Team of the Year Award 2021

Team of the Year Award, 2021

Please find below all the nominations for the Team of the Year Award, 2021.

To cast your vote, click here.

All Wales

1. 111 North WalesTeam - Ty Elwy

The NHS direct/111 Ty Elwy has undergone a huge period of change in recent months. The team has increased from a small number of nurses and small group of practice coaches, operating on evening shifts, up to offering 24/7 cover with 40 plus nurse (3 intakes in the last 3 months) and 2 intakes of new call handlers. Also new management staff, 3 senior clinicians and 3 new call handler coordinators. The Team has adapted to this change while absorbing a period of intense pressure on the service from the demand placed on nhs direct and 111 service, due to the covid pandemic. During the period the team have embraced changes to working hours, rapid expansion to the Clinical Call centre in Ty Elwy. Added to this has been the addition pressure of the BCU 111 role out and now further change with the addition and integration of the BCU out of hours team. Through out this the Call handlers, nurses and training team have shown great resilience to the challenges faced within the work place, and on home life, from rapid expansion and change. And for this reason I’m nominating the whole of the Ty Elwy 111 team. For there dedication, adaptability, commitment, passion and unwavering focus on providing the best service for the people of Wales.

2. 111 Wales Team (pan Wales)

111 has been the go to service throughout the Covid Pandemic. From the initial concerns about people travelling from China, to the current time where we are hopefully coming out of restrictions, 111 has been at the forefront nationally. When People didn’t want to, or couldn’t access services, 111 provided a point of access for advice and signposting. All levels of staff have stepped up and worked tirelessly to maintain the service during increased demand. Many staff have worked extra, through their annual leave and responded to requests to come in at short notice when demand has exceeded anything that was predicted. As well as the additional pressure Covid brought, 111 has also expanded their Out of Hours services to cover everywhere now, apart from Cardiff. They have responded positively to everything they have been asked to do in a climate of constantly changing policy and protocols. When other services begin to reach capacity, the public turn to 111. This award should go to every member of the team. This service has more than stepped up and deserves recognition. The statistics on call volumes speak for themselves. The Cinderella’s of WAST and the unsung Heroes.

When the world stood still our colleagues in WAST all rose to the cause. The journey for 111 started long before the rest of the world stopped turning. As early as Christmas 2019 we started taking calls from the worried public who were hearing and seeing news reports about the unfolding situation in China. As the weeks progressed those call numbers grew. And with that increased demand for answers and support- the 111 team began the tireless work of being the first point of contact for COVID calls. When the demand for ambulances grew- the demand for our nurses became greater to support and divert away from 999 where safely possible. When the vaccine rollout began, 111 again became the place that people looked towards for questions and answers around the vaccine. Many of our staff were affected by COVID themselves. And the show went on. We continued to give the best of ourselves so that the public could feel supported. But our close team has never faltered. We have supported each other and the people of Wales. As a faceless service it’s quite easy for people to forget that the person on the other end of the phone is a human too. Experiencing the same worries and fears as they are. And it’s that that gives our phenomenal team the empathy and dedication to keep the wheel turning. The disciplines across the whole of Team 111 deserve recognition for their dedication and commitment to the service. They really are exceptional.

What a year it has been for all of us in WAST! NHS Wales 111 has become the largest service for WAST with increased demand due to the introduction of BCU. We're now inundated, particularly in the out of hours period, taking one call after the other, working day and night. The call handlers have dealt with the increased demand, extreme pressures and constant changes to processes, in such a professional and outstanding way. The call handlers are the first point of contact and a true credit to the 111 service - after all, without them, we wouldn't have a service!

3. 111 South East Region, Operations Team

Since January this year the team have been at the forefront of gearing up for and launching the '111 First' initiatives and core 111 services across Wales. Despite the many pressures from the pandemic they have led the recruitment of so many staff its increased the team size by 180%. They supported their training, development of the new clinical call centre space, management and leadership of so many new colleagues. They've done this on top of the 'day job' and keeping 111 operating so well. This has been done with enthusiasm, humour, compassion and a spirit that's firmly routed in the Trusts values. Its a privilege to lead them and I think they are thoroughly deserving of this recognition.

