Meet your Chase Farm Hospital and Group Clinical Services Oscars winners

7 June 2023

The Royal Free London (RFL) Oscars awards returned with a bang last night (Monday 6 June) as staff at Chase Farm Hospital (CFH) and across Group Clinical Services (GCS) were celebrated in recognition of their hard work and outstanding achievements.  

CFH and GCS chief executive, Alan McGlennan, hosted the event with members of the site executive team, and presented 13 awards chosen in line with our trust objectives.

Before the ceremony began, Alan said: “There were almost 570 nominations from across the trust for the RFL Oscars, of which 122 were for staff and teams working within Chase Farm Hospital and Group Clinical Services which is an incredible number, and it is a great pleasure to join you in celebrating each of those nominations for Chase Farm business unit.”

It was the first in person RFL Oscars event in a few years and we were joined by more than 100 members of staff who were delighted to watch their colleagues win the awards. Thank you to the Royal Free Charity for supporting this year's awards.

Congratulations to all the winners, runners up and nominees:

Clinical team of the year winner: pre-operative assessment team
Runner up: radiology department, community diagnostic centre

pre-operative assessment team posing for the camera with their awards alongside Alan McGlennan

The pre-operative assessment team work tirelessly to ensure there are enough patients fit for surgery to fill all lists. They are constantly challenged with the need to make patients fit, which after covid is not easy with patients requiring more input. The team has moved area and embraced this. Alan presented the award, stating: “They work well together as a team and the ward manager always puts herself forward to ensure that the unit runs smoothly, taking her own lists and managing the unit.”

Clinician of the year winner: Wendy Spicer, chief pharmacist
Runner up: Dr Kesy Nayagam, consultant radiologist

Wendy Spicer posing with Alan McGlennan and her certificate

Wendy is a key member of the Chase Farm Hospital leadership team, as well as playing a key role within the whole group as chief pharmacist. She goes above and beyond on a daily basis to ensure that the care received by our patients is of the highest calibre, while being responsive to the, sometimes it seems, daily asks of pharmacy. Over the past year she has led the group and advised across London on the response to the Mpox outbreak and ensured that the Royal Free London is a responsive organisation to an ever-changing landscape. During the recent industrial action, she has led the pharmacy team to ensure that all staff working in different roles are supported by the pharmacy team. By ensuring a swift response to the procuring of the Mpox vaccine and using the learning from the Covid-19 vaccine rollout, she stood up the vaccine programme quickly and efficiently over just one weekend. She even managed this from outside of the country as she was on leave at the time. 

Presenting the award, Alan said: “Wendy is a calm and exceptionally knowledgeable clinical leader who always keeps what is right for the patient at the centre of everything that she does and will advocate continually for a safe, effective service for patients regardless of whatever other competing pressures are at play.”

Non-clinical team of the year winner: the outpatients appointments centre booking team 
Runner up: the concierge team

OAC booking team posing with their certificate alongside Ash Saini

The outpatients appointments centre booking team has worked tirelessly over the last year to positively impact patients and colleagues despite a continually growing workload. “This team works around the clock to ensure all demands of services are met so that patients are receiving the best possible care”, said Ash Saini, divisional director, CFH, presenting the award. "They manage multiple worklists while highlighting any issues or concerns to the services in a timely manner to prevent patient delays. They have developed a wellbeing team which supports staff and offers wellbeing days, they have encouraged staff to become mental health first aiders and hold events to encourage staff to build relationships and boost team morale."

Shining star winner: Jennifer Walters, senior sister, pre-operative assessment
Runner up: Lisa Linnell, radiology cancer pathway navigator

Jennifer posing with her award and certificate alongside Ash Saini

Jennifer manages the preassessment department at CFH, helping with clinical and logistical queries and being a source of wise advice, ultimately helping patients have a better service at pre-operative assessment. Earlier this year, she managed the location move of CFH POA, and ensured that the required facilities and IT systems are available to deliver efficient patient care. She will always endeavour to find a solution and support a person and team. Presenting the award, Ash said: “She is kind to all, compassionate amongst members of the team, treats everyone with respect and tries to encourage us daily. She is not afraid of challenges and deals with them very calmly with a smile on her face.”

Quality improvement and efficiency award winner: Nefreteria Duncan, ward manager, surgical elective in-patient cases
Runner up: Nicola Richardson, senior operating department practitioner

Nefreteria Duncan posing with her award and certificate alongside Bev Tipping

Presenting the award, Bev Tipping, head of finance said: “Nefreteria’s dedication, leadership and tenacity have led to significant improvements in patient safety and staff morale.” When faced with a sudden spike in patient falls towards the end of 2021, she saw this as an opportunity to make positive changes and prevent similar incidents in the future. She assembled a team, underwent training as a QI practitioner and went through the QI expedition programme. One of the key barriers was that patients were reluctant to use call bells, so the team introduced "call before you fall" posters and encouraged patients to use the bells and reassured them that nurses are there to help. 

They also identified issues with room layout and now systematically keep blinds open to improve visibility. Additionally, Nefreteria championed the introduction of a new patient safety dashboard, allowing real-time monitoring of patient falls risk assessments. As a result of this work, patient falls have reduced significantly and are now considered a rare event.

