Elizabeth Nyawade

Chief of People and Culture 

Surrey & Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust


Judges’ view
A credible leader, authentic and humble. Liz’s personal qualities were apparent; she makes time for people and has a clear focus on improving patient care. To step up as acting CPO and deliver operational excellence showed true resilience and compassion.

Elizabeth showed  courageous and unfaltering leadership throughout the pandemic. She demonstrated clear purpose and direction, setting clear expectations of her team with the strength of character to make decisive decisions and stand to account during unprecedented times. Elizabeth’s inclusive and encouraging leadership approach inspired her team to work beyond their remit to ensure they delivered what the workforce needed from HR to support caring and treating patients and keeping staff safe. She led the transformation whilst carrying out joint roles of CPO and deputy with the team emerging stronger with tangible improvement outcomes, greater engagement and enhanced reputation.


Highly Commended

Victoria Downing-Burn
Royal United Hospitals, Bath NHS Foundation Trust

Energising, strategic, wise, hard-working, loves novelty; reliable, funny, bold, compassionate and clever… pretty much sums up Victoria. She is a joy to have as a deputy, plays to her strengths, works on her areas for improvement, lifts the mood, models the Trust values. Enough said!

Judges’ view

The partnership between Victoria and her director was palpable, with a strong sense of trust and confidence they have in each other. Clearly a valued professional who has a can-do attitude, a great outlook and disposition supporting her director and the wider team brilliantly.


Ricky Somal
Isle of Wight NHS Trust

Ricky adopts the principles of behavioural economics and positive psychology to design and lead strategies focused on Organisational Development and Inclusion. His goals are to use his motivational leadership style to unlock potential in people while remaining conscious of the psychological impact of organisational change.

Judges’ view

Ricky is a very inclusive and compassionate leader. Ricky’s presentation was strong in terms of data presented.


Angie Oliver
Health Education & Improvement Wales

Angie is a naturally compassionate and collaborative leader. She is an exceptional deputy director who has been nominated for her significant contribution to organisational goals, her support for her team, peers and colleagues, her leadership contribution and for her achievements in response to the  pandemic.

Judges’ view

Angie showed a real passion for long term outputs to her work, and a focus on developing others which is truly admirable.  A very credible HR professional in a  strong field of candidates.

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