4. 111 Wales Personal Assistant and Reception Team

111, the unsung heroes. These staff members do a little bit of everything and without them, NHS 111 Wales would fall apart, quite literally. They have enormous, highly varied, work loads yet always have time to help others with queries (usually because they know everyone and everything). They are always cheerful and welcoming to visitors and staff alike. They keep us organised and should be recognised for their tremendous contribution to NHS 111 Wales and WAST team.

5. 111 Wales - Education & Training Team

During these testing times of Covid there has been continuous back to back and overlapping inductions of both clinical and non clinical staff, in order to increase staffing levels due to extraordinary increase of service users to 111. As a Team they have had to dramatically change the way they deliver the training, they have had to adapt to unfamiliar work environments, and constantly evolve they training to the needs and demands of the service. There have been a lot of lows and pressures on the teams but they have always strived to work hard, longer hours to their usual and meet the deadlines given to them. They have come together as a Team and are always there to support their colleagues throughout these difficult times.

Led by 3 team leaders and supported by a training administrator, this Team hold responsibility for provision of a quality education programme for NHS 111 Wales staff including induction training. This is a team that always performs to a high standard however, in the last 18 months, they have consistently demonstrated an outstanding - above and beyond -commitment to our service and staff during a time of adversity; working together to deliver a quite frankly astonishing amount of call handler and clinician induction courses. This has required an exceptional individual and team effort. They are team not only in name but in practice. They are a group of extraordinary individuals that personify ‘team.’ The ethics, values and cohesiveness of the team is exceptional. They support each other to do the very best that they can and this in turn allows those they are educating to flourish. The onset of the pandemic saw a change in access to healthcare with the public being advised on a national level to ring 111 for any health problem or Covid-19 related query. In order to meet that demand, there was immediate recruitment into the service. This included WAST A&C staff being re-deployed, temporary call handlers and temporary clinicians. The team quickly developed bespoke induction courses and worked around the clock to get additional people on line for 111 as quickly (and as safely) as possible. When people were limiting travel, this team were travelling daily up and down the M4 and across the A55 to ensure delivery of essential training was maintained. The team also managed to explore new ways of working, remote delivery of training and technology enabled training options during this time. The pressure on the team during this time has been immense. The team leaders have asked so much of the team and have had to make very difficult decisions that they knew would impact on the wellbeing of the team but had to balance those risks with the bigger WAST and health of Wales’s picture. At the start of the second wave of the pandemic, recruitment ramped up again to ensure sufficient staffing numbers to meet the new Contact First/111 First initiative and on top of that, the roll out of the NHS 111 Wales service to Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board was brought forward by almost a year. This means that right up until now (August 2021) there has been no let up at all. The South Wales based training team are travelling to North Wales on a regular basis to support induction training for the nurses and call-handler who have transferred into WAST from BCU via the TUPE process. The whole team have worked tirelessly through this very challenging period despite the effect on their own health and wellbeing and also juggling the very different home life we have all been experiencing. The team leaders have been exceptional, providing compassionate but strong leadership, support and direction and none of this could have happened without the organisation and support of the team’s training administrator. Without their efforts over the last 18 months, the 111 Service would, without doubt, not have enough staff to manage the huge increase in demand. I am so incredibly proud to be nominating this exceptional team for this award.

6. AB Beds, TGUH Desk and End of Life Service Desk (Sophie Gardner, Deb Berry, Pete Wilkins and Eva Najera John)

I am acting Supervisor of this amazing team and I am so proud of them and their positive attitude and care for our patients. They work extremely hard but, are so supportive to colleagues in control and on the road. They are a pleasure to work with and they deserve a pat of the back.

7. Call handlers, Carmarthen CCC

One of the best teams I've ever had the pleasure to work with. I joined WAST in my 50th year, unexpectedly at the start of the pandemic. They welcome all new staff members with such support and encouragement. The call handler supervisors are always there for you, making a tough, challenging job easier and when they're not available, your fellow call handlers are always there to help. Their positive outlook when doing such a stressful job is amazing to see. I've never worked with such a hard working, professional team and they have helped me through the pandemic mentally as well as helping further my knowledge in my new role. I nominate the 999 call handlers at Carmarthen CCC as the most supportive, hard working teams I've ever had the pleasure to be a part of.

