Newcastle Hospitals stalwart receives lifetime achievement award

A HOTEL services manager – whose team were the first in the UK to manage housekeeping and infection control for COVID-19 patients at Newcastle Hospitals – has received a lifetime achievement award.

Jackie Thompson, who recently retired from the Royal Victoria Infirmary after 47 years’ service with the NHS, was amongst a dozen winners who received NHS Parliamentary Awards at a special ceremony in Westminster yesterday – a day after the NHS’s 74th birthday.

Starting as a domestic supervisor, Jackie’s roles over the years have included senior supervisor, assistant manager to Hotel Services Manager and finally hotel services manager at the RVI.

Jackie Thompson

But the last two years of the pandemic have been particularly challenging for Jackie and the team as they managed housekeeping for COVID-19 patients at a time when infection prevention control was key.

The awards, arranged by NHS England and MPs, are designed to recognise and celebrate some of the biggest achievements in health and social care.

The winners were selected from more than 700 nominations and half of MPs representing constituencies in England made a nomination to recognise their local health and care staff, including Newcastle MP Chi Onwurah who nominated Jackie.

Judged by a national panel made up of health leaders representing staff and patients, the awards recognise everything from covid-19 response to innovation and health equalities.

Amanda Pritchard, Chief Executive of the NHS, said: “The NHS is nothing without the people who work in and alongside it, and the NHS Parliamentary awards today were a brilliant opportunity to recognise the outstanding contribution they make across the country.

“It was fantastic to hear about the inspiring work, dedication and innovation of the health and care workers nominated across so many sectors.

“NHS staff have treated more than 770,000 patients with covid in hospital and many more in the community, alongside looking after millions more patients receiving routine and urgent care, while also delivering the lifesaving NHS Covid-19 vaccination programme.

“This is an immense achievement, and as we continue to deliver the biggest and most ambitious catch-up plan in NHS history and address the Covid-19 backlogs, our staff will continue to be at the heart of what we do, each and every day.” 

Newcastle Hospitals’ Chief Executive, Dame Jackie Daniel, said: “This is a huge accolade for Jackie and a fitting way to celebrate her many years of dedicated service to the NHS.  We owe a huge debt of gratitude for her high standards and hard work.  We are all so proud of her.” 

The trust’s head of facilities, John Thompson, added: “I’m so proud of Jackie, she received national recognition for what we already knew – that she was always a true leader and professional.

“Jackie wore her heart on her sleeve and was very proud of all 420 plus staff who she respected, admired and always had time for. I can’t think of a better recognition than winning the national lifetime achievement award at the NHS Parliamentary awards 2022. I hope now she can enjoy her long deserved and healthy retirement with the knowledge that ‘Wor Jackie’ is now a national treasure.”

The 12 winners were:  

  • Excellence in Healthcare: St Helens and Knowsley Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust Cancer Services Team  
  • Excellence in Mental Healthcare: Mental Health Crisis Assessment Service at Camden and Islington NHS Foundation Trust; and HOPE Eating Disorder Provider Collaborative, Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust  
  • Excellence in Urgent and Emergency Care: The crisis triage car working in Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust, Liverpool, that provides emergency, rapid, 24/7 mental health support to patients at a crisis point within a community setting  
  • Excellence in Primary and Community Care: East London Foundation Trust – The Homeless and Vulnerable Person Outreach Service in Hackney.  
  • Health Equalities: SHELLS SOS Bus, North East Essex Clinical Commissioning Group; and Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Team, NHS Devon Clinical Commissioning Group  
  • Future NHS: Reaching the digitally excluded in their homes through the provision of digital technology, Midlands Partnership NHS Foundation Trust  
  • Nursing and Midwifery: Admiral Nurses – Tim Allen & Hannah Rogers, Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust  
  • Covid Response: Margaret Harris, Domestic Services Manager, Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust  
  • Rising Star: Alice Hendy, CEO and Founder, Ripple Suicide Prevention  
  • Lifetime Achievement: Miss Jackie Thompson, Hotel Services Manager Royal Victoria Infirmary  

The national judging panel for the awards included Professor Sir Stephen Powis, National Medical Director of NHS England, with regional champions selected by panels of senior regional NHS representatives for their dedication to the health service and to people they care for in their communities.

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