Health Hero awards: Four women named candidates

Dr Fiona Denison. Picture: Greg Macvean
Dr Fiona Denison. Picture: Greg Macvean
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A DIABETES nurse, an obstetrician and two women who work with children with autism are in the running to become Lothian’s new health hero.

Patients across the region have been nominating NHS Lothian employees for the award – which is backed by the Evening News – with the final three chosen by an expert panel ahead of the health board’s Celebrating Success awards next month.

Katla Gamble. Picture: Jon Savage

Katla Gamble. Picture: Jon Savage

The finalists are Gayle McRobert, a diabetes nurse based at the Western General Hospital, Royal Infirmary consultant obstetrician Dr Fiona Denison, along with information officer Amanda Young and children’s community nurse Katla Gamble, who received a joint nomination for their work in the Autism Access Service.

Alan Boyter, NHS Lothian’s human resources director, said: “We received a record number of entries for this year’s awards, which shows that our staff are doing an outstanding job and going above and beyond the call of duty on a daily basis.

“It’s nice to see our staff receiving the recognition they deserve for the work they do.”

Ms McRobert was put forward by grateful Eileen Murray, after she and husband David struggled to come to terms with complications in his type 2 diabetes after he was diagnosed with cancer.

Gayle McRoberts. Picture: Neil Hanna

Gayle McRoberts. Picture: Neil Hanna

Elderly Mr Murray’s diabetes went “haywire” as a result of chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatment, leading to him being assigned a specialist nurse. Ms McRobert went on to phone several times a day, including at evenings and weekends and even when she was on holiday, to check on her patient.

Mrs Murray said: “Gayle was and continues to be a tower of strength to both my husband and myself. I simply do not know how we would have coped without her
support, kindness and compassion.”

Another NHS employee to go beyond the call of duty is Dr Denison. She was put forward by an expectant mother
who praised her “truly exceptional concern for patient wellbeing”.

The patient, who said she wants to remain anonymous, said that after experiencing difficulties in having a baby Dr Denison made her “brave enough not to give up hope”.

She said: “I have been the most comforted by the feeling that she is genuinely counting down the weeks with me as I get closer to my due date.”

The shortlist is completed by Amanda Young and Katla Gamble, who work in Autism Access Services providing specialist advice and support in relation to issues such as behaviour, sleep and social clubs.

Lesley Mount, who put the duo forward for the award, said: “Katla and Amanda combine their wealth of expertise with great warmth and empathy, and often go the extra mile to find families the help they need.”