Staff Choice Awards 2018/19
Unsung Hero Award (Clinical)

Heidi McKay

Is a finalist for this award

Job title
Central Acute Service 

The nomination said...

Heidi is passionate about making a difference to service user’s experience. She has taken the lead for Central Acute Green Light Champions with resounding success, this area having far more Champions than any other locality within the Trust.

She leads on bi-monthly local meetings to drive this agenda forward, co-ordinating the Green Light Champions and the work they do across Central Acute. She has achieved this by her positive, forward thinking and approachable nature. Her tenacity to be successful in reducing health inequalities has paid dividends.

Heidi always goes the extra mile. As well as her day job, she also puts her heart and soul into raising money for the Hellesdon sports pitch. Organising the Hellesdon fetes, she leads the team into action, raising thousands of pounds to increase the service user activities. She does this in her own time, an unsung hero.

In whatever she does, Heidi is always positive and is the first person to volunteer her services. No matter how busy she is, she always shows commitment and dedication to the Trust, staff and service users, working over and above what her role entails.

As a Green Light Champion herself, Heidi feels passionately about ensuring people are orientated to the ward to reduce anxiety upon admission. This is important for everyone, but more so for people with cognitive impairment such as a learning disability or autism. Heidi led a pilot to improve the signage on the ward, ensuring that all areas had accessible symbols on the doors, easy read information in bedrooms for daily activities and menu boards in a picture format – all of these activities to improve the service user experience. She worked with service users, staff, estates and catering to ensure that the signage worked for everyone. The pilot was a success but instead of stopping there, Heidi has been actively involved in ensuring this gets rolled out across the Trust in every ward area. Her passion led by her learning disability background, firmly believing that if you get it right for people with a learning disability, you get it right for everyone!

Heidi is an RNLD working in mental health. She has demonstrated that her skills, knowledge and experience are transferable to this setting with successful results. She actively encourages other LD Nurses to work in mental health because of the person-centred, holistic way in which we care. Heidi lives and breathes the Trust values. She is always positive in her manner, despite being faced with difficulties she will always ‘think outside the box’ to overcome any obstacles to improve care.

I have every respect for Heidi and she in turn is always respectful of others. Sometimes when others do not agree with a new initiative, she is keen to identify where the blocks are and what is needed in order to progress. When changing signage, she encouraged a person with a learning disability and another with autism to come to the ward to report back on their views. When they identified other areas to improve, she seized the chance to undertake their recommendations, and was able to win hearts and minds.

In all of her work, Heidi works together. Whether this is with her staff team, parents, carers, service users, she is always driven by co-production. A Matron, a Green Light Champion, a fund-raiser – Heidi never looks for recognition; she is just keen to make a difference. This nomination goes to a real unsung hero.