NHS Lothian nurse wins top Health Hero award

Rachel Capaldi is this year's Health Hero award winner
Rachel Capaldi is this year's Health Hero award winner
Have your say

Healthcare heroes who go above and beyond have been honoured at a glitzy award ceremony recognising the very best of the NHS.

The annual Celebrating Success Awards, held at the Corn Exchange last night, gave out gongs including the Health Hero award, which saw members of the public make their own nominations.

Cardiology nurse Rachael Capaldi, 27, picked up the Health Hero award, sponsored by the Evening News, for her role in treating people whose lives have been turned upside down.

Her role at Links View in Musselburgh and Edinburgh Royal Infirmary had not gone unnoticed, with multiple nominations feeling she was deserving of the reward for the way she goes above and beyond her duty.

One of her nominators said: “Rachael works very hard and gives 100 per cent to her patients every day, always putting others first.

“She is kind, compassionate and goes above and beyond her call of duty and I wanted to demonstrate just how valuable her support has been to me and my family. We truly admire her for the fantastic nurse she is.”

Rachael said she felt lucky to doing a job she has always dreamt of and is a proud member of the NHS.

She said: “It is an honour to win the Health Hero Award. I’m so proud to work for the NHS as it is a great service.

“People come to us when one minute they will be absolutely fine and the next they have suffered a heart attack.

“I do all I can to help patients in their journey to recovery and also the families with them all going through so much and having their world turned upside down. If I can do something that can make them feel safe and understand they’re in the right hands, then it makes me feel like I have made a difference.

“It is a hard, but rewarding job. I’ve always wanting to do nursing since I was a young girl. I feel like I am doing right by my patients.”

The annual awards praise the hard-working NHS Lothian employees who give their heart and soul to deliver outstanding care to patients.

Many may feel as though they’re not doing anything special, but countless workers across the NHS provide exceptional care on a daily basis.

A new category introduced this year was the Young Achiever Award, which was won by recruitment administrator Hayley Wilson from St John’s Hospital.

Hayley was praised for regularly going the extra mile to assist her colleagues across the wider recruitment team and offering support to the recruitment of modern apprentices and Princes Trust students.

Meanwhile, Caring Champion of the Year went to nursing assistant at Roodlands Hospital, Richard Johnson, for striving for excellence in his dealings with patients and staff as well as for the depth of care and compassion he shows to those he helps care for.

Brian Houston, chairman of NHS Lothian, said: “No one who works for NHS Lothian can be in any doubt about the remarkable work of our staff and this event helps us to showcase the excellence in patient care that takes place every day and to say thank you to our staff for their selfless commitment to patients and their families.

“To be nominated is an enormous feat and regardless of who is the outright winner in each category, all our finalists are winners.

“It is a humbling experience and I am proud of our staff and to be part of our organisation.

“I would like to say congratulations and well done to all those who took part.”

The winners

Young Achiever: Hayley Wilson

Leadership Excellence: Dr Alexandra Peterson

Best Example of Innovation, Quality and Productivity: Mark Gaston

Lynn Jackson Nurse of the Year: Jacqueline Brown

The Voluntary Service Award: Marion Robinson

Staff Member of the Year: Susan Polland

Team of the Year: Braids Ward

Respect for Others: Elaine Nicol

Caring Champion of the Year: Richard Johnson

Health Hero: Rachael Capaldi