From education to employment

Walsall Care Worker Wins Top NHS Award

Paul Foster, a care support worker from Walsall Manor Hospital has taken home the national trophy for Clinical Support Worker of the Year during the prestigious Our Health Heroes awards.

Today (20th November), more than 200 guests, including Baroness Dido Harding and Prerana Issar (Chief People Officer at NHS Improvement), gathered for the fourth annual Our Health Heroes awards at London’s Science Museum.

Organised by Skills for Health and headline sponsor Health Education England, the national awards, which were hosted by Dr Dawn Harper and included a performance by former doctor-turned-writer Adam Kay, celebrated unsung healthcare heroes from across the UK.

Paul Foster, from the trauma ward at Walsall Healthcare Trust, won the Clinical Support Worker of the Year award and became one of only eight national winners at this year’s ceremony.

Paul provides care for patients with cognitive impairments on the 26-bed trauma ward at Walsall Manor Hospital.

To ensure his patients feel happy and safe, Paul takes time to talk to them and put them at ease, addressing their worries and concerns to make their stay as comfortable as possible.

Colleagues regularly comment that his patients are always immaculately washed and dressed. On Remembrance Sunday 2018, he came in early for his shift to ensure all his elderly gentleman were ready for the 11am services and parade.

As he got them ready, he spent time with each patient, remembering the war and their fallen comrades, which family members explained was such a valuable moment for each of them.

As well as his patients, Paul is a champion among his colleagues. As a mentor for apprentices on ward nine, he leads by example, providing care with professionalism, compassion and respect.

Paul said: “I felt really overwhelmed when I was nominated, I received so many good wishes from work colleagues, my patients and their friends and families.

“We all work hard and it’s nice to be recognised and appreciated. I could not have done it without the support of my colleagues on ward nine. I can’t believe I’ve won!”

Paul fought off competition from 11 other regional finalists from across England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales in the public vote to be crowned the overall national winner.

John Rogers, Chief Executive at Skills for Health, said: “Congratulations to Paul on being named national winner of the Clinical Support Worker of the Year award.

“Having read through the nomination which was submitted for Paul and hearing more about his passion and commitment to his patients today, I can see why the public voted for him to be our national champion.

“He is obviously a fantastic asset not only to his ward but also for the Walsall Manor Hospital and his trust.”

Laura Roberts, Director at headline sponsor Health Education England (HEE), said: “These awards once again showcase the incredibly high standard of work and the vital role played by both apprentices and support workers. As the main sponsor of Our Health Heroes 2019 we extend our heartfelt congratulations to all the winners.

“Support workers and apprentices are a key part of the healthcare workforce and, through our Talent for Care programme, HEE supports employers with their workforce supply. This is achieved via school engagement, volunteering, work experience, pre-employment activity, apprenticeships and access to higher education and the registered professions.”

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