Local NHS worker wins bronze for Exceptional NHS Operational Support Worker of the Year
An NHS worker from the New Forest has won the Skills for Health Bronze award for Exceptional NHS Operational Support Worker of the Year. Julie Kemp, medical secretary at Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust, was nominated in recognition of her work, supporting the Trust’ frailty team and going above and beyond throughout the pandemic.
Julie said, “I was incredibly grateful to my colleagues for nominating me, it was lovely to be part of such a special day and very humbling.”
During the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic between April and June 2020, Julie, in addition to her weekday role, worked unpaid at weekends to enable the New Forest Community Geriatric Medicine team to provide community assessments to elderly people seven days a week.
Her outstanding commitment meant that the Frailty Team nearly doubled the number of patients it saw at a crucial time, with the full effects of the virus still relatively unknown.
Marianne Plater, Consultant Geriatrician at Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust, commented: “Julie is an amazingly dedicated Medical Secretary who supports the New Forest community geriatric medicine team.”
“She is compassionate and caring, goes the extra mile to ensure patients and their families understand the assessment process and helps them with coordinating investigations between departments to minimise the disruption for a patient.”
In addition to her day job supporting the hospital’s medical consultants, Julie stepped up to the plate to support wider administrative teams too, helping them to adjust to working from home and acting as a role model and mentor.
Marianne added; “She supports us as a team to offer a high- quality service which has now expanded to cover the whole of the New Forest since the start of the pandemic. Her work ethic, kindness and reliability are an example to us all - congratulations Julie!”