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Kerry's special welcome wins prize

Kerry's special welcome wins prize

Date of release: 30 March 2023

A caring Nurse has won a prize for her special welcome for new starters following a competition at two Black Country NHS Trusts. 

Kerry Paxon, Sister, Care Co-ordination Adult Community, won the ‘Warm Welcome’ competition run by The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust (RWT) and partners Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust. 

Latest News: Kerry Paxon
Kerry Paxon (right), receives her certificate from Cath Wilson.

The competition was designed to reward clinical areas for the best warm welcome afforded to new starters to their teams. 

Every year, more than 250 Student Nurses arrive at the two organisations and, from March 2022 to now, 383 internationally-educated Nurses and Midwives on the Trust-wide Clinical Fellowship Programme have also arrived across both Trusts. 

This can be extremely challenging, particularly for the latter group, with a new culture and sometimes new language to learn, as well as new and different ways of working. 

During the three-month window for the competition, teams from the three top entries welcomed a total of 41 new recruits between them. 

Kerry, based at Wolverhampton Science Park, introduced a New Starter Facilitator role to ensure starters have a seamless transition, plus follow-on induction at 30, 60 and 90 days, which received excellent feedback. 

For her efforts she won a £40 gift voucher and a certificate and her team won sweet treats. 

“Throughout my 14 years of practice as a nurse my passion has always been supporting new, existing and student employees,” said Kerry, who lives in Underhill, Wolverhampton. 

“I have a keen interest in the role of ‘Training Facilitator’ within Care Co-ordination and this has meant our new starters have had a positive experience. 

“I’m immensely proud of what I have put into the induction process and feel this was showcased through the competition. 

"I felt overwhelmed to win and pleased to be part of the team and the induction process. This was an amazing experience and one I’ll remember throughout my nursing career.” 

Feedback to Kerry was excellent, with Louise Bradley, one new starter, saying: “My overall experience starting with the care co-team was very good and was made much easier with the help and support from the new starter facilitator.” 

Latest News: Kathryn Allport
Kathryn Allport, right, receives her certificate from Cath Wilson.

In a tight contest after entries from multiple departments, there were two runners-up – Hayley Traverse, Practice Development Nurse, Emergency Department in the Urgent and Emergency Care Centre at Walsall Healthcare, and Kathryn Allport, Practice Development, Workforce, Recruitment and Retention Lead Midwife at RWT. 

One team presented Fellowship Nurses with warm winter hampers, and supporting them to find accommodation. 

Special acknowledgement was made to Amanda Bevan-Webster and Neuro Rehabilitation Unit, RWT for this. 

Catherine Wilson, Deputy Director of Nursing for both Trusts, said: “We ran this joint Trust-wide initiative because it’s vitally important that new recruits receive a warm welcome when they start with us. If their basic needs are met, they will thrive in their early days here, progress, stay and hopefully flourish with us. 

“The standard of entries was both heart-warming and encouraging. All applications demonstrated the fantastic work everyone is doing to support, welcome and retain our new Nurses and Midwives. 

“Judging was extremely difficult but Kerry edged it with the range of ideas she has put in place to make staff feel welcome.” 

Hayley’s new starters receive a welcome goody bag, early contact before starting the job and a supportive induction. 

Kathryn’s team make welcome phone calls and send postcards, gifts of wild flowers seeds and host a meet and greet event. 

Special acknowledgements also went to Amanda Hodgetts, Practice Education Facilitator (PEF), Trauma and Orthopaedic at RWT for organising a social event for new Fellowship Nurses, Katie Haywood, Neonatal Unit, RWT for a welcome booklet and induction, Salma Anwar-Bassey and the Division 1 PEFs at RWT for their induction programme, and Hayley Law, Service Delivery Manager – Planned Care Adult Community at RWT for the five-week boot camp and Professional Nurse Advocate sessions.


Notes to Editors

  • For further information, please call Tim Nash on 07714 74197 or email tim.nash2@nhs.net
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