Award categories

The information for the award categories below will help you write your nomination.

How do I choose a category?

Use the drop down menu below to help identify which category is best for your ‘stand-out superstar’.

What are the judges looking for?

Each category has three specific areas that the judges will be scoring against.

As well as stating that the nominee achieves these, it would be good to also include some examples of how they have demonstrated them too. It’s nice to hear how you have seen or experienced their exceptional behaviours.

We have included some nomination examples to help you.

If you require any further guidance, please contact us by email at We will be pleased to help you select a category.

Tip: Prepare your nomination explanation in MS word prior to submitting it online.  This will give you the opportunity go back to it, to add more great qualities for the person you are nominating.

When do the nominations close?

Nominations are open until Friday 30 September.

Annual Award: Bank Worker Award

This award is for individuals who demonstrate reliability, commitment and continuing excellence at work. They are flexible and learn the ropes in each new assignment quickly.

They are able to carry out tasks effectively, despite the short term nature of their role. They are individuals who go above and beyond what is expected of them every day they work at Dorset HealthCare and wherever their placement may take them.

What are the judges looking for?

  • Demonstrates reliability and commitment, over and above expectations
  • Evidences continual excellence at work, through their commitment to the quality of customer service, contributing to improvements in service delivery, or going above and beyond to meet customer expectations every day
  • Evidences helping / improving a service beyond the duties required by the role during the COVID-19 pandemic

Examples of nominations

“They have been very reliable, committed and has been a valued member of the team. They have been an asset during our very busy and challenging immunisation programme, showing evidence of their expertise using excel. They have such a calming nature in the office even during our hectic times the programme brings to the team. They have put together a whole new schedule within a very tight deadline with no complaints and to a very high standard.”

Annual Award: Team of the Year

This award recognises teams who have gone the extra mile to consistently deliver an outstanding service throughout the year.

What are the judges looking for?

  • Evidence of a team who work extremely well together
  • Demonstrates going the extra mile
  • Evidence of supporting each other during the COVID-19 pandemic

Examples of nominations

“The team never fail to support their whole locality, both on a daily local basis and on a larger scale when managing a complex patient. By being an enormous support to each other, it allowed them to support another locality when managing a complex situation. They work hard to support one another, developing their colleagues into new and exciting management and clinical lead roles. They support a student every year, helping to develop some of the Trusts new leaders. Their supportive, can do attitude is an example to others and the best way to provide supportive care to their colleagues outside of the team. Personally I cannot thank them enough for the support they have shown me and my locality in the past 6 months, without which we would have struggled to maintain high standards of care and sanity.”

Annual Award: Leadership and Management

This award recognises individuals who demonstrate highly effective and valued leadership or management of their team. They lead by example and act with professionalism and integrity at all times. They are approachable and supportive to colleagues, inspiring them to develop and improve the services we provide.

What are the judges looking for?

  • Evidence of highly effective and valued leadership
  • Evidence of leading by example
  • Demonstrates approachability and supporting others during the COVID-19 pandemic

Examples of nominations

“They are a nurturing, efficient manager, who dedicates their time to patient focused care and ensuring young peoples care is triangulated. Whilst they are highly skilled at patient care, they also have a strategic mind which allows them to develop services in a unique and effective manner. They have had to work in many challenging environments recently, sometimes covering multiple services, always maintaining a warm, positive and kind approach to both patient care and the care of staff. They lead from the front and if needed, will happily provide clinical support, such as running the ward and engaging with the young people to ensure their care is of the highest quality. They are my direct line manager and without a doubt, the best line manager I have had the pleasure to work with. They are empowering, supportive and an inspiring manager. The NHS would benefit from having more managers like them within it and I consider myself blessed to be working with them and hope to continue working with them for a long time.”

Annual Award: Volunteer of the Year

This category recognises individuals who work tirelessly, generously giving their time, enthusiasm and energy to help improve NHS services by supporting patients, visitors and their families.

What are the judges looking for?

