population of over 1.2 million across seven counties.

A new satellite centre is to be built at Tallaght University Hospital as part of the National Children’s Hospital project as a key element of an integrated clinical network for paediatric services nationally.

The Hospital’s Emergency Departments catered for 50,286 Adult Attendances and 32,886 Paediatric Attendances in 2017. A further 291,483 patients were treated through the Hospital’s adult and paediatric outpatient clinics in 2017. The Hospital’s operations are supported by 200 general practitioners in surrounding communities.