Tina is an Our Health Heroes Gold Award Winner

23/3/21

Congratulations to Tina Hughes, Domestic at QEQM Hospital in Margate for winning gold in the national Our Health Heroes Awards.

The fifth annual Our Health Heroes Awards were held on Tuesday 23 March and we are delighted to announce that Tina Hughes, Domestic at QEQM received a gold award. Tina was nominated in the Operational Services Support Worker of the Year category.

There were over 700 nominations this year and 19 winners were chosen by the judges.

Tina has worked at the Trust for over 14 years, and her passion for her role as a domestic is clear. But it was during the Covid-19 pandemic when Tina’s passion for helping others shone through when she helped Kirstie (Deputy Ward Manager on Rainbow Ward) and her family during a very emotional and distressing time.

Kirstie’s 94-year-old grandfather had been an inpatient in QEQM for just over two weeks, but the family were unable to visit due to the pandemic. Tina helped Kirstie and her family to keep in contact with him.

Initially, Tina took a couple of verbal messages to him and on one occasion when she had to go to a job in the opposite direction she passed the message to a colleague to deliver. Kirstie’s mother then received a phone call from medical staff on the ward to say that her Grandfather had contracted covid-19 and was dying, no one in the family had seen him for nearly three months by this point. Kirstie messaged Tina in the hope that she was at work and would take a written message to let him know they all loved him, but Tina did one better…

Kirstie said “Tina used her phone to give to staff in PPE to enable a video call between my Grandfather and my mother (his eldest child and a retired member of Trust staff) which was a reassurance to the whole family, she also delivered my written message to him.”

Over the following weekend, Tina used her own phone again to enable further video calls so that Kirstie and her autistic son along with her mother could see him. Tina also did the same for Kirstie’s uncle, aunt and two cousins.

At this point Kirstie was prepared to take her own phone to the ward and hand it to one of the staff so that her grandfather’s two remaining children could call him. But Tina again volunteered as she didn’t want Kirstie to be put at risk because she was pregnant. A further reassurance Tina gave the family was that she had seen their Grandfather herself through the window and he was been interacting with her as he knew she was helping his family.

Kirstie said: “I have known Tina for years (but realised I didn’t know her surname she’s always just been Tina or Tina da Cleaner) and she has always been a positive presence on the ward for staff, children and their families but this time her personal help to me and my family has totally gone beyond all expectations. I have told Tina how much her help means to us.”

Kath Dean – Interim Managing Director for 2gether said:

“Congratulations to Tina on her award. It is great that her work has been recognised at a national level. Domestics are certainly one of the unsung heroes of our NHS and do an amazing job. Tina is very deserving of this award having gone out of her way to help a colleague and their family when they needed to use the vital services we provide. She is an inspiration to us all and really embodies the spirit of working in the healthcare sector.”