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Kind-hearted Healthcare Worker Wins Top National Award

Our Health Heroes

Christina Ginsburg-Appleby, a palliative care discharge coordinator at Mountbatten Hospice on the Isle of Wight, has been crowned the 2019 winner of the Outstanding Contribution award at the prestigious Our Health Heroes awards.

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 national awards, which were hosted by Dr Dawn Harper and included a performance by former doctor turned award-winning writer Adam Kay, celebrated unsung healthcare heroes from across the UK.

Christina Ginsburg-Appleby from the palliative care team at Mountbatten Hospice, took the public vote by storm and was presented with the gold award in the NHS Employers sponsored Outstanding Contribution category, becoming one of only eight national winners at this year’s ceremony.

Colleagues described Christina as bold and innovative and said she uses her expert knowledge of primary and secondary care services to facilitate timely, co-ordinated and safe discharges for patients receiving end-of-life care.

Despite regularly facing complex and difficult situations she remains dedicated to her patients and their families, often leading difficult conversations and ‘waving her magic wand’ to ensure patients wishes are seen through.

Christina recently accompanied a patient, nearing their end of life, to the mainland by ambulance to return home. The patient had been on holiday and had suddenly deteriorated and been admitted to hospital.

She travelled by their side, updating them on their journey time. The patient later sadly passed away but on home soil, as they wished.

Her colleagues say she is an inspiration who makes the seemingly impossible, possible.

Christina said: “This award is a delightful surprise and it’s an absolute privilege to be the winner.

“It is important in recognising the unique partnership of Mountbatten Hospice and St Mary’s Hospital and the commitment to working together to support and care for as many people as possible coming to the end of their life.

“We are also committed to supporting families and friends, as how people die lives on in the memory of those left behind.

It is a singular honour to receive any level of award that recognises the work of a magnificent team.”

Christina fought off competition from two other finalists from across the UK after securing overwhelming support via the public vote, which decided the national winner.

John Rogers, Chief Executive at Skills for Health, said: “Congratulations to Christina on being named national winner of the Outstanding Contribution of the Year award.

“Having read through the nomination which was submitted for Christina and hearing more about her passion and commitment to her patients today, I can see why the public voted in their hundreds for her to be crowned our national champion.

“She is obviously a fantastic asset to Mountbatten Hospice and offers us a great example of how to deliver thoughtful and compassionate end-of-life care.

Danny Mortimer, Chief Executive at NHS Employers, said: “I’d like to offer my warmest congratulations to Christina.

“The work she has done is truly inspiring and the contribution she has made to the lives of the patients she cares for is certainly worth celebrating. All the nominees were exceptional, and NHS Employers was delighted to sponsor this award.”

Laura Roberts, Director at headline sponsor Health Education England (HEE), said: “These awards once again showcase the incredibly high standard of work and the vital role played by both apprentices and support workers. As the main sponsor of Our Health Heroes 2019 we extend our heartfelt congratulations to all the winners.

“Support workers and apprentices are a key part of the healthcare workforce and, through our Talent for Care programme, HEE supports employers with their workforce supply. This is achieved via school engagement, volunteering, work experience, pre-employment activity, apprenticeships and access to higher education and the registered professions.”

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