8. Carmarthenshire DOMs

My DOM team have been amazing during the pandemic and have supported the satff continuously, often going above and beyond. They have some very difficult things ot deal with, from severe illness to tragic jobs. They have faced adversity straight on and challenged it as a well-oiled team. I am very proud of them!

9. Communications Team

The team play a critical role within the organisation. The pandemic created many challenges and difficulties for the Trust but it placed a significant demand on the skills and commitment of the communications team whose efforts often go unnoticed by many. They have ensured speedy communications to staff and public during the pandemic; grappled with ways to reach all colleagues across the Trust working from stations and home; responded to media enquiries and provided on call services rising to the expectations of colleagues for immediate responses. They have successfully used new digital online platforms to bridge the gap between stakeholders and board; senior managers and staff; enabled the inclusion of frontline staff; supported the role-out of Microsoft teams and I-Pads; monitored and responded in real-time to public feedback and managed demands from the media. Against the backdrop of the pandemic they have supported colleagues by contributing to and through a range of communications channels, such as websites, intranet and social media delivered vital messages and information to staff. It is well recognised that WAST delivers its services 24/7 and that is operational staff will have 'overruns' and extended shifts however; the role of the communications have equally risen to long 'shifts' an constant demands on their time in and out of work hours. And for all of this and the effort they put into the administration of the awards themselves is why I feel they should be recognised for their role/contribution as Team of the Year.

10. Clinical Service Desk Team

This diverse team of nurses and paramedics have worked under extremes of pressures daily with sustained periods of overwhelming surges in demand. They work autonomously delivering clinically safe and effective remote clinical triage whilst balancing demand, availability of resources and patient and professional expectations. This group of professionals work tirelessly for the whole of Wales to ensure our patients receive the right care at the right time by the right person in the right place in a very challenging environment.

11. Education & Training Team, Matrix One

The foresight, passion, determination, expertise and leadership that Andrew, Sarah, Jo, Martin and David have brought to rapidly re-design clinical (EMT) education and training at the Welsh Ambulance Service, engaging with clinicians, trade unions and management to overcome resistance, generate support and effectively motivate and support learners and delivery staff alike has been exemplary. To deliver this project at any time would be no mean feat; but to deliver this transformation in 10 days, against the backdrop of a global health emergency (pandemic), with limited resources and capacity was close to a miracle! A cohort of 60 learners was scheduled to commence a 3 month, accredited and regulated education programme to prepare them for Trainee Emergency Medical Technician roles, on 6th April. Only ten days before the programme was due to commence, the team were forced to completely rethink traditional delivery plans (100% face to face learning), in order to safely facilitate learning and effectively prepare candidates for this complex operational role in light of the restrictions of the fast developing COVID19 pandemic – otherwise the course would have to be abandoned, and future recruitment and training plans set back significantly. Our ability to grow our frontline ambulance workforce has a direct link to the way in which we can continue to deliver vital emergency services to the people of Wales and is a core Trust priority. Having started with one cohort of 60 learners who successfully completed their training, this approach has completely transformed the way the Trust now delivers EMT training. Learners have praised the flexibility afforded by this new approach, and colleagues’ confidence and ability in relation to digital literacy has also improved significantly. Furthermore, the approach has delivered financial savings (in excess of £135,000), and also attracted income for the organisation and additional qualifications for candidates as it has been run as a higher level apprenticeship. News of this successful, innovative approach to delivery quickly travelled across UK ambulance services, NHS Wales and other blue light partners quickly, and colleagues from ambulance services across the UK are now using the model as a blueprint for adapting their own education programmes, enabling the continuation of crucial education and training and maintain essential health workforce supply chains. This innovation has absolutely pushed the boundaries of ambulance education and has been accepted as the future of training and education, certainly within the Welsh Ambulance Service.

