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Paget's People Awards 2021

16 November 2021


Outstanding achievements, dedication and quality care against the backdrop of a global pandemic were celebrated at this year’s James Paget University Hospital staff awards.

Inspiration Award Winner Richard Jarmey With Chief Executive Anna Hills, who is wearing a navy blue dress. Both wear surgical masks and Richard, wearing a blue polo shirt with a white James Paget logo on one side, holds his framed certificate.

Inspiration Award winner Richard Jarmey, of our Portering & Security team, receives his certificate from Chief Executive Anna Hills. 


More than 300 guests attended the ‘Paget’s People’ awards ceremony, which was held virtually on Friday night (12 November).

This year saw more than 450 nominations from both patients and staff for the awards.

The winners in each category were as follows:

•           Ward of the Year: Ward 16

•           Team of the Year - Clinical: Intensive Care and High Dependency Unit

•           Team of the Year - Non-Clinical: Domestic Services team

•           Employee of the Year: Matthew Whelband

•           Non-Clinical Individual of the Year: Sue Stebbings

•           Clinical Individual of the Year: Dr Anna Blackburn

•           Inspiration Award: Richard Jarmey

•           Volunteer of the Year: Dr Cooper

•           Apprentice of the Year: Chloe Darnell

•           Governors’ Award for Outstanding Service: Estates team

•           EDP Gold ‘Patients’ Choice’ Award: Ward 12

•           Partnership Working Award: Julie Buckenham

•           Chair and Chief Executive’s Commendations: Infection Control team; COVID vaccination hub (past and present)

All the awards were presented by Chief Executive Anna Hills and Trust Chair Anna Davidson.

Among the winners on Friday night was Matthew Whelband, who enjoyed a double-celebration after winning Employee of the Year and for being part of Ward 16, which was triumphant in the Ward of the Year category.

Ward Of The Year Winners Ward 16 and Employee Of The Year Matthew Whelband - a group of 12 individuals, some kneeling, some standing, all wearing white or blue face masks and most in blue scrubs, hold two framed certificates.

Employee of the Year Matthew Whelband with Ward 16 colleagues.


Matthew, who works as a Physician Associate on the ward which treats COVID patients, was one of our most nominated finalists and was praised for his compassion and courage despite working in very stressful conditions.

One nomination said that Matthew “always puts the needs of patients first, giving up his own time to facilitate telephone and Facetime calls between patients and families so they had the chance to say goodbye.” He also recruited an ‘exceptional’ number of patients to an international clinic trial to identify treatments for people hospitalised with COVID-19.

“I was shocked but delighted to win,” said Matthew. “It has been an enormously challenging time but strong teamwork has meant we have continued to focus on providing the best possible care for our patients – so to have my colleagues on Ward 16 recognised too is the icing on the cake.”

Team Of The Year Clinical - our Intensive Care And High Dependency Unit. Eight members of the team - dressed either in blue scrubs or navy blue tunics and face masks, hold their framed Paget's People winners certificate.

Clinical Team of the Year - ICU/HDU

Team of the Year – Clinical went to our Intensive Care and High Dependency Unit which has looked after many Covid-19 patients, as well as others who have needed their specialist skills.

Their dedication to duty and deep compassion for their patients and each other were highlighted in the 30 nominations that were received for the team – by far the most for a single team or individual.

Sue Bird, who is one of the ward’s managers, said: “I am so proud of the team, who have been on the frontline of caring for our sickest patients, including those with COVID-19, for the last 18 months. They have worked under relentless pressure, caring for their patients while wearing full sets of protective equipment – but they have kept going throughout the pandemic to give their patients the highest possible level of care, while also supporting each other during this challenging time.”

Non Clinical Individual Of The Year - Sue Stebbings, pictured holding her framed winners certificate       Apprentice Of The Year Chloe Darnell, pictured holding her framed winners certificate 

Non-Clinical Individual of the Year Sue Stebbings and Apprentice of the Year Chloe Darnell

Corporate Affairs Administration Officer Sue Stebbings won the Non-Clinical Individual of the Year award for her tireless support to the whole hospital during the pandemic which included providing support to reschedule vaccination appointments for the over 80s and working out-of-hours to arrange and co-ordinate the distribution of goodies for Trust staff including ice-creams, hot cross buns and cookies, and sending items to shielding staff.

“I couldn’t believe it when my name was read out,” said Sue. “It was a surprise to find out I was a finalist – so to actually win was a bit overwhelming! But I am delighted to win, particularly as I know that there are so many people in the administrative roles who go above and beyond to help our clinical colleagues deliver frontline care.”

Anna Hills said: “This year’s ceremony was unique - not only because it was held virtually rather than in person, but also because all our winners went the extra mile during unprecedented circumstances as they continued providing quality care and kept our hospital running during the pandemic.

“I would like to congratulate all the individuals and teams who made it through to the finals - but also all those who were nominated. The standard of entries this year was incredibly high as so many people went above and beyond during the most challenging period in the NHS’ history.

“We’ve seen the best of our organisation during the last two years – and I am so pleased that we have been able to gather virtually to celebrate some of this exceptional work.”

Anna Davidson added: “After missing last year’s event, it was so good to be able to hold a celebration to mark the achievements of our staff once again. By making best use of technology, we were able to gather virtually to highlight our talented and caring workforce at the James Paget. Congratulations to all our finalists and winners!”

Governors Award For Outstanding Service - Our Estates Team. Eight people, all wearing surgical masks and office clothing, stand in a line at different distances from the camera. The man closest to the camera holds their winners certificate.

Our Estates team - winner of the Governors' Award for outstanding service.