Emergency Department, Great Western Hospital

A spokesman for the ED said: “The ED Team are hugely proud to be a finalist in the Swindon & Wilts Health & Social Care Awards. Our teamwork is at the very heart of the ED, and has been crucial this last year, and we delighted for this to be recognised.”

The team were nominated by Natalie Lawrence, who said: “The Emergency Department team have worked tirelessly this last year. Despite the challenge of Covid they have continued to pursue and achieve improvements in patient care as well and responded to all that has been asked of them, including organising a vow renewal service in ED for a patient. To receive this award would be a huge boost to the entire team and worthy recognition of all their courage, strength and compassion over the last year. They are a very helpful and friendly team and their comradeship and cohesiveness gives them a strong dynamic synergy. Adapting and changing to all that has been asked of them during such unprecedented times has only been achieved through the shared bond and strength of the team."

Intensive Care Unit, Great Western Hospital

A spokesman for the ICU team said: “It is really an honour for our team to be recognised outside of our own organisation for the work that we did during Covid-19 pandemic. This just goes to show how much can be achieved when teams work together towards a common goal. We truly have an amazing team.”

The team were nominated by Kate Myrie, who said: “The Intensive Care Unit has been at the forefront of Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust’s fight against coronavirus, caring for hundreds of patients admitted to hospital with the virus who needed complex and intensive care, including many who needed ventilation. During the first wave, they quickly sectioned the department into Covid and non-Covid areas, so that all patients could receive the care they needed without the risk of the spread of infection. At the peaks of the pandemic, the team did not have enough beds for all Covid patients, so ICU was extended into theatre space so an additional 12 beds could be created. They have seen things during the pandemic that we could never have imagined, and have faced unimaginable challenges, but have risen to every challenge with commitment and dedication to the patients they look after. The ICU team is made up of staff from a range of different roles, including doctors, nurses and therapists as well as behind-the-scenes staff, managers and housekeeping. The impact on the team has been huge. Many have returned to work from retirement, picked up additional shifts, worked lots of overtime or made personal sacrifices to stay away from their families so they could continue coming to work."

Wiltshire Air Ambulance

A spokesman for the Air Ambulance said: “It’s been a hugely challenging year for Wiltshire Air Ambulance operating on the front line during a pandemic, so we’re very proud but also humbled to be shortlisted for Team of the Year at the Wiltshire Health & Social Care Awards.”

Wiltshire Air Ambulance was nominated by Adam Baker, who said: “Our team of five pilots and 13 critical care paramedics have been operating on the front line throughout the Coronavirus pandemic, ensuring they can be there for the people of Wiltshire and surrounding areas. As Boris Johnson ordered the country to work from home, that just wasn’t an option for the aircrew at Wiltshire Air Ambulance. The team continued to fly up to 19 hours a day, attending a record number of 1,238 incidents during 2020. Overall incidents numbers varied dramatically throughout the year. During the first lockdown we saw a dip in the number of road traffic collisions we would normally attend as people remained at home. However, our critical care paramedics were instead forced to deal with a huge spike in other trauma injuries, such as falls at home and assaults, as well as the large number of cardiac emergencies we are regularly called to.

"The charity didn’t just help its patients though; we were also there for our colleagues from across the South West.

"We were able to support our friends at Great Western Air Ambulance and Devon Air Ambulance by loaning out spare Versaflo powered hoods PPE. We also helped out Royal United Hospital in Bath with two ventilator units at the height of the pandemic.

"Five of our critical care paramedics also put themselves forward to assist in the national effort by transferring critically unwell patients with COVID-19 from general hospitals in the region to the Nightingale Hospitals.

"In addition, our lead clinicians were also part of the Trauma and Cardiac Arrest Support Line for SWASfT (South Western Ambulance Service Foundation Trust) to offer senior on-call support for their roadside paramedics.

"The year 2020 was supposed to be one of celebration for Wiltshire Air Ambulance – it was the charity’s 30th anniversary year. Plenty of exciting fundraising events were planned to signal the landmark but due to the Coronavirus pandemic those occasions were all postponed. This affected the charity’s fundraising by around £500,000 in comparison to the previous year. We are extremely proud of how our charity - and importantly our aircrew - responded to the pandemic, ensuring we were there for the people of Wiltshire during the biggest crisis this country has seen for more than a generation."