Celebrating our ‘world class winners’ at the Royal Free London annual awards

21 June 2018

Actress Michelle Collins helped staff from the Royal Free London celebrate their achievements at an awards ceremony last night.

Nearly 300 members of staff, including nurses, cleaners, doctors, midwives, porters, and  clinical support staff, attended the Oscars ceremony, which was funded by the Royal Free Charity. 

Throughout the evening more than 30 awards were handed out to staff who had made a significant contribution to patient care and the life of the Royal Free London in 2017.

Michelle, who is best known for her appearances in two of Britain’s best loved soaps EastEnders and Coronation Street, praised staff before handing out the awards. 

She said that she had spent a lot of time at the Royal Free Hospital over the last year with her mother who had been in hospital for treatment. 

Michelle said: “Every single member of staff that I’ve met, from the wonderful receptionists, to the porters, to the nurses and the doctors, have been one hundred per cent professional, caring and reassuring − you are all world-class winners in my eyes.”

She added: “I am very proud of our NHS so when I was asked to take part in tonight I of course said yes”.

Royal Free London group chairman Dominic Dodd said: “The hospitals in our group have been pioneers of the NHS, are rated as some of the top-performing in the country on the two things which matter most of all - quality of care and value for taxpayers’ money - and are at the forefront of innovation in the NHS.”

Speaking to staff during the awards presentation, Sir David Sloman, Royal Free London group chief executive, said: “The NHS is the best of Britain, the Royal Free London is the best of the NHS and the people you see before you are the best of the Royal Free London. That makes you the best of the best of the best.”

Among the winners was cardiology matron at the Royal Free Hospital Clare Carter-Jones, who won the chairman’s leadership award for her work which has resulted in her team having the highest levels of patient satisfaction in the trust.

Clare Carter-Jones receiving her chairman's leadership award award (L-R: Dominic Dodd, Clare Carter-Jones, Michelle Collins and Sir David Sloman.

Royal Free London group clinical team of the year was won by the endoscopy team at Chase Farm Hospital for their work to improve patient care and their commitment to education and learning.  Despite undergoing huge changes and a relocation, this team was awarded the highest possible accreditation for an endoscopy service, which resulted in other hospitals coming to see how to run their own units better.

The endoscopy team at Chase Farm Hospital took home the group clinical team of the year trophy.

The Royal Free London group clinician of the year award went to Dr Rajamanickam Vignaraja, a consultant for elderly care medicine at Barnet Hospital.

Dr Vignaraja won this award for achieving excellent results in the management of femur fractures, His outstanding work places the RFL in the top 10 per cent nationally for this service, resulting in commendations from the national hip fracture database. With a fantastic bedside manner and clinical knowledge, Dr Vignaraja was described as an excellent clinician and an inspirational teacher. 

Dr Rajamanickam Vignaraja, consultant for elderly care medicine at Barnet Hospital accepts his award.

Speaking after the ceremony, Sir David Sloman, Royal Free London group chief executive, said: “Congratulations to all of our award winners, runners up and nominees for all of the work they do on behalf of our patients. We had a record number of entries for this year’s awards which is a testament to the commitment and dedication of all of our colleagues who make the Royal Free London such a special place to work.”                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          

The full list of award-winners from last night is:

Outstanding contribution to education award

Winner: clinical educator, urgent care Royal Free Hospital, Rosa Horton

Runner up: clinical skills facilitator for dementia care, Barnet Hospital, Doris Ajayi

Improvement and innovation award

Joint winners:

10 North ward multi-disciplinary team, Royal Free Hospital

Nephrology complex hypertension multi-professional team, Royal Free Hospital.

Highly commended: associate director service improvement, clinical pathways Royal Free London, Kamaljit Kalirai

Outstanding contribution to patient safety award

Winner: neonatal consultant, Starlight neonatal unit, Barnet Hospital, Dr Shanthi Shanmugalingam

Runners-up: Head of patient safety and risk, Royal Free Hospital, Margaret Mary Devaney and antenatal and newborn clinical lead, Royal Free Hospital, Greg Wooton.

Volunteer of the year award

Winner: Malavika Bangera, Royal Free Hospital

Runner-up: Sue Young, Barnet Hospital

Outstanding contribution to the Royal Free Charity (highly commended): Community fundraiser, Carla Bispham, Barnet Hospital

Celebrating diversity award

Winner: consultant ophthalmologist, Royal Free Hospital, Jennifer Forbes


Endoscopy team, Chase Farm Hospital

7 West ward manager, Royal Free Hospital, Karen Kilbride

Chairman’s leadership award

Winner:  cardiology matron, Royal Free Hospital, Clare Carter-Jones


Assistant manager, out-patients appointment centre, Enfield Civic Centre, Shirley Jacome Navarro

6 East ward manager, Royal Free Hospital, Sarah Gough

A&E senior charge nurse, Barnet Hospital, Gideon Gorogodo

Non-clinical employee of the year

Winner: anaesthesia office manager, Royal Free Hospital, Annina Rive


Senior play therapist, children’s services, Royal Free Hospital, Natalie O'Keefe

Head of workforce group, Natalie Ware

Senior internal communications manager, Royal Free London, Joanna Johnson

Non-clinical team of the year

Joint winners:

Facilities team, Royal Free Hospital, for their well-being project

Redevelopment team, Chase Farm Hospital

Runner-up: medical short stay unit (MSSU) ward clerks, Barnet Hospital

Clinician of the year award

Barnet Hospital 
Winner: consultant for elderly care medicine, Dr Rajamanickam Vignaraja, 

Chase Farm Hospital 
Winner: out-patients nurse, Sarah Mundy

Royal Free Hospital 
Winner: clinical lead occupational therapist, Roseanne Skrypak 

Royal Free London group clinician of the year 

Consultant for elderly care medicine, Dr Rajamanickam Vignaraja, Barnet Hospital 

Clinical team of the year

Barnet Hospital 
Winner: Site management team 

Chase Farm Hospital 
Winner: Endoscopy team 

Royal Free Hospital 
Winner: 10 West 

Royal Free London group clinical team of the year

Winner: Endoscopy team, Chase Farm Hospital