OSCAs celebration for local NHS staff

When the NHS was established 70 years ago, it was intended as a service from the cradle to the grave, and this was reflected in the winners of the annual staff awards at University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire (UHCW) NHS Trust.

A long-serving NHS matron who cares for premature and unwell babies, and caring volunteers who support patients at the end of their lives were among the winners at the Trust’s eleventh annual Outstanding Service and Care Awards, or OSCAs, on Friday 28 September 2018.  Nominations for the awards were open to staff, patients and relatives.

Rose Blake, Neonatal Matron, was the big winner of the night, taking home two prizes.  Rose, who has worked for the NHS in Coventry for 36 years, and leads a team caring for the Trust’s youngest patients, won both the Compassion in Care and Leader of the Year awards.  She was put forward by 10 colleagues.

Rose Blake, Neonatal Matron, said:

“I was so shocked when my name was called not once, but twice.  There were so many wonderful nominees in both categories, and I am really grateful for this honour.

“Winning was only possible because of the amazing teams I’ve been privileged to work with over the last 36 years, and these prizes are really for them.  I’ve felt supported throughout my career, and I’m incredibly proud to work in the NHS.”


The Support for the Dying Companions took home the prize for Volunteer of the Year.  The caring volunteers work at both University Hospital in Coventry and the Hospital of St Cross in Rugby, supporting people in the last days or hours of their life.  They sit with, talk or read to people, and can offer support to their families too.


Simon Betteridge, Lead Chaplain and Bereavement Services Manager, said:

“I was so proud to see our compassionate Support for the Dying Companions get the recognition they deserve.

“So far they have supported over 300 patients and their families.  Every day they show the utmost compassion and respect in the most challenging of times.  Other hospitals have recognised the support they give, and are asking to learn from our amazing volunteers.”


Other winners included:

  • Neil Griffin, who won the big prize of the night – the Chief Executive Officer’s Award.  Neil is the Lead for the partnership work between the Trust and the Virginia Mason Institute in Seattle, which has led to significant improvements in patient safety across the Trust.
  • Dr Senthil Athmanathan, who won the Going the Extra Mile for Patients award.  Senthil works as an Oncology Registrar, caring for cancer patients.  He was nominated by five different colleagues for the support he gives to patients, staff and doctors in training.
  • Elle Ludlow, a Healthcare Assistant caring for older people at University Hospital, who won the inaugural Apprentice of the Year award.  Elle was nominated by both relatives and colleagues for her compassion and dedication.

The ceremony hosted by BBC presenter Lorna Bailey was attended by over 250 doctors, nurses, healthcare assistants, dieticians and behind the scenes staff.


Chief Executive Officer, Professor Andy Hardy, said:

“I’m so proud of everyone nominated for the OSCAs this year, including our 12 winners.  It was more difficult than ever for the judges, as we received a record-breaking 800 nominations, which described in detail how our staff go above and beyond to improve care for patients.

“The winners really did reflect the breadth of what our staff do – caring for patients from the cradle to the grave just like Aneurin Bevan envisaged when the NHS was founded in 1948.”


This year, UHCW NHS Trust, which runs both University Hospital in Coventry and the Hospital of St Cross in Rugby, received over 800 nominations for the awards.

The event was made possible thanks to sponsorship by the Coventry and Rugby Hospital Company plc, Coventry University, ISS, University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire Charity, Vinci Facilities and Warwick Medical School.

The winners of the 2018 OSCAs were:

  • Apprentice of the Year: Elle Ludlow, Apprentice HCA, Ward 20
  • Behind the Scenes Award: Jayne Sanderson, CSB Manager
  • Compassion in Care: Rose Blake, Modern Matron – Neonatal
  • Going the Extra Mile for Patients: Senthil Athmanathan, Oncology Registrar
  • Innovation or Service Development: Kim Harlock, Bowel Cancer Screening Manager
  • Leader of the Year: Rose Blake, Modern Matron - Neonatal
  • Outstanding Contribution to the Education of Warwick Medical Students: Ling Wong, Consultant Colorectal Surgeon
  • Project Co Award for Vinci/ISS staff: Sue Marriott, ISS Domestic
  • Volunteer of the Year: Support for the Dying Companions
  • Working in Partnership with ISS Award: Occupational Health Team
  • UHCW Charity Supporter of the Year: Penny Jenkins
  • Chief Executive Officer’s Award: Neil Griffin, KPO Lead

Nominations for next year’s OSCAs are expected to launch in Spring 2019.