12. EMS & NEPTS Teams, Pontypool Ambulance Station 

Proud to support these guys. Despite all the issues over the last 18 months or so these staff have supported the trust in whatever way they could to get through this. Their service to patients and the service in general and the way they’ve looked after each other deserves recognition. Due to everything it has been difficult to support staff as we would wish to do but these guys knuckled down and got on with it. I know this scenario was the same across WAST but I can only nominate one. So proud to nominate the paras, techs, nepts, and support staff, Claire admin and Chris domestic, of Pontypool.

13. EMS CCC EMDs (Emergency Medical Dispatchers) 

This year is a difficult year to nominate a team of the year.  Through the response to the Covid-19 Pandemic the whole of WAST pulled together to change the way we operate and deliver services.

However there is a team within a team who have gone about their business out of sight and without recognition providing frontline services to patients in their time of need.

The EMS CCC EMD team have delivered 999 call answering services to the people of Wales throughout the pandemic dealing with extraordinary levels of demand, changing protocols and processes, achieving reaccreditation as an Accredited Centre of Excellence in delivery MPDS prioritisation in 999 call handling through the International Academy of Emergency Dispatch. All of this has been achieved whilst maintaining service delivery against a standard of 95% of calls answered within 6 seconds.  A feat not achieved across the UK.

You would think that answering unprecedented levels of 999 calls within standard whilst changing processes to address the pandemic was feat enough, particularly when you consider this team work as a team locally within their centres and nationally across Wales providing virtual support to each other to help meet the demands, but on top of all of this the EMD team and their supervisors provided support to other UK ambulance services when demand outstripped their capacity to respond to 999 demand.  WAST EMDs support Yorkshire, London and Scottish ambulance services by providing buddy connections for 999 callers and then transferring incidents to the local dispatch centres.

The role of EMD is not only pivotal to the patients we serve through recording and registering 999 incidents, identifying the correct priority and providing life saving advice over the phone, but also through the pandemic by screening all callers for information about covid risks at the scene of the incident to keep patients and crew members safe.

14. Finance Team

I have been part of the finance team for nearly 14 years. We have had our ups and downs, same as any other team probably, but we always have each others backs. This past 2 years especially has shown just how resourceful and dedicated they are. Having spent 2 year end accounts working from home, has been challenging to say the least, but we came together, communicated more and got the job done. I feel that I have found a great team to work with. But then again, I know all teams across WAST have been absolutely amazing during these difficult and stressful times.

15. HR & Recruitment Team

As it turns out, you learn quickly that the Human Resources Team is critical to the preparation, planning and response to a global health emergency! Covid -19 required a swift response from our HR and Recruitment on a huge scale; the team worked tirelessly to swiftly assess and identify what we needed to do to begin to mitigate the anticipated impact of the virus; starting with the need to quickly recruit more people to work across our core services. A call to arms was launched and received an overwhelming response from the public, with over 1500 volunteering in just 24 hours. We also received a tremendous response from our own workforce, students and volunteers; and supported the redeployment of 90 staff from corporate teams into call centres and our pandemic co-ordination cells, and the mobilisation of corporate teams to swiftly work from home. In just weeks, the team had recruited over 40 new emergency call takers, 400 volunteers and 100 student paramedics from Swansea University were trained to support the frontline. We ensured staff working from home were remembered, as many faced new challenges, juggling homeworking, home schooling, caring responsibilities, and feelings of isolation and guilt for not being in the workplace. The team also developed a range of action cards in support of managers and individuals, giving advice on what to do in a range of situations in the face of the growing threat, and maintained updated Q&A for staff and managers. And in the face of the growing pandemic, of fear and anxiety, the team was also able to maintain a focus on delivering the commissioned growth of our EMS workforce – delivering 136 new FTE (and approx. 450 people in total – turnover) to the frontline, supporting growth in 111 as we rolled out the service to Cwm Taf Morgannwg, and recruiting to the newly created moble testing units and the staff needed for the (newly) opened Grange Hospital. When we look back on all this and reflect on what we describe as ‘core’ services, I hope that the crucial role this team has played will be recognised and acknowledged.

16. Locality Admins

Nobody gives recognition to the Locality Admins who always work hard behind the scenes. They are the cogs that keep the wheels of the Ambulance Service turning and they deserve a little recognition.

