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Support workers shortlisted for ‘health hero’ awards

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The finalists of a new set of awards to celebrate the support workforce that deliver patient care “behind the scenes” across the UK have been announced.

The Our Health Heroes Awards have been created by Skills for Health, the National Skills Academy for Health and the union Unison.

“The NHS couldn’t function without the dedication of clinical support workers”

John Rogers

The awards are intended to celebrate the “exceptional contribution” made by healthcare assistants, assistant practitioners and other support staff who rarely get praised for the vital work they do.

Launched in July, 24 finalists have now been chosen from over 500 entries, with 12 finalists for Clinical Support Worker of the Year (See below) and 12 for Operational Services Worker of the Year.

Healthcare teams across the UK were asked to nominate colleagues for one of two awards – clinical support worker of the year and operational services worker of the year.

The finalists were selected for their ability to put patients first, to act as positive role models to colleagues and to overcome personal challenges, said Skills for Health, announcing the shortlist.

“Each of them is a compassionate, forward thinker and a role model”

Candace Miller

Among the clinical support workers shortlisted are an assistant cardiac practitioner at Papworth Hospital, a maternity support worker at Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust and a theatre support worker at Hillingdon Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.

Those shortlisted as regional winners will now go forward to a public vote to choose the national winners in each category. The results will be announced at a ceremony in London on 29 November.

John Rogers, chief executive of Skills for Health, said: “The NHS couldn’t function without the dedication of clinical support workers and operational service staff. They ensure that hospitals and healthcare practices around the UK provide the best care possible for patients.

“We are delighted with the calibre of award entries we have received and the judges certainly had a difficult task in selecting our regional winners,” he said. “Each of our 24 national finalists are already winners in their region, and should be proud of their commitment to their roles in healthcare.”

Christina McAnea, head of health at Unison, added: “Without the hard work and dedication of support staff, nurses, paramedics, midwives, radiographers and other health colleagues, would quite simply be unable to do their jobs.

Unison

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Christina McAnea

“It’s vital we celebrate the amazing work of clinical support and operational services staff, which often goes way above and beyond their roles,” she said. “They are the unsung heroes of the NHS.”

Candace Miller, director of the National Skills Academy for Health, said: “Each of our 24 regional winners has shown remarkable dedication to their jobs and the delivery of patient care. Each of them is a compassionate, forward thinker and a role model to colleagues for their positive attitude.”

The awards follow on from the #OurHealthHeroes social media campaign launched by Skills for Health in February that encouraged people to share stories about workers who make a difference.

The campaign has been supported by organisations including Health Education England, Alder Hey Hospital, Great Ormond Street Hospital and Southmead Hospital.

To vote for the national clinical support worker of the year and operational services worker of the year visit the Skills for Health website before 14 November 2016.

Finalists for clinical support worker of the year:

  • Eastern – Beverly Lyford, assistant cardiac practitioner at Papworth Hospital, Cambridge
  • East Midlands – Barbara Singh, maternity support worker at Nottingham University Hospitals
  • Greater London – Jeanette Curtin, theatre support worker at Hillingdon Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
  • Northern – Iain Scott, emergency care assistant at Berwick Ambulance Station, Northumberland
  • Northern Ireland – Stephen Rogers, care support worker at Belfast Health and Social Care Trust
  • North West – Rachel Szarfenberg, assistant practitioner in head and neck surgery unit at Manchester Royal Infirmary
  • Scotland – Stacy Wilson, healthcare support worker at Royal Alexandra Hospital, East Sussex
  • South East – Nicola Day, children’s therapy assistant practitioner at Medway Community Healthcare, Kent
  • South West – Stephanie Crump, clinical apprentice at Royal Devon & Exeter Hospital, Exeter
  • Wales – Jamie Alsop, support time and recover worker at Whitchurch Hospital, Cardiff
  • West Midlands – Amanda Lavick, therapy technician at Royal Stoke University Hospital, Staffordshire
  • Yorkshire and the Humber – Tony Hudson, peer support worker at Rotherham Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services, South Yorkshire
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