Dexter, Annette, Barbara Baer and Margarita alongside a photo of Christine Harcourt-Smith
They were presented with awards in memory of Christine Harcourt-Smith, a former University College Hospital nurse who died unexpectedly at the age of just 26.
Carlos ‘Dexter’ Regarde, who has made a big impact in a short time having started work at UCLH in March last year, was named Healthcare Assistant of the Year for his 'exceptional ability to communicate, his welcoming and caring manner and his enthusiasm and commitment to learning '.
Nominated by charge nurse Darren Barnes and consultant nurse for older people Vicki Leah, he was praised for his ‘ability to teach and challenge colleagues to improve communication with patients who often have challenging behaviour and very complex care needs’ and the positive impact this has on the ward team.
Dexter said he was ‘honoured’ to receive the award and that it had ‘inspired him to work harder’.
Margarita Petrus Camps won the award to recognise achievements whilst training to be a registered nurse. Margarita approached the course with commitment and maturity and her academic development led to her achieving the BSc in Nursing Studies (adult).
Margarita worked as an HCA in Urology and Orthopaedics before being seconded to nurse training. She qualified as a registered nurse last September and is back working with her colleagues in Urology and Orthopaedics in her new role.
Senior lecturers at South Bank University said that she was ‘a credit to the Trust’ and praised her 'professional skills and demeanour as well as the support she is able to give to colleagues and junior students’.
Annette Sylvester was presented with the award for Registered Nurse Mentor. Nominated by staff nurse Faye Stemp and senior nurse Alison Finch, Annette was commended for her 'friendly, calm and considered approach' in mentoring Paediatric nursing students and for the way she provides them with a rich learning experience’. She also tailors the learning experience to individual needs and helps plan the radiotherapy list, liaising with other departments.
The awards were established as a lasting memorial to Christine Harcourt-Smith who started her nurse training in 1968. She qualified in 1971 and became a staff nurse on the metabolic ward. In 1976 - just six weeks after becoming engaged to be married - she died suddenly of a brain tumour. Her mother Irene donated money to the Nurses’ League to establish an annual award in her name.
Anne Coffey, chair of the UCH Nurses’ League Executive Committee, said: “After much thought it was decided that the money should be used to recognise some of those whose work most closely fulfilled the qualities so admired by her mother - day-to-day care delivered with kindness and dedication.
“The League is very pleased to be able to present these awards to some of today's nurses and healthcare assistants who make such an important contribution to the care of patients at UCLH. In this way, a lasting memorial to Christine is assured."
The certificates and cheques were presented to the winners by Barbara Baer, President of the UCH Nurses’ League.
Sheila Adam, UCLH head of nursing for surgery and cancer board, said: “Health care assistants are a vital part of our nursing team, and contribute hugely to the quality of care our patients receive.
"It is UCLH Trust’s aim to support our HCAs in delivering excellent care and we are happy to be able to offer them opportunities such as NVQs, secondment to nurse and assistant practitioner training and apprenticeships; all with the aim of developing their ability to provide the best in patient care."