17. National NET Call Centre

Our Non-Emergency Call Centre Team has continued to provide the highest level of service to the people of Wales throughout the Covid Pandemic. They have supported each other and shown dedication and loyalty to the service. During the pandemic most of the Team were set up to work from home and each individual was supplied with equipment to ensure they could remain safe and still continue to provide the service. They have all maintained a high level of support during this period of alignment and are now working towards returning to the office. As with all members of staff within the trust, throughout this period the team have had to deal with their own personal anxieties and fears, but tragically in January 2021 one of our very close and dearest members of the team contracted Covid and died just 15 days later – the news was a total shock to us all and we were all totally devastated by the loss of our friend and colleague. While coping with this dreadful news and dealing with their own fears and emotions, they pushed on to continue to provide the NET Call Centre Service even on occasion with tears in their eyes.The Non-Emergency Transport Call Centre Team is a loyal and strong National Team and although we aren’t all together in one building, we are very much together as a team. We have faced adversity, upset, anxiety and pain, but throughout all we have pulled together as one mighty force to continue to support the people of Wales.

The NET Centre is a relatively new department formed from the 3 different areas/teams who all joined as one 'Pan Wales' department. As well as having to deal with a change of management structure, the staff have also had to learn many regional differences to enable them to do their jobs. The team have also had to adapt to deal with the global pandemic, their workload initially slumped in April 2020 when all outpatient appointments were cancelled by the hospitals and the lockdown was in place, during that time they did everything they could to help the control and planning teams, some picking up new skills along the way. As the hospitals started to open up the workload has increased and with the addition of Powys in April, they are now busier than ever. The team have been asked to work longer hours and the centre also started to open weekends. Some staff had to work from home at the beginning of the pandemic due to having to isolate and others were made to work from home later on due to site changes or COVID outbreaks within their areas. They have had to deal with the sad loss of their friend and colleague Paul Teesdale but despite emotions, they have continued to work hard throughout. Some of the team are still in a position now where they are working from home or working in borrowed areas while they wait for essential works to be completed on their offices. With all this going on the team have pulled together to support each other, whether this be in person or remotely. The staff are always so friendly and helpful to all our service users, they are the first person the service users come into contact with and they always show a professional front. I would like this team to be recognised for being hard working and very passionate about their jobs. They all go above and beyond and you can see they wear their WAST badges proudly.

18. Neonatal Team (WAST/ Betsi)

I would like to nominate the dedicated ambulance neonatal transport service. The ambulance, nursing and consultant team work very well together in transporting precious neonates across North Wales & North West England. The team are very much professional and cohesive in ensuring that the service provided to very poorly babies is timely, safe and secure no matter what time of day or night it is required.

19. NEPTS Control Team - South East 

I would like to nominate the NEPTS Control Team (South East Wales) for the exemplary way in which they have carried out their duties over the past year in what has proved to be an extremely challenging year in terms of CoVID 19. I think it only right to point out that with the exception of those staff who had contracted CoVID 19, or had to self isolate, there has not been a single reported absence since March 2020, which demonstrates their commitment to our patients, each other and the NEPTS. The team as a whole are tireless advocates of world class patient care, they genuinely care about good patient outcomes, without exception everyone of them go the extra mile to ensure that our patients get the best transport solution possible. The team not only embrace change, they welcome it. This year saw the opening of the Grange University Hospital, we were asked to provide a step down service within a very small time frame but this challenge was accepted and executed without fuss or fanfare, the service has successfully embedded and continues to go from strength to strength. NEPTS Control South & East Wales are responsible for many additional services, the multi award winning End Of Life Service, The Grange University Hospital Step Down Service, Discharge and Transfer Services for Cwm Taf & ABUHB, Enhanced Services such as Renal, Oncology and Motoneuron as well as general outpatient appointments, all of which receive dedicated, focussed and professional Control Services. The NEPTS Control Team South & East Wales are multiskilled, talented professionals who lead by example, the team are focussed, dedicated and resourceful undertaking their job roles with a can do attitude and accept that challenges are to be overcome collectively and with good humour for the benefit of all but most importantly the patient. The team are happy, engaged and productive, collectively they have cultivated a team culture based on mutual trust, respect, care, diversity and fun. They all share a collective goal, to be the best that they can be in a professional working environment. This Team make coming to work a pleasure, they are an example of how a difficult job can be fun, where supporting each other comes naturally they have a loyalty to the department, their patients and each other which is rare but wholesome and genuine. I am extremely proud to lead this team and wholeheartedly believe that they deserve to be put forward for Team Of The Year.

