The shortlist for HSJ’s special award celebrating the contribution to the NHS by staff from elsewhere in the EU has been announced.
HSJ created the award in response to fears that the 24 June referendum result would mean NHS staff from the EU would no longer feel welcome. The award seeks to recognise and celebrate the work of staff who left their home in another EU country and now work in the NHS.
The award will be presented on 23 November alongside the other 23 categories of the HSJ Awards, the UK’s largest celebration of healthcare excellence.
The shortlist includes NHS staff from Belgium, Ireland, Italy, Spain, Romania and Poland. The nominees for the award are:
- Claudine Demunter, paediatric intensive care consultant at St Mary’s Hospital, Imperial College Healthcare Trust
- Eibhlin Collins, practice nurse at Camden Health Improvement Practice
- Professor Francesco Muntoni, consultant paediatric neurologist at Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children Foundation Trust
- Jaime Puente, emergency department staff grade doctor at Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital Foundation Trust
- Luminita Maxwell, specialist biomedical scientist in immunology (pathology) at Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospitals Foundation Trust
- Maggie Galbarczyk, psychological wellbeing practitioner at Wolverhampton Healthy Minds, Black Country Partnership Foundation Trust
Following the referendum, the health secretary, NHS national leaders and trust chief executives sought to reassure employees, after workers in the NHS expressed concerns about the UK’s decision to leave the EU and some reports of staff facing racist abuse.
Jeremy Hunt told EU staff in June: “You do a brilliant job for your patients, you are a crucial part of our NHS, and as a country we value you. We all must now do everything we can to ensure our whole workforce feels secure – because that is the only way we’ll ensure we can deliver high quality care for all.”
However, he was warned by NHS Improvement chair Ed Smith that overseas staff must not be made to feel “demoralised and diminished” as the Brexit negotiations take place. Mr Smith intervened the day after Mr Hunt announced that £100m would be spent to boost the number of “home grown” doctors in the NHS in his Conservative Party conference speech.