A FINAL call has been issued urging the public to name the Lothians’ unsung health heroes as the deadline for nominations approaches.
NHS Lothian, as part of the upcoming Celebrating Success Awards, wants members of the public to put forward anyone they feel has made a difference to their lives through their work with the health service.
The call has been backed by the Evening News, which has teamed up with the health board to support the award.
Any member of NHS Lothian’s 28,000 staff can be nominated, and among possible nominees is a nurse who is helping to transform prospects for the Capital’s children.
Claire Smith, a member of the Family Nurse Partnership programme, which provides healthcare and support to first-time, teenage parents in Edinburgh, said public recognition would help motivate her and her colleagues.
She said: “When the public value you, it feels like a real pat on the back. It brings a wee smile to my face and spring in my step. It makes me and the others in my team want to continue doing a good job. The Family Nurse Partnership programme is the first time a home-visiting programme has been introduced for teenage mums and dads in Scotland.
“As well as maternal health, it helps in areas such as looking after the health of a baby, environmental issues such as housing, education and how a family can become self-sufficient.”
Lisa and Nigel Cormack, a couple from Longstone who were referred to the partnership by a midwife more than two years ago when Lisa was pregnant with Kayla, said the programme had made a big difference.
Lisa, 22, who was 19 when she was contacted by partnership nurses, said the support she had received had allayed many of the worries she had about giving birth.
She said: “We were worried about having to get a C-section, but then Claire came round and talked to us about it, and that really eased it.
“The help from Claire has helped me feel more confident.”
Nigel, 26, a sales assistant, said: “Any time we had anything we were worried about, the help was there.”
The deadline for nominations is tomorrow, although entries posted in time which do not arrive until next week will also be considered.
Tim Davison, NHS Lothian chief executive, said: “It is patient experiences like this that show us what the NHS is really about.
“The Celebrating Success Awards is about recognising this dedication to patient care. Once again I urge the Evening News readers to take this opportunity to tell us who they feel is their Health Hero.”
• To nominate a Health Hero, visit www.nhslothian.scot.nhs.uk or call 0131-465 5710.