Staff and partners recognised for their achievements in first staff excellence awards

Date posted: 8th December 2023 Staff and partners recognised for their achievements in first staff excellence awards thumbnail image

On Wednesday 6 December, staff from Lancashire and South Cumbria ICB celebrated its first Staff Excellence Awards. This was the first since the organisation was established in July 2022, bringing together eight Clinical Commissioning Groups.

Staff across the organisation work incredibly hard to support communities, develop partnership working across the NHS and health and care system and planning and supporting health and care services to best meet the needs of the population in Lancashire and South Cumbria and improve outcomes in health and healthcare.

The awards ceremony demonstrated the commitment, hard work and dedication of colleagues working within the ICB to improve and make a difference to the people and communities across Lancashire and South Cumbria.

The awards were supported by a small number of partners and therefore were ran at no cost to the NHS in Lancashire and South Cumbria.

Over 175 nominations were put forward across nine categories, including an award for ‘Outstanding partner of the year’. Congratulations to all of the finalists. You can take a look at our winners and runners up below:

People and communities

Winner – Naveed Sharif

Naveed received three nominations overall, and shows exemplary dedication to promoting public and patient wellbeing, inclusion, culture, fairness, and equity – and consistently demonstrating a strong sense of purpose and leadership in championing these values.

Runner up – Claire Niebieski

Claire Niebieski uses her training in the ‘art of hosting’ to engage communities in key decisions around population health – bringing groups together to consider how we all work more effectively in a collaborative and integrated way to help our communities be healthier and well, particularly around behaviour change.

Other finalists:

  • Healthwatch and Revoelution
  • Robyn Durdy

Respectful and caring (sponsored by Hill Dickinson*)

Winner – Ambreen Bhatti

Ambreen was nominated five times – including four times within this category, and works hard to make members of staff across our organisation feel valued, with sincerity, compassion and commitment. Ambreen continually demonstrates a respectful, supportive and inclusive approach and is keen to ensure colleagues feel heard, especially in relation to the staff listening rooms.

Runner up – Rosemary Cowell

Rosemary Cowell is a compassionate and caring individual that received two nominations, as she ensures that some of our most vulnerable residents receive high standards of safe and individualised care within regulated care settings. Rosemary helps, supports and develops others and understands how effective teamwork can make a difference, promoting collaboration to ensure the best outcomes for our population.

Other finalists:

  • Julia Westaway
  • Naveed Sharif
  • Karen Greenwood

Open and transparent

Winner – Lesley Tiffen

Lesley works tirelessly to give vulnerable people a voice, advocating for those with protected characteristics, actively listening to overcome barriers to ensure access to mental health services remains equitable. She leads with integrity and kindness and is passionate about people and their wellbeing, ensuring that people and communities are at the heart of everything that we do.

Runner up – Stephanie Purcell

Stephanie has helped to develop an open and transparent culture within maternity services, building a quality assurance panel and a maternity serious incident panel and developing key relationships to promote and enhance patient safety through active learning, reporting, improvements and honesty with ICB and trust colleagues.

Other finalists:

  • Carolyn Watkins
  • Mark Wight

Uniting our system

Winner – Pete Smith

Pete has worked hard to build strong relationships across a wide range of partners, most notably, the voluntary sector. His kindness, inclusivity and passion about reducing health inequalities and working ‘with’ not ‘for’ communities has helped to embed a multi-agency approach and cost-effective way of improving quality, removing barriers and resolving issues quickly.

Runner up – Vicki Wagstaff

Vicki centres her entire approach to her work around collaboration, bringing together all parts of our health and care system, including facilitating workshops for primary care, public health and the voluntary, community, faith and social enterprise sector. Huge progress is being made within the cardiovascular workstream due to the relationships that Vicki has built, finding partnership rather than competition.

Other finalists:

  • Fleur Carney
  • Tracey Hebblethwaite


Winner – Rakhee Jethwa

Rakhee received six nominations in total across four categories, not least for her management of the in-housing of over 150 staff and recruitment of additional staff alongside managing the performance, financial improvement and quality of the service. Rakhee’s impact can be easily demonstrated through the achievement of her targets during a time of change, always centred around what is right for people using the service. Rakhee’s enthusiasm and dedication has meant that the service has moved from being a national outlier to achieving the key performance indicators and has achieved this through a supportive and encouraging culture within the whole team.

Runner up – Fleur Carney

Fleur received three nominations in total, due to her absolute commitment to delivering the ambitions of the long-term plan for mental health. She has developed robust monitoring of key performance indicators, provides challenge in a supportive way and identifies gaps and solutions where needed, whilst encouraging creative thinking and a culture of trust. Fleur brings together the diverse positions of the providers and our places to ensure true collaboration.

Other finalists:

  • Karen Greenwood
  • Vicky Webster
  • Hannah Brooks
  • Chloe Hopwood

Place-based initiative (sponsored by Creativeworld*)

Winner – Priority wards – South Cumbria

Priority wards – South Cumbria is a multi-agency initiative in South Cumbria, which involved working with colleagues from the council, integrated care community, public health and voluntary, care, faith and social enterprise sector, to share their data, engage with residents and carry out a literature search, which identified six areas of focus. Focusing initially on two of those areas, community partners developed a detailed breakdown of the causal factors, and set out areas of opportunity.

