Western General’s Gayle lands top health award

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SHE has just been crowned our NHS Health Hero – but for Gayle McRobert it is “all in a day’s work”.

The diabetes nurse took the top gong at the NHS Lothian’s Celebrating Success Awards after being nominated by a patient’s wife.

Gayle McRobert celebrates after winning the top gong at NHS Lothian's Celebrating Success Awards. Picture: Phil Wilkinson

Gayle McRobert celebrates after winning the top gong at NHS Lothian's Celebrating Success Awards. Picture: Phil Wilkinson

Gayle, 38, who has worked in the metabolic unit at the Western General since December 2010, said she was “surprised but thrilled to win”.

Ten awards were given out at the bash designed to recognise the thousands of unsung heroes working for NHS Lothian.

The Evening News-backed Health Hero prize saw members of the public make their own nominations.

Gayle said: “It’s great to be recognised like this. I still can’t believe I won, I didn’t expect it at all.

“I knew it was down to three people but I just didn’t think I would win.

“The people I was up against are absolutely fantastic, they’re amazing like so many people that work within the NHS.

“It’s nice to have something positive like this that celebrates the work we do, as often it doesn’t get the recognition.

“I think there are hundreds of unsung heroes out there and I think it is a shame a lot of the time it is negative things you hear about the NHS when there are so many people that do good work.”

Eileen Murray, 78, nominated Gayle for her “incredible care and support” towards her husband, David, 79, a cancer patient whose diabetes spiralled out of control after 
starting treatment.

He was regularly in and out of hospital and Eileen had to start injecting his insulin, which she said was “very frightening”.

Eileen, who worked for a medical publishing firm in Baxter’s Place before retiring, was reduced to tears after 
hearing Gayle had won.

She said: “I’m not surprised she won, she’s a one-off. We couldn’t have got through this last 12 to 14 months without her.

“She’s such a lovely girl, so unassuming. She doesn’t think she’s doing anything out of the ordinary.

“She really goes above and beyond what she has to. At times she was ringing three times a day to check what his readings were. She would even call on her days off because she knew how upset we were. She was always so friendly yet always so 
professional as well.”

Gayle said she loves her job and plans to continue working at the Western.

She added: “I really love my job. Eileen and David are a lovely couple and it’s nice to know what you’re doing helps.”

Brian Houston, chairman of NHS Lothian, said: “Gayle’s commitment and dedication mean she is truly deserving of her award.

“The Health Hero award is about recognising the very best of what we strive to achieve. This is not about being the best for its own sake – it is about delivering the best for the patients.

“Our staff do a magnificent job often under extremely challenging circumstances and I would like to say a huge well done to Gayle and everyone else who continues to provide the standards of patient care that NHS Lothian can be proud of.”

kate.pickles@edinburghnews.com