Celebrating the heroes in our health service

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Behind the scenes of NHS services across the city is a battalion of dedicated staff who go the extra mile for patients.

And now the Evening News has teamed up with health chiefs to recognise the unsung heroes who help make a difference to the lives of people across the Lothians.

As part of NHS Lothian’s Celebrating Success Awards, we want you to tell us about the healthcare staff who deserve appreciation for every-day examples of extraordinary professionalism and kindness – the health heroes.

Last year midwives Lynn Rose, 51, and Emma Campbell, 33, and medical photographer Gill Thomson, 37, who make up the SANDS team, picked up the Health Hero award for their work with bereaved families at St John’s Hospital, in Livingston, nominated by Nicola Welsh of the SANDS Lothian charity.

The team and the charity have helped the likes of Nicky and Anthony Reynolds, from Livingston, whose son Ramsay was stillborn in February 2015.

Nicky said: “Every couple is individual in what they need following a stillbirth.

“They left the ball in our court and when we were ready Anthony gave the charity a call.”

She praised the work of SANDS Lothians chief executive Nicola Welsh in particular for her “personal” touch during a time of unbelievable pain.

Nicky said: “When it happened to us, you feel overwhelmingly isolated. I hadn’t known anyone who had lost a baby and you’re in limbo. You know you need help but you don’t know where to get it.

“Nicola came out to visit us at home and she has such a comfortable and personable way about her – you could just see the empathy from her.

“She told us about her story – she’d lost her son from a condition and he only survived a couple of weeks. Straight away there was that connection speaking with someone who had also lost their baby.”

The Health Hero award is open to anyone who works for NHS Lothian, to recognise those who give their all into delivering outstanding patient care.

Tim Davison, chief executive at NHS Lothian, said: “I see at first-hand our staff putting their heart and soul into delivering safe, effective patient-centred care, demonstrating our values are an integral part of their daily working lives. The Celebrating Success Awards are a great way for us to recognise our staff’s commitment and dedication and in a small way say thank you for their loyalty and hard work.

“The awards always leave me feeling uplifted and full of pride. Our staff really are the heart and soul of NHS Lothian. They are a great credit to us and the people of Lothian and we should be proud of them.”

To nominate your Health Hero, e-mail celebrating.success@nhslothian.scot.nhs.uk or call 0131-465 5647. The closing date for entries is April 7. The shortlist will be announced in early May with winners revealed at the Corn Exchange on June 16.

fiona.pringle@jpress.co.uk