NHS bosses who have hired 1,600 nurses and 1,500 doctors to fill gaps in north London provision have handed out awards to staff who kept services running in the aftermath of the Covid crisis.

They have rewarded recruitment personnel for hitting their targets as well as workers and volunteers who have kept hospitals ticking over “with a smile”.

Payroll slips now total 25,000 every month, corporate services managing director Robert Prince revealed.

“We have also completed 1,000 maternity and adoption applications,” he said. “We logged 107,000 calls in 2022 alone, a third over the phone and the rest online.”

The Royal Free London trust 'Oscars for 2023 were held at Enfield Civic Centre, which Mr Prince hosted along with Barnet Hospital’s nursing director and the Royal Free’s property services director.

There were 78 nominations for 11 awards.

The “shining star” title went to Subata Ahmed, who helped bring outsiders onto the staff during the pandemic, including a nurse returning from Barbados to work in the intensive care unit.

Subata has since set up links with the Camden job centre to recruit domestic staff, while overseeing staff training in maths, English and IT.

Volunteer of the Year was named as Veronica Kennard, a bereavement specialist who goes “above and beyond” to speak to families and handle enquiries sensitively.

Clinician of the Year was Mary Wall, who set up a medical examiner service for the trust which became mandatory in April, while co-ordinating with GP surgeries in Camden and Barnet for a smooth transition for patients.

The Outstanding Research award went to Eleanor Damian whose studies have come up with better ways of care for patients.

Others have been praised for equality and diversity “challenging racism” in the trust, including “reverse mentoring”.

Domestic cleaner Ioana Chindris picked up the “Living Values” award working in children’s physiotherapy unit at Hampstead’s Royal Free, coming to work “with a smile on her face” who engages with staff and the young patients “bringing sunshine to the hospital”.

The catering team got an award for their electronic ordering system to improve nutrition and for staying open extra hours through Eid so Muslim staff have a hot meal after sundown.

The winners go on to the overall ‘Oscars’ for the Royal Free London group being held at the Royal College of Physicians in Regent’s Park on July 4, a day before the 75th anniversary of the NHS.