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Healthcare Heroes Celebrated at National Awards

Eight individuals, teams and organisations from across the UK have received national recognition for their outstanding contribution to the health service at the 2019 Our Health Heroes award ceremony.

Today (20th November) more than 200 guests, including Baroness Dido Harding and Prerana Issar (Chief People Officer at NHS Improvement), gathered for the fourth annual Our Health Heroes awards at London’s Science Museum.

Organised by Skills for Health and headline sponsor Health Education England, the ceremony, which was hosted by Dr Dawn Harper and included a performance by former doctor-turned-writer Adam Kay, celebrated the country’s unsung healthcare heroes.

During the event, trophies were presented to the winners of eight national award categories including:

  • Apprentice of the Year (sponsored by UNISON): Patrick Onyema, a trainee nursing associate at North East London NHS Foundation Trust (NELFT)
  • Operational Services Support Worker of the Year (sponsored by UNISON): Pauline Symington, a service assistant at Ulster Hospital, Northern Ireland
  • Integrated Team of The Year: the End of Life Urgent Care Team at St Luke’s Hospice, Plymouth
  • Learning and Development Project of the Year (sponsored by Kissing it Better): the Clinical Development Team – Nick Worth and Alison Day – at Ascenti
  • Workforce Planning Team of The Year (sponsored by Locum’s Nest): the Flexible Workforce Team at Bradford Teaching Hospitals
  • Staff Wellbeing and Retention Employer of the Year: University Hospital Southampton
  • Outstanding Contribution (sponsored by NHS Employers): Christina Ginsburg-Appleby, a palliative care discharge coordinator at Mountbatten Hospice on the Isle of Wight

Over 880 nominations were submitted by healthcare professionals and members of the public which were whittled down by the judges to four team winners and a shortlist of 30 for the four individual categories.

In the regional awards, the 12 finalists in each of the Operational Services and Clinical Support Worker categories along with three finalists in each of the Apprentice and Outstanding Contribution categories faced the public vote, during which more than 6,300 votes were cast.

John Rogers, Chief Executive at Skills for Health, said:

“For the fourth year running I’ve been stunned by the quality of the nominations we have received for the Our Health Heroes awards.

“Congratulations to all of our winners; these awards are a testament to your hard work and commitment to healthcare across the UK.”

Laura Roberts, Director at Health Education England (HEE), said:

“As the headline sponsor for Our Health Heroes 2019, we want to congratulate everyone who made it to the shortlist and further offer our congratulations to the winners of this year’s awards.

“It is clear from the high standard of nominations that our NHS teams continue to play a vital role in delivering safe and compassionate care for patients and support for one another.

“We are delighted to see people recognised for the role they play within our NHS and the dedication and passion they bring to their patients. It is truly down to these health heroes that the NHS can be the wonderful service that it is today.”

During the ceremony, which included an afternoon tea and exclusive set from Adam Kay, guests were invited to celebrate the achievements of 24 regional winners in the Operational Services and Clinical Support Worker of the Year categories as well as the two finalists in each of the apprentice and outstanding contribution awards.

From top left: Apprentice of the Year Gold Winner – Patrick Onyema; Staff Retention & Wellbeing Employer of the Year Winner – University Hospital Southampton; Outstanding Contribution Gold Winner – Christina Ginsburg-Appleby; Learning & Development Project of the Year – Ascenti Clinical Development Team – Nick Worth & Alison Day

Clockwise from top left: National Clinical Support Worker of the Year – Paul Foster; Integrated Team of the Year – St Luke’s Hospice Plymouth & Marie Curie End of Life Urgent Care Team; National Operational Services Support Worker of the Year – Pauline Symington; Workforce Planning team of the Year – Bradford Teaching Hospitals Flexible Workforce Team

These were as follows:

Apprentice of the Year finalists, sponsored by UNISON:

  • (Gold) Patrick Onyema, North East London NHS Foundation Trust
  • (Silver) Sophie Pomroy, Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  • (Bronze) Ciaran Jones, University Hospital of North Midlands

Operational Services Support Worker of the Year, sponsored by UNISON:

  • Eastern: Heather Butler, The Corner Stone Practice
  • East Midlands: Claire Hands, Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust
  • Greater London: Annabel Little, St Georges University Hospital
  • Northern: Dawn Nicholson, HF Trust Ltd
  • North West: Sarah Woods, Liverpool Women’s NHS Foundation Trust
  • Scotland: Carl Brooks, NHS Orkney
  • Northern Ireland: Pauline Symington, South Eastern Trust
  • South East: Tracey Underhill, Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust
  • South West: Charlotte Rushton, Northern Devon Healthcare Trust
  • Wales: Helen Lumber, Welsh Ambulance Services NHS Trust
  • West Midlands: Wayne Ingram, Lovett Care Ltd
  • Yorkshire and Humber: Reg Ramsden, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals

Clinical Support Worker of the Year regional winners:

  • Eastern: Jackie Fitzsimons, West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust
  • East Midlands: Kelly Stuart, UHL NHS Trust
  • Greater London: Pauline Urvoy, CNWL Southwest
  • Northern: Peter Haddow, Northumberland Tyne and Wear
  • North West: Olivia Gillon, Aintree University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
  • Scotland: Richard Gray, NHS Lothian’s Harm Reduction Team
  • Northern Ireland: Katrina Lavery, Southern Health & Social Care Trust
  • South East: Emma Worrell, Queen Victoria Hospital
  • South West: Nicolette Mahon, Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospital
  • Wales: Jade Benjamin, CWM Taf Morgannwg UHB
  • West Midlands: Paul Foster, Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust
  • Yorkshire and Humber: Janet Pagdanganan, The Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust

Outstanding Contribution finalists, sponsored by NHS Employers:

  • (Gold) Christina Ginsburg-Appleby, Mountbatten Hospice
  • (Silver) Janet Callaghan, Manchester Local Care Organisation
  • (Bronze) Sarah Armer, South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust


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