Tallaght University Hospital Announces 2019 Hero Awards Winners

Hero Image 2019June 21, 2019: Tallaght University Hospital (TUH) is today celebrating the Hospital’s 21st anniversary with the second annual Hero Awards. The awards recognise individuals and teams that make a special difference to patients and their families.

A total of nine awards are being handed out today ranging from Patient Experience to Unsung Hero and Team of the Year. Earlier this year patients and their families were invited to make nominations for the Patient Experience Award. They were asked to consider a person or service who demonstrated the hospital ethos of People Caring for People and exceptional patient experience. The 2019 winner of this award is the Volunteer Coffee Shop. There were a large number of nominations this year for the volunteer coffee shop, best summed up by the following comment: ‘These people give the gift of their time. They are courteous and polite providing service with a smile. They light up my day when I’m down.’

Chief Executive of TUH Lucy Nugent said: “Today we are celebrating the 21st anniversary of the opening of Tallaght University Hospital. But we are also celebrating all of our dedicated and hard-working staff through these awards. We are one of Ireland’s largest acute teaching hospitals, but we are also deeply rooted in the community we serve and it is fantastic to see that the community contribute to our heroes awards through the Patient Experience award.”

The CEO  nominated two of the winners of the 2019 heroes to recognise individuals that go above and beyond, often quietly doing so behind the scenes. The recipients of those awards this year are Sandra Daly from the Robert Graves Post Graduate Centre at TUH, and Jessie Burke who is Decontamination Lead in the Hospital.

Ms Nugent said: “Sandra is receiving this award because she represents the ethos of all the values and ethics of Tallaght University Hospital. Jessie received this award as recognition not only for the calibre of service she provides but more specifically for going above and beyond in the provision of that service.”

Also commenting on the awards, Director of HR at TUH, Sharon Larkin said: “After our inaugural awards last year it is great to see so much interest in them again for our 21st anniversary. We know that every one of the 3,000 plus staff who work here at TUH make an incredible contribution every day, and I’m delighted that we can formally acknowledge them all and highlight some of those who go above and beyond in delivering for our patients.”

Full list of 2019 TUH Hero Award Categories and winners:

Patient ExperienceVolunteer Coffee Shop collected by Marie Barnes a longstanding volunteer at TUH. The Patient Experience Award was open to the community to nominate a person/service who demonstrated the finer ideals of caring through extraordinary service to a patient and or their family. A person that went beyond the expectations of the care the patient / family expected and delivered and ‘exceptional patient experience’.  

There were a large number of nominations all of which referred to the ‘Friendly and caring welcome’ the entries are best summed up by the following comment ‘These ladies give the gift of their time.  They are courteous and polite providing service with a smile. They light up my day when I'm down.’

People Caring for PeopleAngela Smith, Health Care Assistant, Charlie O’Toole Day Hospital
This category called for nominations of a staff member who exemplifies all of the Hospital’s core values.  Submissions were made by a number of Angela’s colleagues in the Charlie O’Toole Day Hospital who said “She is incredible, empathetic and caring, she has an unfailing reputation for fairness and unfailing appreciation of patient autonomy. She takes time to get to know the patients and is passionate about her work in the Hospital.’

Unsung Hero - Gerry Claffey, Therapy Assistant, Burkitt Ward
The Unsung Hero category was open to members of staff who demonstrate exceptional service to the organisation. Rationale from Gerry’s submissions said ‘Gerry quite simply brightens up patient’s days, he places patients at ease, is kind and compassionate and motivates patients to fully participate in their rehabilitation. He is forever helpful and a very valued member of the team.’

Service ExcellenceCora Healy, Medical Records Department 
This category called for nominations of a staff member who provides an outstanding service to patients or staff within Tallaght University Hospital. The Medical Records Department is not often thought about by people, but they perform an essential role in the healthcare journey of all patients. In her role in Medical Records, Cora deals with staff and families at what is a very emotional time. In the submission received reference was made to the “extra mile Cora goes to in order to help junior staff and patients.  In her role in the death notifications office she treats the bereaved with kindness, empathy and in particular with professionalism.” 

