More from news and media

All aboard the Hogwarts Express for the 2021 Stars of Herts Awards night!

Posted: 21 October 2021

Picture of award night

Over 240 West Herts staff enjoyed a truly magical night celebrating the 2021 Stars of Herts Awards in the spectacular surroundings of the Warner Bros. Studios. The Great Hall, a vast set from the Harry Potter films, provided a stunning backdrop for dinner before the winners were revealed.

2020 and beyond has been the most challenging time in the history of the NHS. Trust staff have provided care for patients at their most vulnerable, holding the hands of the dying and helping them to say goodbye to loved ones. Teams have been there for one another supporting each other through intense and frightening times and highly resourceful staff have created new, innovative pathways of care to provide virtual support to patients in their own home.

All these experiences came before the judges who had the almost impossible task of picking finalists from over 300 nominations from staff keen to recognise the efforts, achievements and innovation of their colleagues.

Chief People Officer Andrew McMenemy said: “The Stars of Herts event provides an opportunity to show our amazing colleagues how much they are appreciated. Among our hard working staff there are a number whose outstanding actions surpass what we could ever have expected in the pursuit of providing the very best care for our patients. The event, which is supported through corporate sponsorship, is a chance to highlight their amazing efforts.”

In addition to acknowledging the outstanding efforts of individuals and teams across 10 award categories, the awards ceremony also recognised the standout community support from the Watford Chamber of Commerce, Wenzel’s and Watford Football Club.

Thanks to generous corporate sponsorship and support from the hospitals charity Raise, the trust was able to reward and thank staff who have given so much of themselves for patients during the toughest of times. All Stars Week, which took place in the week preceding the awards night, enabled over a thousand staff across three hospital sites and other trust locations to celebrate the diversity of their colleagues through globally themed food and entertainment.

Daily delivery of breakfast pastries, late night food deliveries for night shift staff and afternoon tea delivered to off-site staff allowed everyone to enjoy the celebrations.

Congratulations to the 2021 Stars of Herts finalists. Find out more about the winners below:

Living our values: Award of Excellence for Care Colin Watkins, Phlebotomy Supervisor
Colin expertly manages the blood clinic at St Albans, supporting staff and providing a calming presence in the waiting area which  sees high volumes of patients. He encouraged a patient with special needs to stay for their appointment when they were ready to run!
Living our values: Award of Excellence for Quality
Sponsored by Bugler Group
Colorectal MDT
A high level of professionalism, great teamwork and outstanding dedication to patient care runs through the entire Colorectal team. They work fantastically together to deliver the best outcome for patients, including reduced post-operative pain, a shorter length of hospital stay and a quicker return to normal activity.
Living our values: Award of Excellence for Commitment Nick Tessier, Lead Superintendent CT Radiographer
Nick is always at the end of a phone, day or night, offering support. Even when off duty, he will come into work to resolve issues. He organises social events for the team to boost morale and his commitment to the department is out of this world
Outstanding Collaboration Sponsored by Watford Football Club Granger Suite
Staff from many different teams came together on Granger Suite during the pandemic. Faced with the unknown, in an intense and frightening environment, they upskilled and adapted rapidly to provide the best care they could for people at their most vulnerable. The spirit and resilience of the whole team was inspirational.
Outstanding Contribution to Wellbeing Sponsored by Camelot Debbie Simm, Senior MSK Physiotherapist
Debbie is kind, compassionate, approachable and offers a ‘listening ear’ to staff. She has good knowledge of appropriate support services and enthusiastically uses trust or NHS campaigns to boost staff morale, staff recognition, and physical and mental health 3 and wellbeing.
Everyone Matters Award – Creating a positive environment to support diversity Sponsored by Wenzel’s Connect BAME staff network
During the pandemic, Connect BAME provided communal support at a time of distress, ensuring the trust were actively listening and acting on the experience of BAME staff. Great work has been done to improve cultural awareness, making all colleagues feel valued, empowered and involved in key decisions.
Helping Hand Award – Outstanding Contribution to Volunteering Sponsored by Watford and West Herts Chamber of Commerce Chris Parramore
Chris is well known to staff on Katherine ward and Starfish where he cheerfully makes tea, helps with meal rounds, befriends worried children (and their parents), reads to them and plays games. He is discreet and kind, and really lifts the spirits of everyone around him.
Outstanding Innovation and Development Sponsored by Atos Respiratory team
The Respiratory team led on the development of the ground-breaking COVID-19 virtual hospital, a system that allows patients to be monitored and supported in their own home. This pioneering work enables us to save bed space for the sickest of patients and is now being adopted nationally.
People’s Choice – Hidden Stars of West Herts Mortuary team
Despite the pressure they have been under and the risk they have been exposed to, the Mortuary team have remained enthusiastic and cheerful throughout the pandemic. They have managed the deceased with care and compassion, often putting the service before their own personal needs
Chairman’s Award for Excellence Charles Shumba, ICU Charge nurse
Staff find it very reassuring when they know that Charles is heading up a shift. His steadfastness is a comfort to those struggling with the trauma of Covid. He is patient and always smiling, despite the busy environment, and he is always willing to support new staff.


  1. The 2021 Stars of Herts Awards Night and the All Stars Week was made possible through the kind sponsorship of Asos, Atos, Bugler Group, Camelot, Capsticks, Cerner, McGee, Watford Football Club, Watford and West Herts Chamber of Commerce, Wenzel’s.
  2.  All attendees were required to take a lateral flow test on the day of the event and entry was only permitted to those who showed a negative result. There was also the facility to take a test at the event itself.
  3. Numbers were limited to a maximum number of 260 people to enable appropriate social distancing.
  4. For more information, please contact the communications team on: 01923 436280 or email: Out of hours, please call the Watford General Hospital switchboard on 01923 244366 and ask for the on call communications manager.
  5. West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust serves people from across Hertfordshire, north London and further afield. It operates from three hospitals; Watford General, St Albans City and Hemel Hempstead. The trust has a catchment area of over 500,000 people and is one of the largest employers locally, with around 5,000 staff and volunteers.
  6.  For more information about our hospitals, visit You can also join our followers on Twitter ( and find us on Facebook (