2012 Award Winners

The Lifetime Achievement Award

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The IHEEM Lifetime Achievement Award goes to a member of the institute who has given long service to the healthcare industry, and has made a significant contribution to their particular specialist field.  The 2012 Award went to one of the leading experts in the field of Legionella, waterborne contamination prevention and emergency response, David Harper.

Paul Kingsmore said of the winner’s professional expertise: “In 1979 saw the first outbreak in the UK of Legionnaires’ disease, at that time a little known about disease. Our winner was involved in the investigation of the cause and in the eradication of this outbreak. The following year, following another outbreak, he was able to successfully identify, develop controls, and eradicate the problem. It was during this second outbreak that he contracted the disease himself, spending time gravely ill, in the intensive care unit of his own hospital. In dealing with the outbreak, his team developed a series of fundamental design and operational controls that became known as the ‘Kingston Control’. These were the forerunners of the current HSE Approved Code of Practice (L8) document, which is now used as a standard by the building users in hospitals and other buildings worldwide.”

The John Bolton Memorial Award

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The John Bolton Memorial Award for Excellence in the Field of Education, Training and Development went to The Northern Ireland Regional Estates Training Group and was collected by Timothy Sheehan. The award commemorates the life of John Bolton, who was President of IHEEM from 1985 to 1986. He encouraged the involvement of his technical expert colleagues to attend the Institute’s one-day seminars and often participated himself. This annual award is presented to a Facilities Directorate, NHS Trust or health service provider to the NHS who has, ‘contributed to the development, training, and career progression of their staff, and delivered service improvements in the field of estates and facilities’.

The William E. Schall Award

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The 2012 William E. Schall Award for Excellence in Medical Technologies, which is given to an IHEEM member or non-member who has undertaken the Foundation Degree Course in Medical Technologies, went to Jack Tompsett of Eastborne District General Hospital. Greg Markham said he was a worthy winner, and had been ‘highly motivated student who has shown a real desire to succeed and also to support others.” This Award was established by the Society of X-ray Technology, which merged with IHEEM in 1990 and commemorates the life of William E. Schall, the Society’s first President in 1954, who remained an active member until his death in 1965.

The Lucas Scholarship Award

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This award is in honour of Bernard Lucas, IHEEM President from 1974-75 and was presented to Steven Palmer, who Greg Markham described as, ‘A dedicated IHEEM member’. The 2012 winner had served the Institute’s North West Branch for a number of years, becoming a committee member in 1989, and vice chairman from 1996-1998. He had also served as the Branch’s secretary and treasurer prior to his current role as committee member and local membership secretary. IHEEM’s new president said: “Mention should also be made of his long service to the Institute’s Membership Committee, of which he has just been elected chair, and to his service on both IHEEM’s Council and Technical Committee.”

The Northcroft Silver Medal

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Lionel G. Northcroft was well known and respected in the steam-using field as a lecturer and writer and was appointed OBE in 1949 for his work on fuel efficiency during the Second World War. Throughout his career he always encouraged engineers to promote and publish their work. This medal then is awarded to a member who has written the technical paper published in Health Estate Journal considered to have contributed most to the advancement of healthcare engineering. There were two winners this year, Dr Jimmy Walker, Principal Investigator at the Health Protection Agency, and his HPA colleague, Peter Hoffman, consultant clinical scientist at the Agency’s Laboratory of Healthcare-associated Infection, Microbiology Services. The pair had, the award judges explained, produced an article giving a detailed overview of the key characteristics of Pseudomonas aeruginosa biofilms, and describing some of the most effective ways for controlling their spread in hospital water systems. The judges considered the piece ‘a very informative article, with up-to-date information and practical solutions for combatting the problem.

Giving the IHEEM Annual Dinner audience a little more background on the joint winners, Greg Markham explained that Dr Walker is a decontamination specialist in the Biosafety unit at Porton Down, Salisbury, and has over 20 years’ experience in public health microbiology, having published over 50 peer-reviewed manuscripts. Peter Hoffman, meanwhile, is a consultant scientist with the HPA’s Laboratory of Healthcare-associated Infection, with particular interests in the ways in which infection can transmit in healthcare and analogous situations, and methods via which transmission can be interrupted.

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