Mentoring Award – Professor William Torreggiani, Radiology
The mentoring award category was for a staff member who demonstrated outstanding teaching skills and served as a role model and mentor to any member of staff. Professor Torreggiani received a number of nominations from colleagues throughout the Radiology Directorate. In summary “Professor Torreggiani is an exemplary member of staff and a wonderful teacher to all Registrars. He commits two hours every week (before the working day) to teaching registrars throughout their four-year training scheme. No matter how busy he is, his patience never wavers nor his encouragement of our continued learning. Outside of teaching, he is never short of new ideas and advice on research which he actively encourages. His door is always open, he is an exemplary role model.”

Teamwork AwardMel Gallagher, Radiology
This award called for nominations for someone who is a valued team player. A staff member who rolls up their sleeves and asks, ‘what can I do?’ to make the jobs of others easier.  Submissions were made by a number of Mel’s colleagues for his “great leadership qualities and vision over the last 20 years at TUH. He is an advocate for staff and patients and for the core values of the Hospital, he makes a positive impact in all that he does and is valued team player.”

Team of the YearAseptic Pharmacy Team
Caring for patients and one another as colleagues is a team effort and this award is an opportunity to acknowledge this. The category is a new category to the awards and is for a team that demonstrates excellence in teamwork. 

The Aseptic Pharmacy Team is made up of pharmacists, pharmacy technicians and cleaners. They work under difficult conditions in clean rooms with no natural day light preparing cancer drugs for patients. “This team prepare medication for some of our most vulnerable patients taking great care and vigilance in their work, preparing up to 1,000 doses of chemotherapy each month.”

CEO Awards
There were two further awards nominated by the Chief Executive on behalf of herself and the management team recognising individuals that go above and beyond, often behind the scenes that may not be evident to all staff.

The first recipient for this medal this year is Sandra Daly an administrator in the Robert Graves Post Graduate Centre at TUH. Commenting on this award, Lucy Nugent, Chief Executive of TUH said, “Sandra is receiving this award because she represents the ethos of all the values and ethics of Tallaght University Hospital. In your role in the Graduate Centre you take the greatest of care in supporting the doctors of the future as they embark on their medical careers. During your career here in the Hospital you have operated to the highest standards and your commitment to the Hospital is deeply appreciated.” 

The second recipient was, Jessie Burke, Decontamination Lead in the Hospital. Commenting on the presentation of this Award Ms Nugent said “Jessie received this award as recognition not only for the calibre of service she provides but more specifically for going above and beyond in the service she provides. This was most recently illustrated as she came into the Hospital on her annual leave when we had an unannounced HIQA inspection  demonstrating the excellent service she provides as a leader in her role as Decontamination Lead.”

About Tallaght University Hospital
TUH is one of Ireland’s largest acute teaching hospitals, adult, psychiatric and age-related healthcare on one site. The Hospital has 495 adult beds with 3,000 people on staff. The Hospital is a provider of local, regional and national specialties. It is also a national urology centre, the second largest provider of dialysis services in the country and a regional orthopaedic trauma centre. The Hospital also has 67 paediatric beds under the governance of Children’s Health Ireland and 52 mental health beds under HSE governance.

TUH is one of the two main teaching hospitals of Trinity College Dublin - specialising in the training and professional development of staff in areas such as nursing, health and social care professionals, emergency medicine and surgery, amongst many others. TUH is part of the Dublin Midlands Hospital Group which serves a population of over 1.2 million across seven counties.

A new paediatric outpatient and urgent care centre is to be built at TUH as part of the Children’s Health Ireland project as a key element of an integrated clinical network for paediatric services nationally. The Hospital’s Emergency Departments catered for 51,084 Adult Attendance and 32,424 Paediatric Attendance in 2018. A further 267,623 patients were treated through the Hospital’s Adult and Paediatric outpatient clinics in 2018. The Hospital’s operations are supported by 200 general practitioners in surrounding communities and aligned with Community Health Organisation 7.