20. NEPTS Transfer of Work Team

First I want to pay tribute to the whole of WAST in what has been an unprecedented period of extreme pressure across the Organisation. The response to the Covid 19 pandemic has been carried out with great professionalism, passion and care and has rightly been recognised with the George Cross. I wish to nominate the NEPTS Transfer of Work Team for the Welsh Staff Award in this category. The Transfer of Work is a highly complex piece of work that came off the back of a Welsh Government endorsed Business Case put forward in 2015. The case being for a single body to be the sole provider and procurer of Non Emergency Patient Transport Services for Wales and to deliver that service in a ”plurality model” with WAST leading alongide Non WAST Providers from the 3rd Sector and Private Provision. The work was highly complex as due to historic working, Health Board colleagues were not 100% sure what they were procuring over and above their contracts with WAST and due to the health board structures it was spread over numerous departments, clinics and sites and records of patient journeys were often unrecorded. The team set about developing a plan to collect, collate, analyse and disaggregate realms of information involving patient appointments, travel arrangements, acuity, cost and who the current providers were. In total a large amount of funding was identified and 78,614 patients, which were transported by in excess of 50 providers. These providers were all Quality Assured by the QA lead Lyndon Powell and assisted by various members of the Transfer of Work Team. Lyndon also developed the whole Quality Assurance process based upon WAST standards and industry best practice and has set up a WAST repository with all this data. Going forward his role will change and ensure continuous improvement is shown amongst Non-WAST Provision and WAST. The team also ensured the smooth transition through TUPE of several NHS colleagues and implemented the transition of 2 call centres over to WAST, showing the ability, capability, initiative and resource to understand a highly technical communication infrastructure and to communicate clearly to stakeholders the information required to ensure they were able to contact the right service at the right time in the correct manner. All this has required extensive Governance processes and the development and progression of appropriate documentation, coupled with extensive project and business delivery planning. Coupled with this, WAST purchased a Dynamic Purchasing Framework called 365. The principle being all the ad-hoc journeys could be put through a single system where providers had been quality assured and “on-boarded” on to the system, on the basis they accepted our standard contractual terms and adhered to our service specification. The whole QA process had to be designed and developed and every provider, vehicle and all documentation was checked by Lyndon Powell, our QA manager, a truly outstanding piece of work. The running of this system, including the planning, procurement, booking and invoicing of providers is carried out by a single small team who are multi-skilled, multi-talented and extremely organised and professional. The skill and professionalism of all those involved has ensured that collectively and individually the Transfers of Work have barely been noticed by those not involved and that is a credit to the team. They have ensured that patient care has remained at the centre of what we do and that Health Board partners have been able to continue their day to day business unfettered by this extensive piece of work. This is all the more impressive due to the massive service changes that have been implemented due to Covid 19. Going forward they will play a huge part in reforming, reshaping and delivering patient transport services and we can be assured it is in safe hands. Outstanding work, collectively and individually.

