NHS Bradford District and Craven CCG is celebrating the achievements of two long-serving members of staff who have both been recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list. Lorraine Kennedy and Nancy O’Neill have over 80 years combined service working for the NHS in Bradford.
Lorraine Kennedy was awarded a British Empire Medal for her service to the NHS. Lorraine started her career working in patient records 42 years ago, and has been helping resolve issues through her work in NHS complaints for almost 30 years. During this time, she has helped thousands of people and ensured that everyone she has dealt with has been listened to and treated compassionately. Lorraine is known throughout the NHS in Bradford district and Craven as someone who always goes the extra mile, never gives up and puts people first, however difficult the circumstances.
Lorraine said: “Dealing with complaints, we often hear the negative experiences of our patients, but it is rewarding to be able to help people resolve their problems, and sometimes to just be a listening ear. Through listening to people, we can learn how to improve services. I am really proud of my job and the team I work with.”
“I feel humbled and privileged that my contribution to the NHS has been recognised in such a way. I have worked with incredible, committed and dedicated people over the years, past and present, including those in our GP practices, hospitals and care services as well as my colleagues here in the CCG who have all worked tirelessly, especially this last couple of years through the pandemic.
“When I opened the letter, I read it 4 or 5 times, I just couldn’t take it in! I then read it again and again throughout the day. It was a shock, such a surprise and something I would never have expected. I’m very grateful to have been nominated for this honour.”
Nancy O’Neill was awarded an MBE in recognition of her achievements over a 41 year career in the NHS, as a nurse and NHS manager. She has used her clinical knowledge, managerial expertise and charismatic leadership to play a vital role in developing local health and care partnerships.
Nancy’s skills were a huge asset for Bradford district and Craven during the pandemic, when she was at the forefront of the COVID-9 response. Stepping forward from her ‘day job’ as Strategic Director of Transformation and Change, she established the first local testing centre for staff within 24 hours, which went on to be the best performing satellite testing service in the country. She worked tirelessly throughout the pandemic to ensure that all key workers were able to get tested, and then played a key part in setting up the COVID-19 vaccination programme and striving to ensure all communities had access to life-saving vaccines.
Nancy said, “When I opened the envelope, my first thought was that the postman must have put it through the wrong letterbox! But when I realised that I really was for me, I was shocked and incredibly grateful to have been recognised in this way. It’s even more special to be honoured in the Queen’s platinum jubilee year.
“I’m an incredibly proud Bradfordian and I am passionate about improving the health and wellbeing of local people. It’s humbling to be recognised for doing a job that is so rewarding. I’m lucky to be part of the NHS family and to have worked for over 41 years in the city that I’m proud to call home.
“Over my career I’ve worked with committed, dedicated and skilled colleagues who have been a great source of support. Working through the pandemic was tough, but what we achieved together was incredible, setting up the COVID-19 testing service has been one of the proudest achievements of my career.”
Helen Hirst, chief officer of NHS Bradford District and Craven CCG, said: “I am absolutely delighted that both Lorraine and Nancy have received this recognition.
“Nancy made a significant impact during the Covid pandemic from the setting up of testing centres through to the roll out of the vaccinations. Her pragmatic, practical ‘sleeves rolled up’ style made a massive contribution to the way that Bradford District and Craven responded to the challenges of testing and vaccination.
“Lorraine has been a true public servant for the people of Bradford District and Craven for over 30 years with the vast majority of that time spent managing complaints and liaising with patients and the public to help resolve the concerns and queries. Her calm, compassionate approach has never waned and every person she deals with, some of whom are understandably angry and upset, receives the same level of consideration and care.”