  • Demonstrates enthusiasm and energy in their role
  • Evidence of going above and beyond
  • Evidence of continual commitment during the COVID-19 pandemic

Examples of nominations

“This team are amazing. They give up their own time every week between them, to support bereaved people on their bereavement journey. The care and compassion they offer to the Group is genuine and heartfelt. They were instrumental in helping to set this service up two years ago and have strived to improve what they do and how they do it. Three members of this team are Nurses who work part time. They have come in before their shifts start and then gone on to do a full shift and have come in following night duty. The fourth volunteer has blended in well with the team and has barely missed a week. They committed to undertake training and they are always willing to do more. Even when they have had their own personal commitments (minding grandchildren) they have worked around this by bringing their grandchildren with them which has been uplifting for Group members. Their commitment and drive has never faltered they are so highly regarded by the Group members for what they do.”

Annual Award: Apprentice of the Year

The apprentice of the year award seeks to acknowledge and celebrate an apprentice's exceptional contributions to their workplace. To enter an apprentice of the year category the apprentice must either be currently undertaking an apprenticeship programme or have completed it within the last 12 months.

What are the judges looking for?

  • Commitment: demonstrates commitment to their personal development and progression
  • Contribution: shows outstanding contribution to their workplace - in particular, areas or projects where you have exceeded
  • Success: demonstrates inspirational levels of achievement and attainment during the COVID-19 pandemic

Examples of nominations

“They have made such a difference to our team, they have fitted in so well we don't know what we would do without them. They have stepped up and helped at times when we have been short staffed with maturity way beyond their years, truly helping our service to be Better Everyday Day The trust training that they have been requested to do, has completed in a professional and very timely manner and I have received feedback from both trainers and different departments praising their skills and manner. Their college work that I have seen is also to an excellent standard, and their tutor is pleased with their continued progress. Their commitment to learning has been 5 star. They are also a lovely person that has shown compassion to the families we deal with, but also to their team with difficult situations. The expertise that they have with modern technology has been very helpful to some of the Health Visitors with their ability to help them set up new mobile phones and iPad, in a fast and efficient way. They are exactly what the NHS needs to carry to carry on providing excellent care through the next 70 years.”

Annual Award: Innovation and improvement

This award recognises an individual or a team who has overcome a challenge and worked on the development of a new initiative or change that has made an improvement to working practices and/or patient care.

What are the judges looking for?

  • evidence of identifying a challenge and working collaboratively to develop ideas to overcome it
  • demonstrates innovation and good practice  including research or working relationships with other organisations
  • evidence of successfully implementing and embedding change at service or trust level.

Examples of nominations:

“They identified a challenge in the way we currently work and instead of carrying on with the way things are they looked to bring us all together to find ways we could improve. They have such an improvement mind-set and it really helped us to stay motivated to make a positive change for the patient. They worked collaboratively with others, bringing people on board including patients and volunteers to ensure we had a mix of voices and perspectives in the room. Testing out our ideas was really fun and since the changes on the ward have been so successful, the learning is being shared with other wards and teams too.”

Annual Award: Learning in Practice

Awarded to an outstanding colleague who has made a real difference to their; work, team, service, or patients/customers through their admirable commitment and ownership of their own learning, continuous personal and professional development. We are looking for all learners; students, trainees, and staff who have really embraced the opportunities that come with education, learning and development.

What the judges are looking for; one or more of the following :

  • How they have been able to apply the skills and knowledge obtained from learning, in the workplace and/or therefore initiated and/or led service improvement(s).
  • Shares learning with others in the team to support service improvement and learning and development in others, being a champion or ambassador of learning in the workplace.
  • Demonstrable evidence of new skills or abilities and the recognisable impact it’s had.
  • May have overcome adversity in their efforts to learn and achieve.
  • A pre-registration learner or medical trainee who has been outstanding and a real asset whilst they have been on placement with us.

Examples of nominations:

“I want to nominate them because they started the learning during the Covid-19 pandemic which for most is challenging enough, however there were several more barriers for themselves. They found themselves in a difficult situation after losing a close family member and the health of another close relative deteriorating. Instead of this discouraging them, they were determined to carry on and have now successfully completed the learning. They have inspired colleagues with their inner strength and has exceeded expectation, patients love them and they always have a smile on their face. They have overcome adversity in their efforts to learn and achieve.”

