Tears flowed all round when Ward 8's Valerie Bamforth received her surprise Star Award!
In the most emotional presentation so far, the much-treasured nutrition assistant first looked stunned then broke down on her nominator Vicki Bergin's shoulder. (see attached photos)
After the hankies came out she recovered enough to collect her certificate - in a new-look orange to mark the second year of CHFT's hugely popular colleague award. (find out how to enter below). In tribute, colleagues came from all corners of the ward to join her photo as a mark of their affection for her. See attached.
Valerie said: " I saw Owen and honestly didn't know why he was there. I thought it might be an inspection. I didn't think for a minute he was there for me. I love working with our patients helping them to make the right choices for their meals. It is such a big part of their recovery we have to get it right for them."
Assistant practitioner Vicki Bergin nominated Valerie saying: “Val is an absolute asset to Ward 8 and the Dietetic Team. She goes out of her way to ensure that the patients on her ward are well nourished and hydrated, particularly those who are malnourished or at risk of becoming so.
"Finding out a patient's likes and dislikes may seem like a little thing but Val takes time to discuss with her patients so that they feel like they are "home from home". She has implemented new systems on her ward so the dietitian, speech and language therapists and catering team can all work well together understanding the patient’s dietary needs."
Vicki said patients with dementia very often like food they didn't used to - and vice versa - so getting meal choices right can be extra challenging - yet Valerie always finds a way. If they want finger food she gets it and also sorts milk shakes when they are stuggling to ensure they remain healthy and receive the nutrition they deserve during their stay with us.
She added: " If the dietitician didn't make it, I know that ward 8 patients are in safe hands with Valerie.! She also sings Irish songs to them which they love."
And Valerie laughed: " I'm not so sure that helps their recovery as much!!"
** The Star Award is presented every month - usually as a surprise! To enter is a doddle - click here - with an easy online form or a paper form if requested. At the end of the month they are collected and sent to the judging panel made up of senior colleagues from across the Trust. The nominator is told about the win and the presentation is organised in secret. All others nominated receive a special Star Award letter of commendation. For Valerie's month we received 11 nominations.
Even if you've nominated someone in the past you can resubmit the entry.