Awards for the people who really DO care
A district nurse who stayed with a paralysed patient all weekend after the sudden death of his carer has won an award for her dedicated service.
The actions of Bath-based Ren Galkowski, which meant the man did not have to be admitted to hospital, were acknowledged at the Sirona Care & Health inaugural Awards for Excellence this week.
Ms Galkowski was given the Chief Executive's Award for Taking it Personally by the health and social services provider, which laid on the awards to mark its first anniversary.
Sirona chief executive Janet Rowse said: "The overall winner of this award epitomises everything that I wanted this award to be about.
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"Ren has shown through her selfless service that her patients really are at the heart of everything she delivers."
The patient is completely immobile, except for some head movements and is on a ventilator at home.
His wife, who provided a lot of his care, supported by other carers, died suddenly and unexpectedly at a weekend.
Ms Rowse said: "Trying to get a package of care in place to ensure he remained safe, notwithstanding the distress he was obviously in at the loss of his wife, was difficult. Ren stayed with him and provided the care herself until other carers could come and take over.
"That service is priceless to the man himself and his family and I know is not an isolated incident when it comes to this remarkable district nurse."
Ms Galkowski said: "I am absolutely delighted but it is a team effort and it is for everyone else involved in this gentleman's care too, along with his fantastic family.
"I was surprised, there are so many other worthy people. It is a privilege to have won, even to have been nominated."
The overall Sirona Award for Excellence was shared by three teams: the Supported Living Service, the Lifetime Service and Complex Health Needs Service.
These teams, supported by Sirona's training department, worked together to ensure patients with complex health needs could live at home which involved learning new skills and thinking of new work patterns.
They also won the Award for Working Together at the event held at the Assembly Rooms.
Sirona chairman Simon Knighton said: "The overall winner demonstrated everything that is Sirona – putting people at the centre of care.
"Their actions demonstrate that nothing is impossible and by working with others we can make things happen. Being a social enterprise has allowed staff flexibility to ensure care is right for the person receiving it."
The judging panel was made up of Ms Rowse, Mr Knighton and Bath Chronicle editor Lynne Fernquest. Compere for the night was BBC Points West and Radio Bristol presenter Ali Vowles.