The Scalpel's Blog


Our unsung NHS heroes

Dean Royles, strategic workforce advisor at Skills for Health and co-author of ‘An Introduction to Human Resource Management’ published by Oxford University Press, writes for NHE to discuss the too often ignored hard work and compassion of our NHS staff, as well as the 2018 Our Health Heroes awards. 

I sometimes struggle to find a word big enough to adequately express myself; amazing, incredible, fantastic…none of them seem to fit the bill.

I have been privileged to work in the NHS most of my career and every day, every single day, you come across extraordinary, life changing stories where NHS staff have had a profound effect on people’s lives. On the lives of children, of people with dementia, of transplant patients, those with mental illness and those coming to terms with a diagnosis they weren’t expecting. It really is incredible. It has been a privilege to be even a small part of that. In fact, it is amazing.

To some extent, all those stories you hear when you work in the NHS are unique in their own way, but they generally all have one thing in common; a common denominator, if you like. They are nearly always a testament to teamwork. To the way the wider healthcare team come together and achieve the seemingly impossible. It’s fantastic.

They are also, all too often, local stories. They don’t make the headlines or the newspapers and yet the recognition of what has been achieved is so important. It’s important to the confidence we have in the NHS, important for staff morale and important to those patients whose lives have been touched. At a time when the media seems to focus on the negative stories, we have an obligation to make sure these good news stories get appropriate air time.

I have recently been reviewing some case studies and videos from last year’s Our Health Heroes, the national healthcare awards organised by Skills for Health and the National Skills Academy for Health. These awards aim to recognise the contribution of healthcare workers across the UK. The publicity video and the case studies give a taste of those life-changing events that happen to people when healthcare staff seem to become part of an extended family.

It is about NHS staff, NHS teams going that extra mile where care and compassion are what matter most. You can see the video here or below. Have a look and see if you can find a word big enough to express your feelings, your pride in what NHS staff do. They are phenomenal!

More importantly, take some time to nominate those staff in the wider healthcare support workforce. Staff who are absolutely vital to the NHS. Dedicated, committed staff that deserve more national recognition for what they do.

Our Health Heroes is currently open to nominations for the 2018 awards, so don’t delay: fill in the online form for your health hero today. By nominating individuals and teams, we can help spread more good news stories and celebrate these amazing people.

Nominate your heroes via by 23 September.



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