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29.11.16

UK’s Our Health Heroes revealed

An ambulance worker from Berwick and a day centre receptionist from Belfast are the first ever winners of the Our Health Heroes awards, set up to celebrate the work of the thousands of support staff who keep the NHS running behind the scenes.

Iain Scott and Elizabeth Cameron received their awards today (Tuesday 29 November) at a special ceremony hosted by Skills for Health, the National Skills Academy for Health and Unison.

Iain from Berwick Ambulance Station won the national award for Clinical Support Worker of the Year, and Elizabeth from Fortwilliam Day Centre took home the top honour in the Operational Services Support Worker of the Year category.

The Our Health Heroes awards, of which NHE is the official media partner, are the culmination of a campaign by the three organisations to celebrate the contribution made by the 800,000 individuals who make up the healthcare support workforce across the UK.

More than 500 nominations were whittled down to a total of 24 regional winners, two from each of Unison’s 12 regions. A public vote then decided the national winners.

A special honorary award was also presented in memory of Grant Callachan, a physiotherapy support worker at Arbroath Infirmary in Scotland, who sadly passed away earlier this year. Grant’s colleagues submitted a moving nomination highlighting the special difference he had made to his team, and how his example continues to inspire them. The award judges unanimously decided that his compassion and enthusiasm role should be recognised, and his honorary award was accepted by his wife, Michelle.

Iain was nominated by his colleagues for always putting them and his patients first. From administration to stock control and the station social fund, Iain spends all his spare time on station doing as much as he can for colleagues. After receiving the accolade, he said: “I’m honoured to have won the national award, I never thought it was going to be me. I’m really pleased to have won but I think everyone here today would have deserved it just as much as me; so my heart goes out to each and every one of them as well.”

Dr Phil Hammond, Iain Scott (Our Health Heroes Clinical Support Worker of the Year 2016), John Rogers (CEO Skills for Health)

Elizabeth has been the welcoming face of the Fortwilliam Day Centre since it opened 30 years ago and constantly goes over and above what is expected of her daily role. She is hardworking, motivated and reliable, but it is her compassion and positivity, even during challenging times, that have really set her apart.

“I’m so shocked that I’ve won. When I was told I’d even been nominated I thought it was a joke and that there must be someone out there that deserves it more than me,” said Elizabeth. “It’s an honour and I do really love my job; I wouldn’t have been doing it for so long if I didn’t!”

Dr Phil Hammond, Elizabeth Cameron (Our Health Heroes Operational Services Worker of the Year), John Rogers (CEO Skills for Health)

John Rogers, chief executive of Skills for Health, said: “The dedicated individuals in our healthcare support workforce truly are the sector’s unsung heroes. They keep the NHS running from behind the scenes, and their hard work and commitment is integral to making sure patients receive the very best care possible.

“We would like to extend our huge congratulations to Iain and Elizabeth, and to each of our 24 regional winners. All of them should be extremely proud of their achievements, and we hope to see this spirit of celebration continue across the sector.”

As well as the national awards, Iain and Elizabeth have each also won training packages worth up to £2,500 for their organisation, provided by Skills for Health and the Skills Platform, along with a £250 voucher to use towards a mini-break holiday, generously donated by SpaBreaks.com.

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