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Our Health Heroes: NHS awards ceremony unveils shortlist

With the NHS facing unprecedented demand and difficult working conditions, it’s incredible that the workforce across the country still delivers great care to patients every single day. Requiring care is never a pleasant experience, but having a brilliant member of staff look after can make a huge difference to a quick recovery.

For that reason, it’s important to recognise the support staff who work so hard to give patients professional, friendly and compassionate care.

Skills for Health has now released the shortlist for its Our Health Heroes 2017 award ceremony, which recognises and celebrates the people across the country striving to provide excellent care.

This year’s awards have also expanded to build on the success of its previous edition. This time around, professionals in the health sector were asked to nominate staff for a number of categories, including Integrated Team of the Year, Workforce Planning Team of the Year and Apprentice of the Year, alongside the already established Clinical and Operational Services Support Worker of the Year accolades.

A whopping total of 930 nominations were received for all the awards, and now 33 finalists and regional winners have been revealed across the five prestigious categories.

Regional winners for the Clinical Support Worker and Operational Services Support Worker awards go forward to a public vote along with three finalists for Apprentice of the Year. The public vote will decide the two national winners for the Support Workers of the Year and the gold, silver and bronze placement of the Apprentices.

All 33 health heroes are also invited to the Awards ceremony in London on 21 November, which will be attended by NHE, with the winners being revealed and celebrated on the day.

“Once again, we are delighted to host the Our Health Heroes Awards, with additional award categories and key sponsors,” said John Rogers, chief executive at Skills for Health. “These 33 winners are outstanding in their field and are thoroughly deserving of their places in the shortlist.

“The calibre of nominations we received this year was sky high. Each and every one demonstrated excellence in patient care and our judges had a really difficult task in selecting a shortlist from such high-quality submissions.

“We’re very much looking forward to meeting all the finalists in November and finding out the national support worker and apprentice winners.”

The awards ceremony is being hosted by Birds of a Feather actress and regular Loose Women panellist, Linda Robson. Delighted with the opportunity, she said: “Healthcare workers are the beating heart of our country and I think it’s only right we celebrate them, especially the ones that are working tirelessly behind the scenes and sometimes get overlooked.

“I get the fantastic honour of revealing the national winners but I’m very much looking forward to meeting all of the regional winners and finalists next month.”

The panel of judges includes representatives from Skills for Health and the National Skills Academy for Health, as well as headline sponsors Health Education England, media partner NHE and category sponsors NHS England, NHS Improvement, UNISON and The Open University.

Laura Roberts, regional director – north at Health Education England, commented: “All the entries we read were fantastic and it was incredibly difficult to narrow it down. Every single person that received a nomination should feel very proud of themselves, the UK really is full of Health Heroes!”

And finally, the regional winners and national finalists:

Clinical Support Worker of the Year regional winners – sponsored by UNISON

  • Eastern: Chris Hamilton, Healthcare Assistant, The Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Kings Lynn
  • East Midlands: Steph Buswell, Social Worker, Isebrook Hospital, Wellingborough
  • Greater London: Parinda Varra, Support Worker, Croydon Recovery & Rehabilitation Team
  • Northern: Cheryl Young, Deaf Clinical Support Assistant, Walkergate Park, Newcastle
  • Northern Ireland: Seamus Begley, Exercise Lead, Western Health and Social Care Trust
  • North West: Donna Bostock, CERT Engagement Worker, Salford
  • Scotland: Yvonne Welch, Healthcare Assistant, Arran War Memorial Hospital
  • South East: Gerri Fox, Senior Rehabilitation Assistant, St Nicholas Hospice, Suffolk
  • South West: Steve Dearsley, Community Support Services Supervisor, Headway Devon
  • Wales: John Clifford, Physiotherapy Technical Instructor, Neath Port Talbot Hospital
  • West Midlands: Ryan Lillie, Community Support Worker, St. Michaels Hospital, Warwick
  • Yorkshire and Humber: Helen Roberts, Therapy Support Worker, Lynfield Mount Hospital

Operational Services Support Worker of the Year regional winners – sponsored by UNISON

  • Eastern: Gwenda Porter-Harris, Assistant Telecoms Manager, Bedford Hospital
  • East Midlands: Julie Skeemer, Domestic Assistant, Leicester Royal Infirmary
  • Greater London: Anthea Lee Allen, Team Secretary, South London and Maudsley Hospital
  • Northern: Keith Arries, Maintenance Person, The Grange Nursing Home, Northumberland
  • Northern Ireland: Matthew Glasgow, General Secretary, Warren Children’s Centre, Lisburn
  • North West: Melanie Ince, EMIS Systems Manager, North Manchester General Hospital
  • Scotland: Marie McIver, Medical Secretary, Queen Elizabeth University Hospital, Glasgow
  • South East: Danii Clark, Equality & Human Rights Assistant, East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust
  • South West: Jackie Pearson, Reception Supervisor, Adelaide Medical Centre, Hampshire
  • Wales: Leanne Mathers, Placement Co-ordinator, Beechwood College, Penarth
  • West Midlands: Jess Toon, Activities Co-ordinator, Richmond Bede Village, Coventry
  • Yorkshire and Humber: Paul Tobin, General Porter, St. James Hospital, Leeds

Apprentice of the Year finalists – sponsored by The Open University

  • Aaron Myall, Apprentice Healthcare Assistant in Sexual Health, Homerton Hospital, London
  • Andrew Gunn, Apprentice Business Support Executive in Marketing, The Edinburgh Clinic
  • Omprakash Beniwal, Apprentice Healthcare Assistant in Chemotherapy, Barnet Hospital, London

Workforce Planning Team of the Year finalists – sponsored by NHS England

  • GP Team, Carlisle
  • The Practice Education Team, Royal Bournemouth Hospital
  • Doctors Assistants Team, East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust

Integrated Team of the Year winners– sponsored by NHS Improvement

  • Prison Healthcare Team, South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust


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