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Pain consultant from UHP wins Make a Difference Award

Dr Somnath Bagchi

Dr Somnath Bagchi, a Consultant in Anaesthesia and Pain Medicine at the University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust (UHP), has won a Make a Difference Award in the Key Worker category for his dedication to his work through the pandemic.

Make a Difference was a noticeboard that started during the pandemic to offer help and support to those who needed it. It was supported by local BBC radio stations who decided to honour those who were providing this help and support, each taking on a role of facilitating local Make a Difference Awards.

Dr Somnath was nominated due to his work during the pandemic where he retained to work in a ward environment and worked as part of a team of anaesthetists to support different areas around the Trust. This also involved working within the COVID-19 red wards which meant he had to isolate from his family to protect them during this time.

Talking about the experience Dr Somnath said: “We had to do all of this while at the same time feeling scared that you were going to contract something and possibly spread it to your family. It was a very challenging job. Even if you were only going to the red ward for a simple procedure, you were apprehensive”.

The Key Worker category recognises key workers who have gone above and beyond their call of duty to help others. The first round of judging, which took place in August, saw the applicants narrowed down to 4 nominees by a panel of community engagement experts. The second round for the category was judged by author Veronica Henry and the award was presented to Dr Somnath at an awards ceremony last week.

“I have no idea why I was nominated, I thought I was just doing my job.” Dr Somnath said. “Some people thought I was doing more than what is expected from a doctor because in between I went to see a few patients in St Luke’s Hospice when I was needed, mainly the cancer patients. And so, I was nominated but I never thought that I would get the award.”

After receiving the award, Dr Somnath said: “When they called my name as winner of the award, I was not expecting it, so I felt great, surprised, but as I said there as well, it is not only me who has won the award it’s actually the collective effort of everybody in the team because you are as good as your team. In anaesthesia we always worked in a team so it’s not only me but my ODP, the nurses, the porters, the cleaners, everybody has a role to play.”

Listen to Dr Somnath discuss his work and receiving the award here:

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