London, 27 November 2020 – Peterborough-based North West Anglia NHS Foundation Trust had double cause for celebration last night when the Trust’s Deputy Company Secretary Paul Denton was named Governance Professional of the Year and the Trust picked up the award for Diversity & Inclusion Initiative of the Year at ICSA: The Chartered Governance Institute’s 2020 Awards.
Paul was recognised for his exemplary work in the field of governance and the Trust, which runs three acute hospitals and two community hospitals across Cambridgeshire and South Lincolnshire, had a recent review of its Ordinary Residency policy singled out for praise because work with members of the local community has resulted in a new, efficient and responsive approach to confirming if patients are eligible for free NHS treatment.
Paul, who fought off competition from Gilbert George, Director of Corporate Governance/Trust Secretary, Black Country Health Care NHS Foundation Trust; Valerie Andre, Regional Governance Manager (Western Europe), Willis Towers Watson; Ibi Eso, Director, Bridgehouse Company Secretaries Limited; and Fatima Al Maeeni, Head of Governance and Compliance, Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MOHRE), was crowned the winner at a virtual awards ceremony organised by the Institute on 26 November, which brought together the crème de la crème of the governance profession.
Sara Drake, Chief Executive of the Institute explains the reasons for Paul’s win:
“A valued team member undertaking a very challenging role in what is a particularly difficult time for the sector in which he works, Paul is our winner in this category with a strong nomination backed up by especially strong testimonials.
Paul is passionate about what he does, “lives and breathes” governance and offers both practical and emotional support to others. Particularly noteworthy was his work to develop the understanding and management of risk, including his efforts to raise awareness that responsibility for risk goes far beyond the board. He is in many ways a credit to the profession.”
The Diversity & Inclusion Initiative of the Year was a new category in this year’s Awards and recognises those initiatives that are genuinely seeking to move the dial on diversity and inclusion. According to Sara, the Trust’s Ordinary Residency policy review won the award for the following reasons:
“Ordinary residency checks are a legal requirement for NHS care providers to confirm that patients are eligible for free NHS treatment. This nomination focused on North West Anglia’s review of its policy in this area, particularly with regard to BAME and marginalised communities.
“The nomination described an initiative that was by its nature participative and collaborative, that took its cue from customer feedback and included a review group which included representatives from local BAME communities. The judges were particularly struck by the fact that the work was framed as part of a wider programme of works, not just a one-off, and that it was driven from the bottom up but still enjoyed support at the most senior levels.”
Speaking about the Awards in general, Sara concludes:
“Governance professionals have had significant demands placed on them this year to ensure that their organisations have maintained high standards of governance in the midst of a pandemic, often finding innovative solutions to the many challenges that have presented themselves. While we haven’t been able to host our usual Awards dinner this year because of COVID-19, I am delighted that we have been able to celebrate their achievements virtually and recognise those individuals who have made a positive and sustained contribution to the adoption of effective governance. All of those shortlisted should feel immense pride in the fact that they were nominated.”
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