NHS Lothian Celebrating Success Awards: Winning health heroes announced at glam event

NHS Lothian workers who have gone the extra mile for their patients over the last year have been honoured with awards at a glam event in Edinburgh.

The Celebrating Success Awards were held at Ghillie Dhu on Thursday night – the first in-person event since the Covid-19 pandemic.

Shortlisted staff members, along with colleagues and family, gathered at the venue to celebrate after having been nominated by patients, patients’ families and loved ones and other staff.

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Professor John Connaghan CBE, chair of NHS Lothian Board said: “The resilience and dedication of staff over the course of last year and since the start of the pandemic has been remarkable. They have provided high quality care under the greatest pressure.

Arlene Stuart, ITU Team, RIE, and Rhoda Morrison celebrating this years Health Hero Award

“It is testament to the commitment of our staff that they continuously innovate in the delivery of care to our patients. I’d like to say well done to all of our finalists as we celebrate success.”

A new award category was welcomed to celebrate support services staff including those working in portering, catering, domestic services, laundry, estates, facilities and more.

Dedicated to Tom Waterson, who started his career as a porter at the Royal Infirmary and died last year following a short illness, the Support Services Award was handed over to Santosh Rauniyar, porter and security worker at Pennywell All Care Centre.

Santosh was awarded for delivering a high-quality service and going above and beyond expectations to support colleagues and patients. He also played an integral part in the delivery of vaccination clinics.

Arlene Stuart, Rakiya Suleiman, John Connaghan celebrating the Chair's award

The Chair’s award was given to Rakiya Suleiman, who champions equality and diversity across NHS Lothian. She said: “Regardless of who you are, this is a place for everybody. Our organisation is listening, and we’re making changes. Whether you look like me, or you’re different, the NHS represents the people we have in the community. I can feel it.”

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Catherine Scott, personal assistant at the Emergency Department of the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh, won Staff Member of the Year. The department praised Catherine’s unwavering support for helping them get through recent challenging times, and supporting not just the Clinical Director, but also many more consultants and care providers.

Catherine said: “I’m so surprised and delighted to win this award. I don’t think I have won anything in my life before so it’s quite humbling to be recognised. I’m just doing my job and helping others in the team do theirs.”

The prestigious Health Hero Award is chosen by members of the public, and sponsored by the Edinburgh Evening News. It was won by the Intensive Treatment Unit (ITU) Team in the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh 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.

Arlene Stuart, Santosh Rauniyar, Tracy Anne Miller celebrate the first to win the Support Services Award
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Annemarie Docherty, consultant in the ITU team, said: “To have won an award which is decided by the public makes it that bit more special and is amazing recognition for everything that we’ve done.”

Gregor McNeill, consultant in the ITU team, added: “People think intensive care is all about the machines, like ventilators, pumps, but it’s actually about the people, all of us, particularly our nurses who have gone above and beyond in the last few years. I’m so proud to be on one big team.”

Other award winners included Alison Williams, senior research nurse at the RIE, who won Caring Champion of the Year, and Louise Mowatt, clinical director in psychiatry at St John’s Hospital, who won the Leadership Excellence Award.

Linda Smith and Siobhan Cahill, drug liaison nurses, bagged the Respect for Others Award, while Midlothian HSCP Community Projects Volunteers were recognised with the Voluntary Service Award.

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Arlene Stuart, Catherine Scott and Janis Butler celebrating this years Staff Member of the Year Award

Specialist biomedical scientist Thomas Faulkner was awarded with the Young Achiever Award, Frances Aitken, lead dementia nurse for stress and distress, won the Lynn Jackson Nurse of the Year Award and Jacqui Doran, ACU EFREC development assistant, also came top in the Global Citizenship Award.

Spirits were high on the night for the Ward 1 Intensive Psychiatric Care Unit Multidisciplinary Team at St John’s Hospital, which won Team of the Year, and the Visible Haematuria One Stop Clinic Team also celebrated after being crowned the Best Example of Quality, Innovation and Productivity.

Calum Campbell, chief executive at NHS Lothian, said: “It is fantastic seeing staff being able to come together and celebrate in person again after such challenging times.

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“Even though we still face significant pressures across NHS Lothian, I continue to take pride in the work that our staff do day in and day out. I want to extend my warm congratulations to all our finalists for their achievements.”