Health Heroes: Get your nominations in quick

Radio Forth's Arlene Stuart, right, was joined by NHS Lothian cardiology staff Ann Henry, Simon Dunn, Kim Gibson and Carolyn Murray for the launch of the 2015 Health Heroes awards.Picture: Neil Hanna

Radio Forth's Arlene Stuart, right, was joined by NHS Lothian cardiology staff Ann Henry, Simon Dunn, Kim Gibson and Carolyn Murray for the launch of the 2015 Health Heroes awards.Picture: Neil Hanna

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Readers are being urged to vote for their “health hero” before nominations close in less than a week.

The awards were established to recognise the unsung heroes and heroines of the health service who have gone above and beyond to deliver outstanding care and support.

The winner could be a doctor, nurse, volunteer, community midwife or other health worker who has demonstrated exceptional selflessness or dedication in the line of duty.

NHS Lothian’s annual Celebrating Success Awards is calling on the public to nominate before the Friday deadline.

Tim Davison, chief executive of NHS Lothian, said: “The Health Hero Award is a way of saying thank you to those staff who put their heart and soul into providing the high standards of care NHS Lothian is so proud of.

“I’d ask anyone who has been in hospital, attended a clinic, or been treated by a member of our staff who made a real difference to their care or the care of a loved one, to give them the special recognition they deserve by nominating them.”

Among the nominees so far is Margaret McEwan, play specialist at the Royal Hospital for Sick Children.

She was nominated by mum Jane Rennie whose daughter, Isabella, was diagnosed with a brain tumour.

She said: “Margaret has just been the most amazing support for us in the hospital.

“She always had a way of making us feel something positive even on our darkest days.”

Now in their eighth year, the awards, which are backed by the Edinburgh Evening News, aim to recognise the outstanding work of local NHS staff.

The Rheumatology Team in Ward 75 at the Western General Hospital were nominated by Gilliam Paterson, whose husband Steven was referred there before he was diagnosed with cancer of the spine.

She was touched by the professionalism of the team and said: “They have done so much – more than perhaps they should have. They gave us so much time. It was a huge help to my husband at a time that was very dark for him.

“He’s got a long journey to go, but they have set us on the right road and we’ll be forever thankful.”

Edinburgh Evening News managing editor Frank O’Donnell said that NHS staff carry out extraordinary work that changes lives for the better every single day.

He added: “Their skill and compassion can sometimes go unnoticed and these awards aim to celebrate and recognise those who go above and beyond. The News is delighted to be associated with the awards and with the hard work and diligence of the employees in our treasured health service.”

Last year’s winner was Heather McVicars, who works as a research nurse in cancer clinical trials at the Western General Hospital. Diabetes nurse Gayle McRobert scooped the award in 2013 after helping David Murray come to terms with complications when he was diagnosed with cancer.

Radio Forth star Arlene Stuart will present this year’s awards at a ceremony at the Edinburgh Corn Exchange on June 19.

Get involved

To nominate your Health Hero, please download a form at www.nhslothian.scot.nhs.uk. Alternatively, you can call 0131-465 5645.

Nomination forms can also be posted to The Celebrating Success Team, NHS Lothian, Waverley Gate, 2-4 Waterloo Place, Edinburgh, EH1 3EG.

The deadline for entries is April 10.