Runner up – place-based teams in population health and business intelligence

The place-based teams in population health and business intelligence colleagues in ICB and CSU developed an initiative based on population health data to review admissions to NHS ambulatory and urgent care services and work with community partners to listen to residents about their experiences of accessing healthcare services and identify groups of people. The work illustrated opportunities to improve care pathways, guide patients towards more appropriate services, save money and connect services delivered across health and care.

Other finalists:

  • Single homeless team (Blackburn with Darwen Council)

High performing team of the year (sponsored by Frank Design Ltd*)

Winner – the adult health and care team

The adult health and care team has spent time building relationships and mutual respect within the newly formed team, ensuring that everyone felt supported and listened to. A strong focus has been given to the health and wellbeing of the whole team, including the introduction of a daily ‘keep free’ hour. The team works collaboratively with other ICB teams to identify vulnerable community services and leading work around the transforming community services programme – maintaining a positive resilient and enthusiastic approach.

Runner up – the all age mental health programme team

The all age mental health programme team has created a culture of trust and mutual respect, building a shared vision and bringing energy and positivity to the team. The team finds a balance of identifying opportunities for learning and developing skills, as well as using the best of individual ability to seek creative and effective solutions. Through a feeling of connection, trust, care, respect and passion, the team brings people together to deliver ambitions and make real change for the residents of Lancashire and South Cumbria.

Commended – Lived experience team (Blackpool Empowerment Charity)

We would also like to commend the lived experience team – which is part of the Blackpool Empowerment Charity, for their work collaboratively with health, social care and voluntary organisations to continually adapt their approach to meet individual client need, actively providing support and guidance in the continued development of services using their creative thinking to embed positive change.

Other finalists:

  • Urgent and emergency care and planned care function
  • Strategic estates team
  • Cancer Alliance pathway improvement team

Outstanding partner of the year

Winner – Cytosponge programme delivery team innovation – Cancer Alliance

The Cytosponge programme delivery team innovation – Cancer Alliance took an innovative approach to address the challenges of diagnosing and monitoring gastrointestinal pathologies. The project aimed to bring the diagnostic process closer to patients by introducing Cyted’s cancer detection test into primary and community care settings. Close collaboration between secondary and primary care stakeholders and engagement with residents facilitated the integration of the device into primary and community care settings and has led to clearing the backlogs at all four NHS pilot trusts, resulting in timely diagnoses and improved patient outcomes and this work is now being shared with other cancer alliances across the country.

Runner up – Blackburn with Darwen Integrated Neighbourhood teams

The Blackburn with Darwen Integrated Neighbourhood teams have demonstrated their commitment to collaborative working amongst health, social care, and community and wellbeing partners within one of our places to improve health and wellbeing and prevent unplanned hospital and residential care admissions. Embedding social prescribing link workers, primary care associate psychological practitioners and health and wellbeing coaches into the existing integrated neighbourhood pathways has helped to ensure over 3,200 local people receive the best possible support and services to keep healthy, happy and well in their homes and communities.

Other finalists:

  • West Lancashire Community Safety Partnership and Local Priorities Group
  • Blackpool Teaching Hospitals IT team
  • Morecambe Bay anchor collaborative

Judges’ special recognition award for outstanding individual

Winner – Karen Greenwood

Karen received a fantastic six nominations across five categories, and to summarise some of the praise for her, it would be to say that no job is too big; she just get the job done. This individual often finds great solutions whilst managing multiple work programmes and shares knowledge to support colleagues, including ensuring others achieve a healthy work-life balance. The organisation, planning and coordination that was involved in transferring 150 staff from the CSU to the ICB was handled with a smile and this person goes above and beyond for everyone that they work with. This individual thinks about others and always demonstrates a caring, supportive and helpful attitude that is a huge asset to our organisation.

Runner up – Kaleigh Davies

Kaleigh Davies has successfully led a number of projects within the children and young people’s mental health programme, with pride, passion and a daily desire to ensure the mental health services and support for children and their parents and carers is of a high standard. This individual led on the children and young people’s mental health procurement, supported providers to mobilise the risk support model within the THRIVE model and has led an NHS England pilot of introducing a new workforce – Youth Intensive Psychological Practitioners.

Other finalists:

  • Andy Knox
  • Claire Uttley and Georgina Foulds
  • Mark Britton

Our sponsors

We would like to thank the three organisations that sponsored the ICB Staff Excellence Awards: Hill Dickinson, Creativeworld and Frank Design Ltd. The sponsorship we received covered the cost of a lunch for all the ceremony attendees and the trophies and certificates that the winners and runners-up received. 

*In line with our gifts and hospitality policy, we are required to publish the names of any organisation that support us through sponsorship. This information will be published on our lists and registers page: LSC Integrated Care Board :: Lists and registers (

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