Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust’s Communications Officer Damian Staples has
received the royal seal of approval from Her Majesty the Queen in her New
Year’s Honour’s List.
Damian has been awarded a British Empire Medal (BEM) for
services to the NHS during Covid-19. The prestigious accolade is presented to
individuals like Damian who have provided a ‘hands-on,’ innovative service to
the local community.
The 32-year-old, who has worked at the Trust for
two-and-a-half years and the NHS for seven years, said: “I am completely
overwhelmed and shocked to be named in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours list. The
news still hasn’t sunk in but I feel really proud to receive a BEM.
“It’s a wonderful accolade and something I’ll never forget
achieving. I’m sure it will be a career highlight for me. 2020 has been a
strange year and we have all had to roll up our sleeves and do whatever needed
doing. I’m pleased that what I did made a difference. I am really grateful to
whoever put me forward for the award.”
Damian, from Worksop, achieved the BEM for keeping Trust colleagues
and the public up to date on the ever-changing and complex Covid-19 situation. He
provided a consistent, clear and informative approach to communications,
working with colleagues at the Rotherham NHS Clinical Commissioning Group, neighbouring
NHS trusts, the council and the voluntary sector.
He strengthened new working relationships with the local
media to ensure balanced messages have been regularly provided to the public,
reinforcing the national messaging and providing a reassuring voice in such
difficult, stressful circumstances.
Damian was often the first point of contact for Trust
colleagues needing swift advice from the Staff Covid-19 Helpline, which was
established by the Trust to provide a triage service for those who needed to
access tests and information about Coronavirus.
Damian also provided help and support wherever it needed,
such as helping the Rotherham
Hospital and Community Charity receive and distribute generous donations.
He even continued working hard from home while in
self-isolation as he battled the virus himself.
Dr Richard Jenkins, The Trust’s Chief Executive, said: “I
am absolutely delighted that Damian has been awarded the British Empire Medal
for services relating to Covid-19.
Damian has worked tirelessly throughout the pandemic to ensure that a
continual flow of vitally important information reaches staff at the Trust to
support them in their work as they care for our patients. Congratulations on
this well-deserved recognition Damian.”