Alison Koeltgen,

Deputy Director of People and Organisational Development

Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Alison is the embodiment of an excellent deputy HR director. She is: Our Mentor, Our Leader, Our Inspiration. Committed to the NHS and serving patients, Ali has built a high performing HR team which delivers services under the banner; “caring for those who care.”

A valued member of the People and Organisational Development team, Ali forms part of the senior team, which leads, collaboratively, the People and OD function.

In line with the national agenda, the Trust is involved in the Integrated Care System (ICS). Their excellent partnership working is in no small part due to Ali’s direct involvement and her leadership and guidance of key members of her team who function at ICS level.

Her caring and thoughtful approach is well respected across the organisation and both the Executive team and Board value her contribution. Ali has fostered a non-hierarchical culture through her open-door interaction which allows colleagues of all levels to freely express themselves to her.

Judges’ view

Alison demonstrated her commitment to the role as a deputy and as a leader to her team.   Her drive is being proactive in keeping staff well and in a better position to look after patients.  Her team value her approach, her honesty and her authenticity in understanding the person behind the name badge.



Rosalind Penny,

Deputy Director of Organisation Development

Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust

Rosalind shows unrelenting drive for excellence at Trust, system and national level.

She took a Deloitte report criticising the lack of organisation development and leadership  and turned it into outstanding staff survey results, improved patient feedback, flagship leadership programmes with significant BAME representation, exemplar use of the Apprentice Levy, Inclusive Talent Management and OD HPMA Awards team in 2017 and 2019. She is the architect of a game changing staff engagement approach involving 4,000 staff who co-designed the Trust’s Behaviours Framework resulting in Values Based Appraisals and Values Based Recruitment.



Paula Smyth

Interim Director of Human Resources and Corporate Services

Business Services Organisation, Northern Ireland

Paula, Deputy Director in the BSO for the past 10 years, has excelled in the implementation and support many HR initiatives with the utmost professionalism and compassion against various challenges. She has been responsible for leading on several significant strategic and regional changes including leading and delivering on the Implementation of the Health and Social Care Workforce Strategy 2026: Delivering for Our People’, leading on the closure of the Health & Social Care Board affecting over 500 staff and ensuring that ‘Encompass’, a HSC wide initiative introducing digital care records was supported by HR with the on-boarding of over 300 additional staff to the BSO.

NHS England and NHS Improvement sponsors this category.

The NHS Long Term Plan says that when organisations work together they provide better care for the public. That is why on 1 April 2019 NHS Improvement and NHS England united as one – our aim, to provide leadership and support to the wider NHS.  Nationally, regionally and locally, we champion frontline staff who provide a world-class service, and constantly work to improve the care available given to the people of England.

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