King's Lynn hospital's search for heroes back on as it marks 40th anniversary today
Awards to celebrate 'heroes' at Lynn's Queen Elizabeth Hospital are being relaunched to coincide with the organisation's 40th anniversary.
Trust chairman Steve Barnett and chief executive Caroline Shaw said yesterday that the QEH is seeking nominations for members of staff who deserve recognition ahead of it's milestone birthday today.
The hospital had announced its plans to find QEH 'heroes'back in January, to coincide with the 40th celebrations, but these were put on hold due to the coronavirus pandemic.
They said, due to the current circumstances, the birthday events would not be going ahead quite as had been planned but the occasion could not "pass without making a point of celebrating it".
The bosses said the awards are now being relaunched to recognise current QEH team members – the public and members of staff can put forward their nominations.
A form will be available online to fill in and return to email@example.com. The deadline for nominations is Monday, August 31, and it will then go to a public vote for the overall winner.
Mr Barnett said they believe all QEH staff go "above and beyond" but there may be someone who particularly deserves recognition.
He said the 40th anniversary was a "really significant time" for them and provided an opportunity to recognise the "amazing job" the Team QEH staff do, and also share the celebrations with the community.
Mr Barnett added: "We want to first of all recognise the contributions of our staff and say thank you, particularly during such a complex and demanding time through Covid, but we also want to share this with the local community.
"We are right at the centre of West Norfolk and people really take the hospital to heart."
The hero awards are not the only birthday celebrations the hospital had been planning that have been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Mrs Shaw said plans to arrange a party and fete, open to the public – like those which had been held at the hospital in the past – to mark the occasion are currently on hold until next year.
The staff were able to enjoy a small garden party earlier this month though to mark both the NHS' 72nd birthday and the QEH's 40th anniversary, which was attended by some special guests.
Mrs Shaw and Mr Barnett said they were "absolutely thrilled" to welcome the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, who have been staying at their home at nearby Anmer Hall during the coronavirus lockdown, to the hospital.
Mrs Shaw said it was at this party that they realised that the hospital's milestone coincides with a special royal occasion too.
She said: "That started off our celebrations. The Duchess reminded us that it is also Prince George's birthday on 22nd July so she said she will be thinking of us tomorrow – we were honoured by that."
And it will certainly feel like a birthday today, as Mrs Shaw said all members of staff will receive free cake as part of their celebrations.
"We are keeping it quite simple, but also celebrating the improvements we have seen in the past 18 months," she added.
"We'll be celebrating our birthday while being conscious of the past. It's also about out future going forward."
To nominate someone for an award they must currently be working for the QEH, they can be in a clinical or non-clinical role and you must be able to demonstrate how they have made an exceptional contribution to outstanding patient care.
The judges will be looking for any nominations to demonstrate how the individual has shown compassion, how they have involved patients and families in the care they receive and in decision-making and the individuals special qualities that make them worthy of this award.
Nominations are open until 11.59pm Monday, August 31 and a public vote to select the final winner from a shortlist will open in September 2020.
The winner will be announced at the QEH staff awards to be held on Friday, November 6 and they will have a plaque unveiled at the hospital as a permanent reminder of their contribution to the trust.
Any previous nominations submitted before July 22 will be discarded so please resubmit any prior nominations.
To nominate someone, complete this form and return it by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.