James with Fairfield Nurse Irena
James with Fairfield Nurse Irena

James Frith MP has nominated several local health and care heroes for the prestigious NHS Parliamentary Awards.

The NHS Parliamentary Awards were created to celebrate NHS staff, carers and volunteers – their hard work, innovative ideas and unwavering efforts to put patients first.

James has made three nominations for people and teams in Bury following a call for suggestions from the public and local NHS bodies:

The Lifetime Achievement Award

Irena Grindrod has worked as a nurse in the NHS in Bury for over 50 years. Born to Polish parents in Wales and spending her early years in a Polish refugee camp, Irena could not speak English until she was 11 and left high school with no qualifications. She became a cadet then student nurse and started her training at the age of 18, at the Bury and Rossendale School of Nursing attached to Bury General Hospital. Qualifying in 1969, she joined Bury General Hospital, also working at its satellite hospitals including Beeley’s, Ramsbottom’s Aitken Hospital and the Florence Nightingale Unit. Despite now being in her early 70s, she continues to work as a Bed Manager at Fairfield General Hospital today.

Irena said:

“As an 18-year-old, I applied for nurse training. At my interview, the matron asked me why I wanted to become a nurse. I replied that I wanted to help people.

“Over the years that I have nursed, nursing has evolved to an extent no one could have envisaged at the time of my interview. The one constant that has remained as the pivotal role in nursing is the reason I gave so many years ago. Nurses are people who want to help people, and that is what I have tried to do for the last 54 years working for the NHS. I’ve enjoyed every moment.”

Irena was nominated by her daughter, Kathryn, and by the staff of Fairfield and the Northern Care Alliance NHS Group, who said in their supporting statement:

“Irena’s ethos is always that the patients come first and ensures any role is patient centred first and foremost. She is a credit to the nursing profession and NHS in general.”

The Excellence in Primary Care Award

Dr Saad Al-Dubbaisi is the Lead GP at Garden City Medical Centre in Holcombe Brook. Garden City is well above the national average in the GP Patient Survey for being able to speak to or see their preferred GP. Patients also report being able to access the Practice by phone easily and describe their experience of making an appointment as good. In addition, the practice has also been recognised and awarded for good practice by NHS Bury CCG in September 2018.

Practice patient Emma, who nominated Dr Al-Dubbaisi for the award, said:

“Dr Al-Dubbaisi has cared for our family with compassion and patience and went above and beyond to make sure I got the care I needed after having a baby last year.

“I had a C section which became dangerously infected, but having just been discharged after a lengthy stay in hospital with our new baby, I could not face going back in, as I had missed my family so much. After the surgery had closed and he was at home, Dr Al rang me and the midwife, wrote an emergency prescription for antibiotics and drove to the Boots Pharmacy in Bury to get a prescription for me so I didn’t have to go back into hospital.

“There have been numerous examples of his caring approach since we started seeing him when my son was a baby 8 years ago.

“Dr Al combines good ‘old fashioned’ doctoring with modern technology and attitudes and I believe this makes for an amazing service for patients young and old.”

Supporting his nomination, NHS Bury CCG wrote:

“The role of the family doctor is to provide patients with a personalised care approach which has been demonstrated by Dr Al-Dubbaisi and a behaviour that is replicated and offered to all patients registered at his practice. Clearly this approach demonstrates that patients are treated with dignity and respect and regarded as individuals with individual needs, such as keeping patients out of hospital – this approach has an impact on the wider health and social care system.”

The Excellence in Healthcare Award

The Bury Integrated Community Cardiology pilot has been jointly developed by a partnership of NHS Bury CCG, Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust and Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust. Its aim was to improve outcomes for patients with a range of cardiovascular diseases. The pilot saw waiting times improve, reduced referral to treatment time and a range of other benefits for patients and those working in cardiology services across Bury. It has been so successful it has been presented as a model of good practice and is now being explored by other NHS trusts around Greater Manchester.

James said on submitting these nominations:

“These are three shining examples of our why our NHS is the nation’s most beloved institution. Examples of individual healthcare staff going above and beyond the call of duty and of teams working across organisations to improve care for patients and save lives.

“On my visits to local health and care services I regularly see examples of fantastic care that make a genuine difference and touch the lives of local people in Bury. I’m delighted to be able to recognise some of those involved for these prestigious awards and I hope that they will be recognised nationally.”

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