Our latest Star Award has been shared by three colleagues, whose personalised care has made a real difference to a young patient and his family. It was so inspirational, that it led to the family speaking at the recent Children and Young People's Mental Health Summit.

Mental Health Liaison Nurse Angie Salmons, Blood Sciences Manager Hayley Baker and Phlebotomy Operations Manager, Elaine Reeves.

They were nominated by Associate Director of Strategy, Catherine Riley. At a Kirklees Health and Wellbeing meeting, Catherine was approached by an attendee who told her how incredible the personalised care was for her son.

On presenting the Award, Brendan said: “I know you think that this was a very small thing you did, but that small thing had a massive impact. All three of you gave up a huge amount of your time, were very understanding, supportive and informative. So, yes, you had a massive impact on this family.

Catherine added: “I was struck by the grace that she spoke with and the joy in her face when she spoke to me. She doesn’t really know me but she wanted to tell me about our colleagues. That speaks volumes."

Here is the nomination in full, submitted by Catherine on behalf of the patient's mum, Jo:

It has made such a difference to our family and my son’s wellbeing, and we’re very appreciative and thankful.

My 12-year-old son was diagnosed with Coeliac disease at the age of six, and over the course of time developed a fear of needles and blood tests.

I struggled for a few years to find support for my son to enable him to address his needle phobia and have blood tests, which is important as part of his care. As what felt like a last option, I contacted PALS, who put me in touch with Consultant Nurse for Mental Health, Ian Noonan, who researched approaches to supporting children like my son. In turn, Ian organised for Angie Salmons, the paediatric liaison nurse, to work with my son on needle exposure therapy.

Angie has been brilliant. She has built a great rapport with him, when he was initially highly sceptical, reluctant to engage, extremely distrusting of healthcare staff and anxious in healthcare settings.

As part of the therapy, Angie organised for my son to have personal tours of the phlebotomy service and the blood sciences unit with Elaine Reeves and Hayley Baker. The tours were excellent. It’s provided him with an understanding of why they need so much of his blood, how it’s analysed in various ways and assurance of the processes they have in place. Also what he can expect and how he can be supported when he will move on to having blood tests in the main unit. They both gave up a huge amount of their time, were very understanding, supportive and informative.

My son has made huge progress through the personalised approach and is in the final stages of the therapy. Throughout it all, it’s been at his pace and there’s been a focus of his wellbeing and dignity, listening and building trust. He managed to have two vaccinations last term and I’m also hopeful that as consequence of the therapy he will be able to better engage with his annual clinical review appointments, as he will be less anxious about and focused on blood tests and the clinical environment, and more trusting of staff.

Nominate your Star or Stars - see the colleague recognition pages on the intranet.