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Health hero gets award for transforming theatres during Covid-19 pandemic

By Lisa O'Brien | Gobowen | Coronavirus | Published:

A hospital worker has been given an award in recognition of his work to transform the theatres department at Shropshire's specialist orthopaedic hospital during the Covid-19 outbreak.

Rich Evans, operating department practitioner, receiving the health hero award from Stacey Keegan, interim chief executive at RJAH

Operating department practitioner Rich Evans has been announced as the latest winner of the health hero award at The Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital (RJAH).

He is part of the anaesthetic team within theatres at the hospital, near Oswestry, and was nominated by anaesthetic nurse Barney Pitt.

Barney said: “Rich was part of the team in transforming the process and procedures in theatres in response to the coronavirus outbreak when we took on orthopaedic trauma work, and then back to the part-return of planned surgery.”

As part of the regional response to the Covid-19 pandemic, the trust took on orthopaedic trauma work for Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin, and for North Wales back in March.

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In June, it was announced RJAH would resume some planned surgery, with patients being prioritised based on clinical need.

Barney added: “He always conducts himself professionally, with a smile and supporting words.

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"His calm, supportive and conscientious manner is fantastic and he is a credit to the team.

“I know he will hate the fuss, but he really deserves to win the health hero award.”

The nomination from Barney was also supported by Debbie Kadum, managing director for the MSK delivery unit, and Ian MacLennan, assistant chief nurse for the MSK delivery unit.

Rich was presented his award by Stacey Keegan, interim chief executive, and was announced as July’s winner at a board of directors meeting.

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He said: “During the pandemic, my role has been to co-ordinate the trust’s ODPs, making sure that they’re all up-to-speed on all of the ever-changing procedures, policies and guidance but also to check in and make sure everyone’s doing okay because it has and continues to be a tough time for everyone.

“I’ve also been trying to make sure and encourage everyone to take adequate breaks because working in full PPE is hard-going. We need to make sure everyone’s going about their roles as comfortably as they can.

“Of course it’s a privilege to be chosen as this month’s health hero but I am genuinely embarrassed too because I work with an amazing team, who work incredibly hard and should all be recognised for the work they do – not just me.

"It’s a massive team effort up in theatres; none of us could function without each other.”

Stacey added: “I’m extremely proud to hear about all of Rich’s hard work in supporting the team through the Covid-19 crisis.

“I’m thrilled to announce him as the health hero award winner for July.”

Lisa O'Brien

By Lisa O'Brien
Senior Reporter - @lisaobrien_Star

Senior reporter based at Shropshire Star's head office in Ketley. Covering the Telford area.

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