Annual Award: Researcher of the Year

This new award recognises colleagues who have committed to embedding research in their work, helping us to develop innovative ways to improve clinical outcomes for our patients and translate research findings into practice

As we further develop our approach to research and aim to become a research-led organisation, we are looking for colleagues who:

  • Have led a research project that will benefit patients
  • Enhance the capability and capacity of the Trust to participate in, and lead on, high quality research
  • Develop and strengthen our research partnerships with higher academic institutions
  • Increase our participation in NIHR research
  • Support our workforce to develop research skills and champion research at Dorset HealthCare

Quarterly Award: Excellence

This Quarterly category is not currently open for nominations.

This award recognises individuals who are committed to delivering a high standard of patient care that has a noticeable impact on those around them.

What are the judges looking for?

  • Demonstrates knowledge and expertise in delivering a person centred approach to patients, families, carers or staff, which is evident in the quality of service delivered
  • Demonstrates commitment to always providing a standard of care that goes above and beyond what is expected
  • Provides examples which demonstrate a clear impact on patient or staff experience, efficiency of service delivery outcomes or reputation of the service during COVID-19 pandemic

Examples of nominations

“They have shown excellent person centred approach to staff and citizens of Dorset with her exceptional eye of detail in the implementation of the project. They recognise the benefit of communication, honesty and integrity and use these skills daily in mitigating issues communicating effectively and passionately wanting the best for the citizen.”

“They recently went out of their way to help services with their moves to new clinics, to ensure their rooms were fit for purpose. They started work early to clear out and prepare rooms and store cupboards to facilitate the moves of these services.”

Quarterly Award: Compassion

This Quarterly category is not currently open for nominations.

This award recognises individuals who make a difference to those they work with or care for.

What are the judges looking for?

  • Demonstrates excellence in the delivery of compassionate care, specifically identifying how individuals have been listened to

  • Provides evidence of acknowledging the individual, whether staff, patients, families or carers, for who they are

  • Demonstrates clear examples of how lives have been made better during COVID-19 pandemic

Examples of nominations

“They have taken to her new role in the community with enthusiasm and energy, and have been continually positive and open to new opportunities. They go above and beyond in their compassion and care for people who wish to pass away at home, and this is demonstrated in the excellent feedback that we receive from families.”

Quarterly Award: Expertise

This Quarterly category is not currently open for nominations.

This award recognises individuals who show commitment to learning and improvement that benefits staff and/or patients

What are the judges looking for?

  • Demonstrates a commitment to learning and improvement through research, innovation, projects or learning from mistakes
  • ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Demonstrates innovative ways that encourage others to share knowledge and experience
  • Provides examples which demonstrate a clear impact on patient or staff experience, efficiency of service delivery outcomes or reputation of the service during the COVID-19 pandemic

Examples of nominations

“They have been a great support to the patients and to myself; providing invaluable, constructive rehabilitation return to work plans through cohesive case management of staff returning to work from sickness absence from chronic fatigue symptoms. The implementation of a rehabilitation plan usually enables the staff to maintain work, be effective in their work and be supported by their line manager. The wider implication for the Trust is the employee returns to work sooner and saves the Trust money.”

Quarterly Award: Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI)

This Quarterly category is not currently open for nominations.

This award recognises individuals who have made a real difference to those that they have worked with or cared for, through their admirable commitment and ownership of equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI).

They will be an ambassador for equality, diversity and inclusion by improving a service or engagement.

What the judges are looking for:

•    Examples of how they have shared knowledge and applied EDI in the workplace. 

•    Demonstrated either initiating, leading or supporting a service improvement of EDI in the workplace.

•    Evidence of the recognisable impact EDI changes have made.

•    May have overcome discrimination in their efforts to improve EDI within the Trust and externally.

Submit a nomination Better Every Day Awards