NHS Lothian Celebrating Success Awards: Finalists to take centre stage this week

The winners of this year's NHS Celebrating Success Awards will be announced this week after hundreds of nominations to vote for your health hero have been narrowed down to the final three.

After this year's health challenges, from Covid-19 to an E-coli outbreak in East Lothian, our NHS staff have worked tirelessly to provide exceptional care for the community of Edinburgh.

Health heroes across Lothian have been voted for by the public to receive a top award for their hard work and commitment.

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NHS Lothian’s annual Celebrating Success Awards recognise staff who embrace the organisation’s core values of care and compassion, dignity and respect, quality, teamwork and openness, honesty and responsibility.

Stephen Elliott, Clinical Ward Manager at the Western General Hospital

The ‘Health Hero’ category, sponsored by the Edinburgh Evening News, allows patients and the public to nominate any healthcare worker who has made a real difference to them or a loved-one by going above and beyond in their day-to-day role, and who has put their heart and soul into their work. Three finalists have now been shortlisted for the special award.

Stephen Elliott, clinical ward manager at the Western General Hospital, has been nominated for his dedicated commitment to a patient receiving chemotherapy. Stephen listened and encouraged her, never missing a session in the four months' treatment when others couldn’t visit the hospital.

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He said: “I find it slightly embarrassing being nominated because I feel like I’ve just been the sort of person I am and just been kind. It’s the job that I do, I came into nursing to care for people, patients as well as staff.

"The nomination took me by surprise, but it is really nice to be nominated. What I did for her is what I would do for anyone that I know. It’s the little things that mean the most to people, you don’t realise what that means to that person at the time.”

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Vicky Knox, Staff Nurse in the Lochranza Ward at Royal Hospital for Children and Young People

The Intensive Treatment Unit (ITU) Team in the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh were nominated for their outstanding care to patients and their families during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic. During uncertain times, staff kept in constant contact with families updating them on their loved ones and giving gold standard care.

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They said: “It is an absolute privilege to be nominated for this award. It is even more special to be nominated by the family of a former patient. It’s been a huge boost to our team and has allowed our staff to reflect with pride particularly around the care they gave as the pandemic unfolded.

“It has been humbling to be nominated alongside some incredible individuals and teams. To win would make us immensely proud and would highlight the great team commitment and hard work that goes into caring for all our patients and families.”

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The final person to make the shortlist is Vicky Knox, staff nurse in the Lochranza Ward at the Royal Hospital for Children and Young People. Vicky went above and beyond for her patient caring for him and helping to reassure his mum.

Sarah Gossner, Intensive Treatment Unit team member in the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh and Mags the nominator
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She said: “I feel so honoured to have been nominated for the Health Hero Award, I was totally lost for words. I am so lucky to come to work every day and love what I do, I couldn't imagine doing anything else. I am so humbled to be part of my patients' journeys, they inspire me everyday. I would feel so privileged if I won the award. I am so passionate about what I do and feel the children I look after are the real heroes, I would dedicate the award to them.”

Janis Butler, director of human resources, said: “Well done to everyone who has been nominated for this year’s awards and a special congratulations to those that were shortlisted.

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“Being shortlisted is a huge achievement, especially with so many nominations received and such strong competition.

“I would also like to thank the people of Lothian for making their voices heard by casting their vote. It is really heartening that patients, carers and relatives took the time to tell us about staff that have made a real difference to their lives.”

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The winner will be announced on Thursday, October 6, where all finalists will gather together to celebrate at the awards ceremony.