Croydon NHS surgeons win top awards at national event
Croydon NHS's Clinical Director of surgery Stella Vig won the prestigious national 'Silver Scalpel' surgery award on Saturday (7 April) in recognition of her leadership and support when training England's future surgeons.
Stella was overjoyed when another winner at The Association Of Surgeons In Training (ASiT) awards was Emmie Stewart-Parker, who trained under her at Croydon 2013-14 and continues to collaborate with Stella on educational projects. Emmie won the new 'Silver Suture' award which recognises the achievements of surgical trainees who contribute to the training of others.
Professor Sir Bruce Keogh KBE, retired National Medical Director of the NHS, made the final judging decision.
The success reflects well on the strong surgical pedigree at Croydon Health Services NHS Trust (CHS), where Stella is both Clinical Director and surgeon. In February the Care Quality Commission rated surgery at CHS as "Good" and said its quality continued to grow.
Emmie, who is a registrar in General Surgery, currently works at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Woolwich. During her time at Croydon she developed a simulation course to develop teamwork, skills and safety (1). The course now forms part of the annual induction programme for all new London surgical trainees and is hosted by Stella for Health Education England at Croydon University Hospital.
Stella Vig is a strong voice for the NHS. Last year she was interviewed on BBC 1 News to explain how early 'pre-assessments' of patients are helping CHS perform 1,200 more surgical operations each year – an approach that other NHS Trusts can follow.
Speaking in Edinburgh on Saturday 7 April, at the awards, Stella said:
"I work with a great team both regionally and nationally. I am incredibly proud of Emmie for her award and her ongoing support for the London Core Surgery Programme. These awards inspire trainers to do more - relighting and energising the passion for teaching, training and educating.
"At Croydon we're innovating all the time and I'm proud that we're involved in training all of London's surgeons. We are an important part of the surgical community and our patients can be sure that we strive for the highest standards."
"I have so much respect for Stella. As well as providing excellent training opportunities on a day-to-day basis, she is a dedicated mentor. She makes trainees feel valued and supported - something which is so important at a time when the NHS is under such immense pressure.
"It is a huge privilege to be training as a surgeon in the NHS. Teaching is performed at all levels, between professional groups and even by trainees themselves. It is this collaborative approach which will ensure we maintain high standards of care into the future."
Professor Sir Bruce Keogh KBE, retired National Medical Director of the NHS and current Chair of Birmingham Women's and Children's NHS Foundation Trust, said:
“Every year I am filled with a sense of admiration for those who mould the future surgeons in our NHS. Their influence stretches well beyond simply teaching the handicraft of surgery. They exhibit the essence of professionalism through their personal values, behaviours, self-discipline and decency on a daily basis. They are role models for us all. We owe them a great deal.”
- (1) Emmie developed a multi-professional simulation course to improve patient safety by teaching non-technical skills - strategies to minimise human error in complex and often stressful surgical situations through improved communication, team working, preparation and organisation. The course has seen participation from over 300 healthcare professionals.