TUH Hospital Heroes

By Mary Dennehy

THE “incredible contribution” made by all staff at Tallaght University Hospital in recent months was acknowledged at the recent TUH Heroes Award 2020.

Like so many events in 2020, the local hospital is celebrating its Hero Awards a little later than usual – and in recognition of all staff members across all departments who deserve to be acknowledged for their patient care and continuous support of families and the wider community.

TUH 2020 Heroes 1

Prof Gerry Fitzpatrick, Lisa Dunne, Dr Ciara Martin, Ian Healy, Dr Pradeep Govender, Wendy Moynan, Patricia Morrison, Prof Catherine Wall, Maeve Ryan (kindly collected the award on behalf of colleague Padraig Byrne), Angela Clayton Leigh, Dr Maria Donnelly and Sandra Hartigan

Despite the challenges faced this year by patients, their families and staff, more than 300 nominations were received, an increase on 2019.

Traditionally nine awards are presented however, given the unprecendented year experienced by the local hospital, 10 awards were handed out at a socially distanced event last week.

Chief Executive of Tallaght University Hospital (TUH), Lucy Nugent said: “The past few months have been extremely challenging at a professional and personal level.

“I am incredibly proud of both our staff and local community and how they have supported one another through these uncertain times.

“The year is not over yet and I have no doubt there will be further challenges for us to face but I thought it was incredibly important to take some time to acknowledge the incredible efforts of staff.

TUH Heroes ICU Team 1

Representatives from the ICU Team that won the Team of the Year Award, staff in this picture represent the main ICU, Operating Theatres, PACU and Oak Ward who are all involved in caring for the sickest patients during this pandemic

“The efforts that they go to embodying our ethos of people caring for people to live better lives each and every day.”

After a challenging few months, the Covid ICU was named Team of the Year in recognition of their “exceptional bravery”.

In a comment about the Covid ICU team, a hospital spokesperson said: “This team comprised not only of ICU staff but staff that were redeployed from other services such as Anaesthetics and Theatre.

TUH Heroes CHI at Tallght Team 1

Representatives from CHI at Tallaght, Dr Ciara Martin (Paediatric Executive Lead for CHI at Tallaght), Dr Turlough Bolger (Consultant), Fionna Brennan (Director of Nursing), Orla O’Shea (Operations Manager) and Blaize Whelan (Assistant Director of Nursing)

“This group of staff have risen to the challenge of becoming a Covid unit with a smile on their faces (behind the face masks).

“They showed and indeed continue to show exceptional bravery in caring for our Covid patients despite personal risk to themselves.

“They work long days and nights in full PPE.

“Despite all these obstacles they provided excellent nursing care to these critically ill patients. 

“Despite dealing with the significant clinical challenge of caring for patients with a completely new virus and new treatment protocols which sometimes changed daily, they also made time to develop relationships with relatives with scheduled daily phone calls and facetime calls.

“These are a source of great comfort to those distraught family members waiting anxiously at home for updates.”

Director of HR at TUH, Sharon Larkin spoke of the “incredible contribution” each-and-every staff member has made.

“I think it is safe to say that we have had such a challenging year in our 22-year history”, Ms Larkin said.

“Each and every member of staff make an incredible contribution every day and this year has been exceptional.

“Whilst we are still adjusting and changing how we adapt to the challenges Covid-19 present to the running of the hospital and to patient care, I and the management team are humbled and incredibly proud of the Heroes announced and are enormously grateful for members of the public and staff taking the time to nominate their 2020 Heroes.”

TUH Hero Award category winners 2020

  • Patient Experience – Professor Catherine Wall, Consultant Nephrologist and Director of Quality Safety & Risk Management
  • People Caring for People – Patricia Morrison, Assistant Director of Nursing, Perioperative Directorate
  • Unsung Hero – Ian Healy, Porter in the Endoscopy Service
  • Service Excellence – Pradeep Govender, Consultant Radiologist, Radiology Directorate 
  • Mentoring Award – Sandra Hartigan, Clinical Facilitator, Emergency Department 
  • Teamwork Award – Padraig Byrne, Porter in Occupational Therapy Services
  • Team of the Year – Covid ICU Team

CEO Awards - There were three further awards nominated by the Chief Executive on behalf of herself and the management team

  • The first recipient was Professor Gerry Fitzpatrick, in recognition of his longstanding commitment and dedication to the hospital both as a consultant and previously as an interim CEO.
  • The second recipient was Ms Wendy Moynan a Social Worker in the Social Work Department.
  • An award was also presented to CHI (Children’s Health Ireland) at Tallaght and collected by Dr Ciara Martin, the Paediatric Executive Lead for CHI at Tallaght.

According to Ms Nugent: “Dr Martin is being presented with this award for the incredible flexibility and support both she and CHI at Tallaght provided to the adult service during the recent Covid-19 outbreak.”

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