Outstanding contribution to education award winner: Rowena Fabella, clinical practice educator
Runner up: Dr Joanna Farrant, consultant radiologist

Rowena has been a clinical practice educator at CFH for nine months and has contributed greatly to the development of staff and students at the hospital. Presenting the award, Bev said: “She is calm in her approach, knowledgeable and patient, while going above and beyond to educate staff to have the right skills to look after patients.” She has been involved in QI projects to reduce the length of patient stays and has ensured that MaST compliance is at 98% or above. One nominator described her as “an absolute credit to the trust.”

Outstanding contribution to research award: Professor Alberto Quaglia

Colleague collecting award on behalf of Professor Alberto Quaglia alongside Lenny Byrne

(Pictured: colleague collecting the award on Professor Quaglia's behalf)

Lenny Byrne, director of nursing, CFH, explained: “Professor Quaglia is an outstanding histopathology consultant with an interest in research. He is approachable, inclusive and encourages learning.” He is the specialty lead for liver and is the pathology lead on the Primer-1 clinical trial, which involves the use of perioperative drugs in resectable hepatocellular carcinoma. This is still relatively new clinical trial, and Prof Quaglia has been very engaging with lab staff, the ops team, and his colleagues (internal and external) to make sure things run smoothly.

Outstanding contribution to patient safety award winner: Urgent care centre, CFH

Urgent care centre team posing with their award and certificate alongside Lenny Byrne

The urgent care centre has maintained an excellent standard of patient care and safety. Over the past year the team have seen increased numbers of patients needing their services, coupled with severe staffing issues. When presenting the award, Lenny said: “By changing the way they work and thinking outside of the box, they have maintained an excellent standard of patient care and safety under extreme circumstances.”

Non-clinical employee of the year winner: Amy Wood, head of quality governance
Runner up: Hasib Faisal, administrative assistant/personal assistant

Amy Wood posing with her award and certificate alongside Julia Kitteringham

Amy holds a key role in the leadership team in the business unit. Her achievements are many: she was the instigator and designer of the Chase Farm quality plan, supported the HIMMS review and worked to develop the Power BO boards for post op and the surgery ward. “In summary, she works tirelessly to ensure that all our patients have safe and high-quality patient care. She is an outstanding advocate for our local population.”, Julia Kitteringham, director of operations, CFH, said when presenting the award.


Chairman’s leadership award winner: Yolanda Ioannou, consultant sonographer
Runner up: Liz Pickering, senior ops manager, community diagnostic centre

Yolanda posing with her award and certificate alongside Julia Kitteringam

Yolanda Ioannou led a responsive and excellent ultrasound service for Chase Farm Hospital, Barnet Hospital and satellite sites for the past four years. Her standards of excellence are demonstrated in her leadership, her management skills, her commitment to excellent clinical standards in the department, patient safety and excellent experience and her commitment to staff learning and development. "Her commitment to the department is inspirational and a true demonstration of world class care values”, said Julia when presenting the award.

The service runs efficiently, and she places a strong focus on regular team meetings, staff development and experience. She leads by example and will always go the extra mile. In fact, in April she went an extra 26 miles by completing the London Marathon to support the Royal Free Charity. She works as a consultant sonographer playing a vital role in supporting the one stop breast service at CFH, and is a perfect example of clinical and managerial excellence.

Celebrating diversity award winner: Janadean McDonald, unit manager, endoscopy

Janadean posing with her certificate and award alongside David Bray

David Bray, associate director of workforce, CFH, presented Janadean with her award: “She has made a special effort to recognise the diversity of her team in endoscopy and regularly holds events to learn more about the numerous different cultures represented.” She has inspired her team to think more about diversity and try to learn more and teach more about the various cultures at CFH. There are visual representations within the department with items related to all the countries that the team are connected to and they regularly hold lunches where they come together as a team and celebrate with food from all the cultures. This makes the team a happy and supported one, which always has a positive and welcoming atmosphere.

Volunteer of the year award winner: Elsa Maglio, volunteer in the community diagnostic centre
Runner up: therapy dog, Alfie and his owner Mark

Elsa posing with her certificate and award alongside David Bray

Elsa has worked with the community diagnostic centre since it opened in 2021. She meets and greet the patients, helping them find the different services within the hospital, and has now also increased her hours to support the booking administration, calling patients to confirm their appointments. David Bray praised “her impeccable organisational skills, and their compassion, positive attitude and enthusiasm for the centre shines through in every contact she makes.”

Living our values award winner: Kanapathippillai Saravavabavan, pharmacy store assistant
Runner up: Sanskrit Baneeah, healthcare assistant

Colleague collecting the award on Kanapathippillai's behalf

(Pictured: colleague collecting the award on Kanapathippillai's behalf)

Kanapathippillai has been working with the NHS for over 20 years and is someone that truly lives and breathes the trust’s core values. He is always positive, greets every person by their first name and is respectful to all members of the team. No matter the situation, he always remains calm and positive and always supports the team without being asked. Many times over the last 12 months, he has come in on his days off to support gaps due to sickness and takes on all roles including portering, working as an assistant and carrying out emergency gas counts. Alan presented the final award, praising Kanapathippillai who “always thinks of others, shares positivity and thank you notes to every member of the team.” 

Runners up posing with their certificates

(Pictured: runners up posing with their certificates)

The CFH and GCS winners, alongside winners from other sites, will be invited to attend the group awards at the Royal College of Physicians, Regent's Park, on Tuesday 4 July.

The overall RFL group winners will be announced at the evening reception which will be followed by the 75th anniversary of the NHS on 5 July.

Other site awards events are taking place this month to celebrate staff working within Royal Free Hospital, corporate services and Barnet Hospital.