The Only National Awards For Non-Medical / Non-Clinical NHS Staff & Volunteers

Interview with Carl Ramsdale, UHA Leader of the Year 2019

10th December 2020

It’s always a pleasure to check in with our past winners, and our chat with Carl Ramsdale was no exception.

Carl won the Leader of the Year Award back in 2019, demonstrating his patience and dedication to those who took part in an internship at Derbyshire Community Health Service.

Since then, Carl has gone on to become one of our very own UHA Board Members, as well as taking on exciting new projects with the NHS Counter Fraud Authority.

We caught up with Carl to talk about supporting young talent in the NHS, as well as the importance of nominating colleagues for next year’s awards gala.

Carl Ramsdale winning his award back in 2019

Hi Carl, please can you explain a little about yourself and why you won an Unsung Hero Award in 2019?

At the time I was working as a Risk Manager for Derbyshire Community Health Service. In 2017, they introduced an internship for young students with learning disabilities. There were a number of students on rotation, and I ended up with a young gentleman called Sebastian Swain. Sebastian came to me for two days on rotation, and we got to know each other those couple of days.

Just after Christmas, I was contacted by the coordinators to ask if he could come back and spend the entire academic year with me. During that time, I got him involved in various projects, and built up his confidence. We got on immediately.

I was then kindly nominated for the Leader of the Year Award. Amazingly, I won!

What is it about mentoring that you enjoy the most?

I think it’s giving people the right opportunities at the right time. Everybody deserves a chance, and if you’re going to invest the time, or somebody wants to work with you, you can’t short change them.

[With Seb] we always had the time to speak with his mum… I’d tell her what we’d done… over a period of time, it all seemed to bring him out of his shell. That was the most satisfying thing.

How important is it to nurture and support young talent in the NHS from all backgrounds?

Somebody said to me once that in this day and age, young people are constantly told “no, you can’t do that” or “you’ll never achieve that”, so rather than putting barriers in their way, why not give them the chance to reach the goals that they want?

You currently work as a Senior Quality and Compliance Inspector for NHS Counter Fraud Authority. Could you explain what this involves?

Our remit is to lead in protecting the assets of the NHS against fraud, bribery and corruption. We have an investigatory body, local authorities etc.

In the Quality and Compliance team, we’re there to support our colleagues and develop different ways of working, identify people’s good practices, and give people guidance to the system and the work that they do.

You’ve worked for the NHS for over 15 years. What does the NHS mean to you?

Everybody is going to the need health service at some stage. It’s full of people who want to do the right thing for people, at the right time.

The Unsung Hero Awards in particular focuses on the Non-Clinical side… I always see them as being the ‘hidden’ heroes. And I don’t put myself in that category by any means!

They’re like the special effects people in the film and theatre industries. They make the magic, but nobody ever remembers them. I think that’s the health service… there are lots of people in the background that make the frontline work.

Our interview with Carl Ramsdale

As a former winner of an Unsung Hero Award, what would you say to someone who was thinking of nominating a friend or a colleague for the next Awards?

If you’re thinking about it, that means you should do it. If they’ve come to your attention… don’t hesitate, nominate them!

Even being nominated will give them the buzz, and the feeling that someone has realised they’re making a difference. Winning is just the bonus on top of that.

You’ll can also view the full video interview with Carl here!

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Written by Sarah Catherine Jones | Creative Content Assistant

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