21. Patient Experience and Community Involvement Team

Throughout the Pandemic, the PECI Team redeployed and adjusted it’s ways of working to respond to the needs of the organisation, and the people of Wales and its various communities, ensuring their voices continue to be heard and championed. This includes; COVID 19 symptom checker -Instrumental in rapidly building, adjusting and maintaining this critical tool. Maintaining NHS 111 Wales website pages - and directing public toward them as first port of call, helping relieve pressure on 999 and 111 calls. Working with IPC to produce all visual resources and videos for staff relating to IPC and PPE, including; donning and doffing PPE video; PPE, Handwashing & IPC Posters, keeping front line staff protected. Development of easy read and BSL information on PPE following feedback from communities who found it worrying and provided a communication barrier. Development of further easy read information on Covid topics, leading to collaboration with Public Health Wales to produce and distribute timely information in a format suited to people living with dementia, learning disabilities, autistic people, people with sensory loss and people who’s 1st language isn’t English, helping disadvantaged communities have the same timely access to critical information as the general public. Advised on content for Covid throat swab test instructions, in collaboration with Public Health Wales, Welsh Assembly Government, applying easy read principles to the instructions used in the first Covid test centres, to instruct as wide a demographic as possible on how to complete their throat swabs themselves. Comissioned to design Improvement Cymru's 'health profile', a tool that outlines essential information about a vulnerable person’s health to primary care and unscheduled care staff. Launched the Trust's People and Community Network, giving patients and public opportunities to be active participants in shaping service design through a wide range of opportunities. Continued to maintain and develop links with communities across Wales, capturing stories and recording experiences and feeding the voice of the people back in to the service and joining communities' support networks online. Hosted 5 online learning events for people with Learning Disabilities and Carers. People with LD told us PPE is scary, potentially leading to patients being uncooperative and disrupt a WAST response. People reported they felt more at ease with PPE after the events, among other positive outcomes. Carers told us it’s important WAST recognises & values information carers know about the person they care for. Our Event and surveys explored what would help WAST recognise and value carers. Staff surveys gave rise to activities during Carers Week for WAST staff who are carers. Increased access for deaf people by making BSL available for many events and services. Engaged with children, including a gaming app, animation and online event, highlighting the massages we normally deliver at schools, educating future generations of WAST users in appropriate use of 999. Matilda's story, shown on ITV Wales News championed Matilda, who overcame her fears of check-ups through our explorative play sessions - an excellent example of the success of our continuous engagement model. Distributing robust information to the public with critical Trust updates.Developing WAST resources for ethnic minorities, following a trial of the online tool Recite Me on the Covid 19 Pages. This also provides a suite of accessibility features and full translation in multiple languages, expanding the accessibility of 111 to more groups, including those most at risk of barriers to health information. All this achieved against a backdrop of adjusting to new ways of working, new technology, engaging communities in completely new ways, and working from home and the challenges presented with that. The team has also been shortlisted for the Patient Experience Network National Awards 2020.

22. Quality Improvement Team

I started in WAST 6 weeks before COVID, we had a newly formed team none of which had worked together before. The Team were all moved to support different areas of the Organisation for the whole of COVID and this meant that the work we were employed to lead on had to take a back seat. Every member of the team including myself were deployed into areas that they had not worked previously and were in key positions in supporting the organisation going forward. The team worked in the ODU, 111, Quality Assurance, and in the North on vehicles. The individuals in the Team continued to support each other and develop the Team ethos which is around all supporting each other and doing the best to deliver on Quality Improvement across the Trust. Even though staff were redeployed the Team still successfully liaised with Health Boards, Local Authorities, internally within the Trust, to drive the agenda in relation to Older People, Falls and many other areas. The Team also led on developing and implementing opportunities across 22 Local Authorities and 7 Health Boards for student Paramedics to go on placement in Community Teams so that they begin to learn and understand communities before they begin employment as qualified Paramedics, and identify and understand what services are available in the community to assist with preventing hospital conveyance.

23. Resource Team

The support, innovation and consistent engagement the resource team provide to operations, liaising across directorates with Finance, WOD, Recruitment & Training, Clinical, Fleet, P&P, ICT and HI with the goal to maximise production and improve resource service processes in terms of abstraction management and reporting, in support of the Trust objectives and underlying principles to deliver quality patient care and staff wellbeing is outstanding and deserves recognition. The additional pressures to the Trust due to the pandemic through all stages Response, Monitor and Recovery, the team have pulled together and adapted and responded to all requests with true commitment, determination and humour. In addition to BAU production and pandemic actions the team are also key stakeholders in multiple Trust projects, EMS Roster Review, NEPTS Resourcing improvements, 111 contact first expansion, CCC recruitment and reporting improvements, rostering system advances such as Everbridge, mobile applicaiton, CFR self roster. I am very proud to represent this team and their ongoing commitment and dedication for improvement under a very pressurised and relentless environment.

