There was not a dry eye in the hospital when Healthcare Assistant Salim Danyen was announced as the winner of our Outstanding Achievement award in our staff Make a Difference awards, which celebrates our winners from 2019-2020.
As we began our response to COVID-19, we had to cancel our awards ceremony in March – but we didn’t let the pandemic stop us celebrating our amazing colleagues. Including Salim – whose colleagues know as Danny – who has worked for the NHS for 20 years and now cares for patients in our intermediate care services ward at Goodmayes Hospital.
Although we couldn’t come together for our celebrations in the same way this year, we decided to mark his amazing achievements a little differently with a surprise visit from our Chief Executive, Professor Oliver Shanley OBE, and Chair, Joe Fielder.
With his team mates and managers secretly gathered together to cheer him on, Danny was thoroughly surprised to receive his award in recognition of the truly selfless, compassionate and fantastic care he gives to his patients every day.
Oliver Shanley, Chief Executive, said: “The reason Danny won the Outstanding Achievement award is because of the fantastic credits and compliments he gets from patients and colleagues about the passion and care he shows. He is the most humble person I’ve ever met and yet what we hear from people he cares for is incredible. Thank you Danny for everything you do.”
Joe Fielder, Chair, said: “It’s clear Danny is held in such high regard among his colleagues and our patients. He is an example to us all, and we’re really privileged and lucky to have him working in our organisation.”
His colleague who nominated him said: “Danny’s passion and empathy is a true example of the care and compassion that all in the NHS should strive to achieve. It is a privilege and a pleasure to have such a kind person working within the intermediate care services who is worthy of recognition for the shining star they are.”
In a thank you letter sent to Danny by one of his patients, they complimented his kindness and generosity: “I have met some really good doctors, nurses and assistants, and then I met you. You stand head and shoulders above everyone I have met, you’re a true professional, but what stands out most is the size of your heart.
“You are the kindest, most caring, generous and thoughtful man I have met or had the pleasure to meet in all my life. Nothing was ever too much trouble for you and you went out of your way to make sure I was comfortable and happy. I won’t find enough words to thank you for how you treated me. Just know I will never forget you or your smile, you will always be in my heart, thank you”
Danny said: “This was such a big surprise! I try to give the best quality care to my patients and always give 100%. I love my job every single day and I embrace the challenges and the changes. I go to work every day with a smile; we have our ups and downs, but I’m here and I do my job and treat my patients with a smile.”
Every year our Make a Difference Awards recognise staff who go above and beyond to deliver great care for our patients and support each other, and Danny – who was selected as a winner before the pandemic – is an examples of a true NHS hero.
Meet all our Make a Difference winners
- NELFT Nurse Award: Rose Mitchell, Community Staff Nurse
- Care and Compassion Award: Rose Mitchell, Community Staff Nurse
- Team/Department Award: Acute Crisis and Assessment Team (ACAT)
- Leadership Award: Debbie Feetham, Assistant Director Immediate Care
- Outstanding Achievement Award: Salim Danyen, Integrated Care Assistant
- Improvement to Services Award: Karen Mills, Deputy Ward Manager
- Working in Partnership Award: Jennifer Iheanetu, School Nurse
- Chair’s Special Recognition Award: Justine Reed, Respiratory Nurse
- Harm Free Care Award: Diane Quinn, Community Mental Health Nurse