An A&E charge nurse, a cognitive therapist and three women helping bereaved parents have been chosen as finalists as part of the hunt for Lothian’s Health Hero.
Dozens of the NHS’ unsung heroes were nominated by the public for the accolade, backed by the Evening News, ahead of NHS Lothian’s Celebrating Success awards in June.
Charge nurse Ray Middlemiss was nominated for leading a team that provides exemplary care under pressure in the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary’s accident and emergency department.
June Valente, 54, said the team “deserve medals” after witnessing them in action when her daughter Bethany, 21, was rushed to casualty with suspected meningitis in April.
June, of Cramond, said: “They were absolutely fantastic, I couldn’t fault them in any way. It was absolutely packed to the point where you couldn’t get a seat in the waiting area and staff were rushed off their feet.
“There were a lot of challenging patients but the staff never raised their voices and treated everyone with dignity.
“This team deserve medals for their ability to carry out fantastic work amid chaos on a daily basis.”
Julie Donegan, a cognitive analytical therapist based at the Royal Edinburgh Hospital, was also put forward for the gong for “changing lives on a daily basis”.
Gemma Chilcott, 22, attended sessions with Julie for two years and she said the experience has transformed her life.
Gemma, of Tollcross, said: “Her humanity was what really struck me. She was able to be honest and open as well as being professional, which is a hard balance to strike.
“I am a student nurse and I know how hard it is. I don’t think she gets the recognition she deserves at all.”
Two dedicated midwives and a medical photographer from St John’s Hospital, Livingston, complete the shortlist for helping devastated parents after they have lost a baby.
Nicola Welsh, chief executive of bereavement charity Sands Lothian, nominated midwives Lynn Rose and Emma Campbell, and medical photographer Gill Thomson for the award.
Nicola, of Linlithgow, said: “I know they say they are just doing their jobs, but when you see them in action and hear the feedback from patients, it is just amazing. They are really going the extra mile to give real personal care.”
Tim Davison, NHS Lothian chief executive, said: “I would like to congratulate our staff who have been shortlisted in the Health Hero category and everyone who has been nominated.
“This is indeed an accolade, particularly as it is members of the public and usually current or former patients who have voted for them.
“Those who receive care from our staff see at first hand their skills, commitment and dedication and I am very grateful to them for taking the time to submit nominations.
“I know our staff go above and beyond in delivering care every day and I am delighted to see them being honoured in this way.”
The winner will be revealed at a glittering awards ceremony at the Edinburgh Corn Exchange on June 17.