THEY are the unsung heroes who go above and beyond to make life better for patients being treated in our city’s hospitals.
But last night their tireless work and boundless determination was celebrated at a special ceremony to honour Southampton’s hospital heroes.
From a porter who often stays after his shift to help transfer patients, to the chemotherapy team who ensured a seamless service despite location difficulties, all those who go that extra mile for their patients were given their moment in the spotlight.
A total of 14 prestigious gongs were handed out at the Novotel Southampton as University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust hosted its annual staff awards. The awards were presented by Geoff Holt, who has overcome disability to excel in sailing.
The Daily Echo once again joined forces with the trust, which runs Southampton General, the Princess Anne Hospital and Countess Mountbatten Hospice, to track down those who have gone beyond their duty to bring a smile to those suffering.
This year there were seven nominees for the Daily Echo’s Hospital Heroes Readers Choice Award.
But it was nurse Gemma Pearson, from the Bramshaw ward at the Princess Anne Hospital, who walked away with the honour after being nominated by one of her patients, Caroline Atrill.
Daily Echo Hospital Hero winner Gemma Pearson with editor Ian Murray, left, and guest of honour Geoff Holt.
Not only was Nurse Pearson there for Caroline throughout her treatment after having a cyst removed, but her dedication to her patients inspired Caroline to change careers and go into the caring profession.
Caroline, from Marchwood, said: “She really went above and beyond for me and everyone else that she treats. She inspired me to get into the caring profession because I knew I wanted to make a difference in people’s lives, just like she has on mine.”
After winning the award Nurse Pearson, below, said: “I feel privileged to win. It was a shock to be nominated and to win is an even better feeling.
“To have Caroline here was also great as I have not seen her since she was in the hospital.
“It’s nice to see how you have helped somebody and to see they appreciate your help.”
Daily Echo editor-in-chief Ian Murray praised the awards as the most uplifting ceremony he attends each year.
He said: “It’s always a wonderful experience to be included in these tremendous awards with so many heroes. It’s just a shame that many more could not be winners.”
ROLL OF HONOUR
Chief executive’s employee of the year: Winner – Arvin Pagkaliwangan, porter, below with chief executive Fiona Dalton and Geoff Holt.
Runner-up – Colin Hubbard, advanced nurse practitioner cardiac surgery
Team of the Year: Winner – C3 chemotherapy/daycase team, cancer care, below.
Runners-up – Anaesthetic trauma team, critical care and Ward D3, medical oncology
Chairman’s award for leadership: Winner – Andrew White, radiography lead for imaging infrastructure support service
Runner-up – Melanie Watson, principal genetics counsellor, Wessex clinical genetics service
Education and training: Winner – Trustwide education team, below, delivering nursing overseas induction and education
Runner-up – Linda Johnson, senior sister, critical care
Equality and diversity: Winner – Rita Patrick, below, chair of long-term illness and disability focus group
Runner-up – Long-term illness and disability group
Patient experience: Winner – Stephen Hicks, ward leader, G9 medicine for older people
Runner-up – Hospital Palliative Care team, cancer care
Patient safety: Winner – Dr Paul Diprose and Dr Mike Herbertson, consultant anaesthetists
Runner-up – Dr Adriana Basarab, consultant medical microbiologist, pathology
Southampton Hospital Charity star award: Winner – Acute Medical Unit team, below.
Runner-up – Sarah Hartfree, paediatric rheumatology nurse specialist
Gift of time: Winner – Dan Ridout, below.
Runner-up – Heather Parsons
Unsung Heroes: Winner – Susan Cousens, academic organiser, below
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