Patricia Donnelly, who led the province’s vaccination programme, was presented with the Special Recognition Award by Health Minister Robin Swann and Bond Healthcare at the 2022 Northern Ireland Health and Social Care Awards.
The development and roll out of the covid vaccines changed the course of the pandemic, and Patricia was praised for her vital contribution to what has been Northern Ireland’s biggest ever public health and vaccination initiative. A clinical psychologist by profession, Patricia held a number of key senior positions at Trust level before being tasked with leading the vaccination programme in October 2020 until stepping down last month.
The winners of the inaugural NI Health & Social Care Awards were announced at a prestigious ceremony in the Crowne Plaza Belfast last night (Thursday) hosted by Dr Amir Khan, resident GP on ITV’s Good Morning Britain and Lorraine, and Paediatric Nurse and Cool FM presenter, Katharine Walker.
There were 21 awards which recognised and celebrated the vital work and dedication of health and social care staff right across the sector and the independent judging panel included some of the industry’s most respected individuals including former Chief Nursing Officer for Northern Ireland, Professor Charlotte McArdle; Dr Sinead Campbell-Gray, Emergency Medicine Consultant for Belfast Health and Social Care Trust and Andy Mayhew, Chief Executive of Praxis Care.
Individual award winners included Dr Jonathan White, Speciality Doctor from the Northern Trust who was named Doctor of the Year; Nuala Stuart, Deputy Sister, Regional Intensive Care Unit at the Royal Victoria Hospital was awarded Nurse of the Year; Dr Feargal McNicholl, a Consultant Haematologist for the Western Trust who picked up the award for Health & Social Care Leader; Barbara Gergett from the Belfast Trust who won Midwife of the Year and Adrian McGrath, a Paramedic & Clinical Support Officer with the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service won the Excellence in Emergency Services category.
Other winners included Paul Ward at the Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children which was named Inpatient Ward of the Year; Ormeau Centre for Homelessness, Extern picked up the award for Supported Living Service of the Year; Renal Department at the Ulster Hospital was awarded Department/Outpatient Service of the Year; Glenowen Court – Radius Housing won Care Home of the Year and Healthcare in Prison, South Eastern Trust was named GP Practice/Health Centre of the Year.
Registered Nurse and Co-Founder of the Northern Ireland Health & Social Care Awards, Kieran McCormick said: “Throughout the last two years, COVID-19 has presented the biggest challenge that the health and social care sector has ever faced and our health and social care professionals continued to deliver services with the utmost of compassion and care. The inaugural NI Health & Social Care Awards set out to bring the whole sector together and to recognise all services and frontline workers and I can confidently say that this has been achieved. Tonight was a well-deserved and long overdue occasion of recognition for many frontline colleagues. A massive congratulations to all of our winners and finalists and a heartfelt thank you to all of the health and social care sector workers across Northern Ireland for your continued hard-work and dedication.”
Health Minister, Robin Swann said: “I am honoured and privileged to be here tonight to present this award to Patricia Donnelly in recognition of the amazing work that she and all those in the NI Vaccination Programme have done over the course of the pandemic.
“The programme’s success to date has been achieved through an immense effort in the midst of a very difficult and challenging time and is reflective of the efforts of all parts of the entire HSC family who have provided such sterling service on behalf of all the people of Northern Ireland.”
Former Joint Head of Government, Michelle O’Neill said: “I’m so pleased that the Health and Social Care awards will help to give our health workers the recognition they deserve for their hard work and efforts, particularly during a tough couple of years.
“I think it’s really important that when we’re talking about the pressures in health, we need to remember that – behind all of that is our health workers who need support. We are committed to making health the Executive’s number one spending priority by investing an extra £1 billion to strengthen the health service over the next three years.”
Director of Bond Healthcare, Jonathan St Clare said: “Bond Healthcare is delighted to be the headline sponsor of the inaugural Northern Ireland Health and Social Care Awards. The response from across the health and social care sector has been incredible, and after what has been a very challenging two years in particular, everyone is genuinely a winner in our eyes. A huge congratulations to all of those recognised on the night - both our winners and finalists."
Individual category sponsors include Balmoral Healthcare, Beyond Digital, Connected Academy, Exchange Accountants, HSC Clinical Education Centre, Keenan Recruitment, Sewing Solutions, Tayto, Strategic Thinking and TruWASH.
The full list of winners can be found at www.healthandsocialawards.com