THE search to find Lothian’s Health Hero has been whittled down to the final three – ahead of a glitzy awards bash to celebrate the best of the NHS.
Health workers shortlisted for the prize, as part of NHS Lothian’s Celebrating Success Awards, were nominated by members of the public after displaying exceptional commitment and dedication.
The category, backed by the Evening News for the third year, aims to highlight the thousands of unsung heroes in the health services.
Dr Ailsa McLellan, paediatric consultant in neurology at the Sick Kids, was nominated by Scott Blair, whose son, Louis, was diagnosed with rare condition tuberous sclerosis when he was just three months old.
His parents feel that they owe their lives to Ailsa for the unwavering care and support she has provided to their family over the years. Mr Blair said: “As we spent so much time in the hospital, Dr McLellan got to know us really well and she knew that Louis was daft about cars. She and her team got him tickets for Truck Fest last year.”
Another finalist, Heather McVicars, who works as a research nurse in cancer clinical trials at the Western General Hospital, was nominated by patient Lynn Mellon.
She was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2012 and signed up to a trial which Heather helped run, to treat primary cases of breast cancer.
“During my treatment, Heather was so supportive to me and to my family,” she said. “She is constantly on the end of the phone and, as she knew I was struggling with my diagnosis, she helped me to get psychological support.”
Tracy Gaughan, a therapist at the rehabilitation programme Lothians and Edinburgh Abstinence Programme, is the final shortlisted health hero. She was put up for the prize by Jane Ross, whom she helped when she became dependent on alcohol following a family bereavement.
Ms Ross said: “The rehabilitation programme is one of the hardest emotional and physical things I have ever done. Tracy pushes and challenges you continually in the one-to-one and group sessions.”
The region’s most inspirational health workers will be honoured at the Corn Exchange on Friday, October 24.
Tim Davison, chief executive of NHS Lothian, said: “Many of our staff go above and beyond their duties every day, put the values at the heart of everyday working life and demonstrate our commitment to providing safe, effective person-centre care and to improve healthier lives for all.
“The Health Hero award is a way of saying thank you to those staff who provide the standards of care that NHS Lothian is so proud of.”