24. Renal Hub Team

The team has faced a lot of challenges and change over the last year as well as COVID and have pulled together with outstanding team work, they have dealt with all issues with respect and pure commitment to the patients. I am proud to have worked alongside them and they have dedicated themselves to my management under extreme pressure. They have adapted, been completely flexible and helped me keep the wheels turning not only achieving sustainability of the enhanced service but managing to enhance the performance figures to a high standard and keeping up with improvement on all levels.

25. Safeguarding Team

This is a high performing and committed team whose work behind the scenes is often forgotten but they ensure quality and safety for patients and staff.

26. Sketty Ambulance and Fire Station

I have worked with this team and been a part of this station for nearly 10 years, and in all this time I have felt to be a valuable and loved member of staff. Being a joint station, we “gel” well together respecting each other’s employers work spaces and aware of the differences between our two businesses. Throughout the past year and the Pandemic there have been difficult situations and anxieties regarding the differences in our working environments and exposure to COVID-19, but regardless as a team we communicated well, we understood the differences between the two working groups, respectively adhered to the change in working environments and practices, and supported each other. So I thank all the fire service personnel for being a part of our family but I want to personally nominate my colleagues Aled Bell (sadly left to go to Carmarthen but my right and left arm through the pandemic), Alex Johnstone (my other better half and amazing support), Paul Taylor, Darren Griffiths, Kelly Harris, Natasha Lewis, Martin Collier, Matthew Saitch, Stuart Picton, Chloe Lancey, Martin Crocker, Andrew Vaughan, Dean Messer, Dave Beynon, Martin Morgan and last but not least Andrew Matthews for being the most amazing team to have shared the scariest of time in my 26 years of service. We pulled through together, we supported each other in and out of work, checking in with each other, easing anxiety and mental heath issues. I may provide the carrot cake but you all support me with the ability to be a better person, to come to work with the biggest smile knowing that because of you my day in work will be simply the best because I get to work with an awesome team of individuals, all with something individual to give and such great sense of humours and support. Thank you all, so I would like to nominate Sketty for a team award x

27. Special Operations Response Team (North Wales)

In spite of the very challenging demands that we have all experienced within Trust, I am proud of the number of staff whom have remained with us during this current recruitment process for bolstering numbers within our regional SOR teams. Training events have been / were planned, but inevitably were cancelled, due in the main to increasing pressures placed upon the Trust to address our core business in the community. All the whilst our existing and potential SORT staff have supported us wherever and whenever they can, always mindful of their primary responsibility of providing clinical expertise to residents and visitors to Wales. Our SOR teams are acutely aware that they will likely have to deal with incidents outside of usual business, and I am pleased that we have been able to support and encourage them to remain engaged where they will be afforded the additional training to enhance their skillset for the benefit of our communities.

28. WIIN Business Group

In early January, the team reformed to design and implement a refreshed Improvement and Innovation Network. The team worked across directorates to ensure the new system was simple and user friendly. The team worked extremely hard, to share with staff across the organisation how to submit ideas and designed innovative methods to submit improvement ideas. This included a new forms template, links on the iPad and a social media presence. The group worked together to re-launch on the 1st June with a focus on Hospital Handover delays. The team have met regularly during June and July to ensure improvement ideas have been scored, feedback provided to staff in a timely manner and then shared with the relevant organisational leads. Since the 1st of June the group have received 95 ideas. From March 19 to November 20, 125 ideas were received, so this has been a massive increase. The team are now working jointly across all directorates to theme ideas and provide support to colleagues to develop plans for implementation. Where barriers have been identified to innovation, the team have continued to work with forums such as the Assistant Directors Leadership Team to highlight areas of innovation and seek support to develop the ideas linked in with the organisational strategic objectives. I think the team have shown immense resilience, they have worked hard to commit the time in their very busy schedules. They have set out to promote innovation and develop a culture where all ideas are considered. The team are always positive and give of their best at all times. They are a credit to WAST and I feel so important in ensuring innovative ideas are able to be considered across the organisation.