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Annual awards evening shines light on local NHS stars

Posted: 27 October 2022

Picture of Stars of Herts Awards stage

Credit: Alan Cozzi

Nearly 600 staff from West Herts Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust enjoyed a very special evening at three unique venues in Watford to celebrate colleagues at the annual awards night.

The 2022 Stars of Herts Annual Awards recognise the achievements and innovation of staff from across the trust as they continue to demonstrate their commitment and care in challenging circumstances for the NHS.

The downpours on the night didn’t dampen the spirits of finalists and their guests who took over New Watford Market for diverse tasty delights, before taking their seats at Watford Palace Theatre for the glitzy awards ceremony.

Music from the gloriously uplifting Mr Wilson’s Second Liners band set the tone for a lively celebration, hosted by trust chairman Phil Townsend and chief executive Matthew Coats. They presented awards in 14 categories along with members of the senior leadership team and sponsors’ representatives. Many staff continued the celebrations at Pryzm nightclub.

Chief people officer Andrew McMenemy said: “The Stars of Herts event provides an opportunity to show our amazing colleagues how much they are appreciated. There are many people and teams in our workforce whose care, ingenuity and resilience are simply outstanding. They truly deserve their moment in the spotlight. I would also like to thank our sponsors and our charity Raise for making this event possible.”

Finalists were selected from nearly 500 nominations from staff who were keen to recognise the brilliance of their colleagues.

Congratulations to the 2022 Stars of Herts finalists. Find out more about the winners below:

2022 Stars of Herts Annual Awards winners

Living our values: Care


Cancer CNS team, Surgery

 The Cancer CNS team bring bucketloads of compassion, consideration and empathy to work every day, as they strive to provide the best possible outcomes for cancer patients and their families. There are difficult times, but the team do a fantastic job supporting and empowering patients.


Living our values: Commitment (Clinical)


Same Day Emergency Care

The Emergency Assessment Unit and Ambulatory Care Unit are two units who come together as one united team. Their dedication and commitment to each other shines through in a happy and positive working environment. Despite staffing pressures, the teams come in every day with a smile on their face ready to give patients a gold standard of care.


Commitment – non clinical


Facilities team


The facilities team is committed to achieving value for money. Their service audits have led to improved processes and delivered financial benefits. Introducing a cardboard baler to compress waste has not only reduced costs for the trust, it has also led to fewer waste collections and consequently improved the trust’s carbon footprint.


Living our values: Quality (Clinical)


Adam Rochester


Adam has implemented pathways and policies for vulnerable respiratory patients that ensure they receive timely, gold standard care from the right staff, in the right place, at the right time. His regular teaching sessions and constant guideline updates are extremely valuable and most of all, he’s a lovely colleague to work with!


Living our values: Quality (Non-clinical)


Judit Korpas

Judit is extremely hard working and has shown amazing initiative and commitment in enabling the trust’s transition to an electronic patient record, despite several obstacles. She comes up with innovative ideas on using limited capacity to the fullest. Her positive, can-do attitude and approachable manner inspires her team to do their best.


Everyone matters award – Creating a positive environment to support diversity and inclusion


Kavita Sataram, senior sister, outpatients

Kavita has worked tirelessly for the department for years, working extra hours late into the evening and showing passion and care for her diverse team and patients. She creates a very positive and happy environment. A model of professionalism and example to everyone, ‘an award is long overdue’, says her nominator.


Chairman’s award – Inspirational team


Covid Medicines Delivery Unit (CMDU)  

An outstanding and passionate team, who work together relentlessly to provide vital treatment for high-risk Covid patients, often keeping them out of hospital in the safety and comfort of their own homes. With a great team ethic, the team have remained resilient and innovative, despite challenging circumstances.


Helping hand award – Outstanding contribution to volunteering


Essentials Hub team

The team have worked tirelessly to set up the Essentials Hub, providing free food and other essential products for staff or members of our community. Helping around 50 people every day, they work relentlessly to obtain and distribute food, providing a ‘lifesaving’ service for many during the cost-of-living crisis.



Outstanding demonstration of innovation and development


Robotic surgery team

Robotic surgery for colorectal cancer is now a reality thanks to the work of the colorectal team. The robots enable minimally invasive surgery which leads to faster recovery, reduced length of stay and better outcomes for patients. This is a landmark service which will expand into other surgical areas.


Outstanding contribution to staff engagement and wellbeing


Pastoral Education Link nurses

This experienced team of nurses provide support to new and junior members of staff. They meet staff daily and have an open-door policy offering critical pastoral support and on-the-floor guidance. They do an outstanding job providing much-needed support to the junior workforce and are welcomed on the wards with open arms. 


Research excellence award


Valerie Page, Critical care Consultant 

As an enthusiastic and capable researcher, Valerie champions patient and carer involvement in research and has secured many highly competitive national research grants. She delayed her retirement to work in critical care throughout the pandemic, whilst also coordinating valuable research. Her outstanding knowledge, leadership and energy are appreciated by her team.



Outstanding contribution to teaching and education


Phoenix community midwives 

This multi skilled team of midwives are not just colleagues, they are a family, and make an outstanding contribution to teaching and education. They are caring, knowledgeable, encourage great peer learning and are kind and compassionate, helping students to achieve their goals. Phoenix midwives are grateful to belong to such a team-focused tribe!


People’s Choice - Unsung Heroes Award



The domestics (cleaners) have the unenviable task of keeping the trust’s hospitals free from dirt. They are incredibly hard working and thorough, making sure every corner, crevice and surface is clean. They always have a smile for you and their cheerful attitude can brighten up a tough day!


Chairman’s award – Inspirational colleague


Sam Afolami, consultant anaesthetist

An affable, outstanding human being, Sam has a powerful presence at the trust and is admired by many. Although recently retired, he still works tremendously hard without any fuss. He is a great friend, advisor and colleague, whose contributions over the years have been outstanding.



1. The 2022 Stars of Herts Awards Night was made possible through the kind sponsorship of these organisations:

Image of sponsor logos

2. Event photos can be viewed here. Credit: Alan Cozzi.

3. For more information, please contact the communications team on: 01923 436280 or email: For out of hours media enquiries please call the Watford General Hospital switchboard on 01923 244366 and ask for the on call communications manager.

4. West Hertfordshire Teaching 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.

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