Sarah Franks

As a hospital receptionist Sarah Franks works with life savers every day– but a chance encounter on a car park turned her into a life saver herself.

Sarah, from Cheslyn Hay, was leaving work at County Hospital in Stafford when she was told a man had collapsed on the hospital car park.

She notified security staff then rushed to the man who she found to be unresponsive, had a head injury and appeared to be having a cardiac arrest.

Sarah immediately started to perform CPR and with help from a passer-by was able to alert the hospital’s A&E department so that they could take over his treatment.

She said: “My first thought was helping the gentleman and already knowing CPR I was able to perform it. Without this I feel the outcome would have been different.

“I am first aid trained from a previous role but this incident has meant that the hospital is looking to train all its receptionist staff in first aid to make sure we can respond promptly in future situations like this.

“After receiving care at UHNM I’m delighted that he is now doing well and I look forward to meeting with him soon to check on his progress.”

Sarah was nominated for a UHNM Chief Executive Award by Sophie Reid, Complaints, PALS and Volunteers Services Manager, and Becky Ferneyhough, Head of Nursing at County Hospital.

Sophie said: “I genuinely believe the actions that Sarah took helped to save this patient’s life. Sarah has never been faced by a situation such as this previously and acted extremely courageously.

“As her line manager, I am extremely proud of her and she should be proud of herself too as the actions that she took ultimately helped to save this gentleman’s life.”

Sarah was presented with her award by Tracy Bullock, UHNM Chief Executive.

She said: “I felt shocked but also privileged to have received the award.”

Sarah Franks has now been nominated as an NHS Hero in the Your Heroes Awards.

Antonio Ferraro

A deputy ward manager at the Royal Stoke Hospital has used his hobby to help improve the lives of patients in his care.

Four of Antonio Ferraro’s photos, showcasing the landscapes of the Peak District, are being proudly displayed in Cardiothoracic Critical Care at the hospital.

After his talents were spotted by colleagues, Antonio received funding from the UHNM Charity so his work could be hung in patient side rooms.

Antonio, who has worked for the UHNM for nine years, said: “I bought my first DSLR camera when I first qualified as a nurse, but started to take photography more seriously five or six years ago.

“Living in Leek I’m privileged to have the Peak District on my doorstep and I go out and take a lot of landscape photos. Any season there’s a lot of photos to be taken.”

Sarah Mann, Senior Quality Nurse in Cardiothoracic Critical Care, said: “Our Deputy Matron became aware of Antonio’s photos and asked if we could make use of them for the benefit of patients and staff.

“Staff in our Pods were asked to choose their favourites out of around 20 of his photos that would go on display in four of our side rooms for our more infectious or long-term patients.

“From a psychological perspective Critical Care can be very stressful for a patient and this has an impact on their recovery and can prolong their stay. Studies show that having soothing and calming displays such as this can help with things like delirium and help improve recovery.

“I’m really chuffed with the photos, they’ve turned out really well. UHNM Charity were very helpful and with their help we can’t wait to get more up across Critical Care for the benefit of our patients.”

Deputy Matron Helen Smith said: “It was clear Antonio has a talent as our staff greatly enjoy looking at his work on social media.

“These pieces are of great benefit to our patients who receive no natural light in these rooms and they give them a bit of escapism. I’m very proud of Antionio- our staff always go above and beyond for our patients.”

Antonio added: “I’m very proud when I see them. They’re a real talking point and I often ask for patients’ opinions on them – the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive.

“It’s very pleasing to see my work appreciated by patients and colleagues and I’m very grateful to Sarah and Helen for their help.”

Antonio has been nominated in the NHS Hero category of the Your Heroes Awards.

Tracy Bullock, pictured with Dr Alison Brind

Dr Alison Brind, NHS Hero of the Year at Your Heroes 2023, lost her life to pancreatic cancer last month. Just weeks before her death she nominated someone else to receive the NHS Hero accolade.

Dr Brind’s nomination was for Tracy Bullock, CEO of the University Hospitals of North Midlands since 2019 who will retire from her role on June 28.

Dr Brind said: “Tracy has worked with the team to take the UHNM out of special measures. She has always been helpful, supportive and caring to ALL the staff. She has been visible and approachable.”

Tracy said she was taken aback to be nominated for a Your Heroes Award and in particular to have been nominated by Dr Brind.

She said: “I would like to say how emotional it made me feel receiving this nomination, although it didn’t surprise me that Alison would be thinking of others even as she neared the end of her life.

“Alison has left a tremendous legacy at UHNM and she touched so many lives with her inspirational work. I feel very honoured to receive this nomination from Alison. It was a privilege to know her and she is one of those people I will never ever forget.”

Tracy qualified as a nurse in 1987 at Bolton Hospitals NHS Trust and throughout her 18 years there she progressed through roles of increasing responsibility including ward manager, clinical risk manager, governance manager and directorate business manager.

During this time and until 2019 Tracy held a seconded role undertaking investigations and reviews for the Commission for Health Improvement, the Health Care Commission and more latterly the Care Quality Commission

In 2002 she started working as an Associate Director with a newly formed national team of healthcare professionals who were instrumental in providing support to some of the most challenged NHS Trusts in the country to achieve turnaround and latterly Foundation Trust status. During this time she gained experience working in Acute, Primary Care, Ambulance and Mental Health Trusts.

In 2006 Tracy joined Mid Cheshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust as Director of Nursing and Quality and was subsequently given the responsibilities of Chief Operating and then Deputy Chief Executive until becoming the Chief Executive in October 2010.

Tracy joined UHNM as the Chief Executive in April 2019 and is a highly regarded leader who has served the NHS for the entirety of her career.

Check back again soon to see more NHS Hero nominees