Making a Difference Winners

Judith Payne: Excellent Employee Award

A UHDB colleague has received a special award for making it her mission to teach, support and guide one of our Project Search interns.

Judith Payne, our Patient Experience Lead, working in our Patient Experience Team at the Royal Derby Hospital was presented with the Trust’s Excellent Employee award after being nominated by a colleague who praised the time, dedication and patience Judith has shown to Imogen, one of the Project Search interns. Imogen is deaf and has been hugely supported by Judith since joining the Patient Experience Team at the start of her internship.

The nomination said: “Judith has gone above and beyond to help Imogen learn new skills and allocate her new tasks to get involved in within the office, which Imogen has thoroughly enjoyed doing.

“Judith has actively encouraged Imogen every day which has boosted her confidence no end. This has been a delight to witness. Judith has been a real advocate for Imogen and she has been able to recognise when Imogen is tired, in pain or not feeling well (due to her disabilities) and has supported Imogen tirelessly through her time in the department”

Krishna Kallianpur, Interim Executive Chief Nurse at UHDB presented Judith with her award, surrounded by her colleagues and Imogen, who came back to visit Judith, to celebrate her achievement.

Judith said: “What I have supported Imogen with over the past couple of months will remain with me for a long time to come. She has been a delight to have in our team - very friendly, polite and always smiling.  Having her in our team taught us so much – it was a brilliant experience for us all – I hope more teams plan to get involved and support the next cohort of Project Search interns to the Royal Derby Hospital. ”

Well done Judith!

Find out more about Project Search here

If you know a UHDB member of staff or team who should be recognised for their exceptional work, you can nominate them for a Monthly Making a Difference Awards by emailing

Grace Woodcock: Patient Hero Award

The fantastic lengths a Royal Derby Hospital Radiographer went to in order to help a patient in need have been recognised with a Making a Difference Award.

Grace Woodcock, Head and Neck Specialist Radiographer, truly went above and beyond what was expected of her when a cancer patient who couldn't speak English was referred for treatment.

Despite the challenges this brought with it, Grace's commitment to her patient wasn't lost in translation, as she took it upon herself to arrange for him to register with a GP and gain an NHS number, so that he could start his treatment.    

After he was admitted to hospital, Grace then worked tirelessly to ensure all of the necessary support was put in place - reviewing him on his ward daily, liaising with interpreters and even his Consultant who was overseas in Mexico!

This outstanding care has not gone unrecognised and Grace has this week been presented with a Patient Hero Award, with her nomination, which was received by a member of the public, insisting that "she could not have done more for this gentleman". 

Grace said: "I was very surprised when I was told I'd won this award, to be honest! I just feel like what I did was part of my role but it's nice to know that you're helping in some way.

"I love my job, so this award is made even more special because it's based on the feedback of patients."

Grace was presented with her award by Krishna Kallianpur, Acting Chief Nurse, who added: "What you did for this patient really was above and beyond what was asked of you, well done."

If you’d like to put a member of staff  forward for a Patient Hero Award for showing kindness, thoughtfulness or compassion towards you, please email:

Daz: Patient Hero Award

A security officer at Royal Derby Hospital has received a Making a Difference Award for showing compassion to a visitor, despite being assaulted by him a few years prior.

Daz, who has worked in our security team for 14 years, was patrolling the hospital corridors in November 2019 when he saw a man sat down crying. Despite recognising the man as the same person who had assaulted him many years ago, Daz sat on the floor with him, put his arm around him in and spent time showing supporting him, showing extreme compassion towards the man who was grieving the loss of his mother.

The former patient was so touched by Daz’s actions that he nominated him for a Patient Hero Award.  

Daz said, “Whatever happens in my role, there are no prejudices. Every day is a clean slate and I don’t hold grudges against any patient or visitor I have worked with.

“We’re often called to support staff in wards and departments when patients are agitated or need additional supervision. It’s part of our role to show empathy and kindness.

“To me, I was just doing my job, but I’m so glad to hear that I was able to support him at such a difficult time in his life.”

If you’d like to nominate a member of staff for showing kindness, thoughtfulness or compassion towards you please email:

Discharge coordinator Elaine collects our CEO Making a Difference Award

Elaine Baker, Discharge Co-ordinator on Ward 3 was the recent winner of our Chief Executive Award as part of our Monthly Making a Difference Awards, after being put forward by Julie Smith, Sister on Ward 3.

Julie wanted Elaine to be recognised for her outstanding contribution to the ward and the support that she provides to the patients and their loved ones, before she retires later this year.

Her nomination also highlighted Elaine’s thorough and diligent work when it comes to patient discharge.

Ward 3 Team

Elaine was delighted to be recognised, she added: "I'm so overwhelmed that this is what my colleagues think of me. It is really lovely to have been awarded the CEO Award and also quite the surprise!"

If you know a fabulous member of staff like Elaine, then nominate them for one of our Making a Difference Awards!

Amputee Rehab: CEO Award

Our Amputee Rehab Team at Royal Derby Hospital have been named as the worthy winners of our Making a Difference “CEO Award”.

Gavin Boyle, Chief Executive, surprised the team by presenting them with their Making a Difference award.

The team were nominated for always going above and beyond for our patients and providing them with the support to help service users get back to a normal life.

The team said: "It's nice to know that we are appreciated and acknowledged for the work that we do."

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