Tameside Hospital boss, Karen James, has been recognised as one of the best in the country at an award ceremony in London on Wednesday, to honour outstanding contributions from NHS staff.
Karen was flying the flag for Greater Manchester as one of only seven to be shortlisted for the prestigious title of Chief Executive of the Year 2016. The others included NHS colleagues from Birmingham, the Wirral, East Lancashire and Sussex.
Paul Connellan, Chairman of Tameside and Glossop Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust joined her at the ceremony, which was attended by more than 2,000 healthcare professionals from all over the UK. He said: “Karen has been an inspiration since the first day she walked in the hospital. The change in culture here over the last two years has been unbelievable. She is very well liked and admired by all the staff at every level of the organisation. We are so delighted that she has agreed to lead the hospital over the coming years.”
Recently, Tameside Hospital was said to be ‘outstanding’ according to the Department of Health and one of the best hospitals in the country to work for according to the results of the NHS national staff survey. Staff commended the hospital for quality of patient care (83%) and its willingness to act on concerns raised by patients or service users ((82%) and more than seven out of ten people who work at Tameside said they would be happy for their friends and relatives to receive treatment there.
The results were consistently higher than other acute hospitals across the country, placing Tameside in the top 20 per cent of best performing organisations. Also, in a newly introduced DoH ‘Learning From Mistakes’ league table, the hospital ranked eighth out of 230 trusts across the country, to be scored as outstanding.
Andrew Gwynne MP says: “Karen has shown great leadership at Tameside Hospital since her appointment. She has made a significant difference to the staff and patients and I am very pleased that we have her to finish the journey of improvement the hospital is now on.”
Angela Rayner MP, MP for Ashton and Shadow Secretary of State for Education, Women and Equalities says: “ Under Karen’s expert guidance the hospital has been transformed. Residents tell me they can’t believe the difference in the care and attention they now get. Tameside is now a hospital we can all be proud of and that’s down to Karen and her team.”
Lisa Evans, from Audenshaw is a full time carer for her mum who is 79 and has dementia. She says: “ I was tearing my hair out before Karen came to Tameside trying to get the help and support me and my mum needed. It was like hitting a brick wall. But as soon as I talked with Karen I knew things would change. She listened to my story told me I was always welcome to meet with her and arranged for the dementia nurses to take me under their wing. She recruited the first Admiral nurse who has really helped people like me. I no longer feel like I’m alone and I know many other carers and patients feel the same. It’s not often you meet someone who says they will help and then does, but Karen is one of those special people."