Our 2020 Awards for Excellence winners announcedPosted: Tuesday 15 September 2020 at 09:44
Each year, we recognise and reward the amazing work that goes into providing services and care for people with macular disease with our Awards for Excellence.
The awards recognise and reward the amazing work that goes into providing services and care for people with macular disease.
There is no doubt the pandemic has presented a number of challenges to us all, but those providing care and support for those living with macular disease have continued to provide an exemplary service in the face of the coronavirus crisis.
A huge thank you to Simplyhealth for supporting this year's awards and congratulations to all of the 2020 winners.
Chairman’s Award for Volunteering
Doris has been a volunteer for more than 10 years and leads the Enniskillen support group in Northern Ireland. Doris turned her own devastating diagnosis of macular degeneration into a force for good when she set up the Enniskillen Macular Society Support Group ten years ago. Without her the members say the group would not exist. Starting with just three members it has steadily grown and now sees 35 regular members every month.
She said: “Everybody that knows me knows I don't do what I do for any praise. But it is very nice to be recognised and get recognition after 10 years. Really I enjoy helping people that have macular degeneration because you do need a lot of support.
“It's a hard life when you're visually impaired but it's not the end of the world as long as you belong to a group, you know, you manage.
“It makes a big difference to be in contact with the Macular Society. When I got it, I didn't know there was such a thing as macular degeneration, and I surely didn’t know there was a Macular Society.”
David volunteered to be group leader of the Bideford and Holsworthy Macular Society Support Group in 2015, and since then he has always been proactive in ensuring the success of the group, especially when organising their monthly meetings. Those who nominated him said it was almost impossible to add up the hours he gives to volunteering as he contacts speaker and organise venues for outings for the group.
Clinical Service of the Year
Mr Shahzad Shafquat, Russells Hall Hospital
Mr Shafquat is consultant ophthalmic Surgeon at Russells Hall Hospital. He has supported the Dudley Macular Society Support Group since the first meeting in 2007. Since then he has attended the group’s meetings twice a year, keeping them up to date with current treatments and research as well as the current situation within the eye department at Russells Hall and the Dudley NHS.
Those who nominated Mr Shafquat said he is always looking to improve care, welcoming and training specialist nurses to give injections. He visited the group to explain how this would help the consultants to concentrate on diagnosis and the setting up of treatment plans.
One person said: “He is a great leader, excellent example for his staff and a dedicated professional who cares about his patients.”
Macular Treatment Centre, Manchester Royal Infirmary.
The judges wanted to recognise the clinic for the exceptional service offered by the clinic. The service has grown rapidly over the years and the team there pride themselves on the provisions put in place to help manage the high demand, which has included training a team of nurse injectors to offer treatment. The centre was also the first in the country to branch out to the high street in 2018, offering patients high quality hospital expertise closer to their homes. One patient nominating the team said “they seem to be at the cutting edge of treatment for this scary condition.”
Optician or Optometrist of the Year
Our winner this year is Jason Rickaby of Jason Rickaby Opticians in Lincoln. We had many nominations in this category by Jason’s practice really stood out, with many mentioning his technical imaging equipment which he uses sensitively to explain the conditions that are present and how he helps patients prepare for future changes. Jason has also taken the time to visit the Lincoln Macular Society Support Group where he has taken time and trouble to answer a lot of questions with care and patience. Someone who nominated Jason said: "He is a great leader, excellent example for his staff and a dedicated professional who cares about his patients.”