TWO community mental health chaplains have been named as Lothian’s first ever health heroes after being nominated for the Evening News-sponsored award by a patient.
Lynne MacMurchie and Maxwell Reay, who are based at the Royal Edinburgh Hospital, picked up their prizes during a glittering awards ceremony last night.
It was the first time that the public has been able to nominate staff members at the NHS Lothian Celebrating Success awards, which recognise outstanding and inspiring work carried out by workers in the health service.
The prize was one of ten that were handed out during a ceremony at the Edinburgh Corn Exchange, which was attended by more than 200 NHS Lothian staff members.
The anonymous patient who nominated Ms MacMurchie and Mr Reay praised the pair for their “commitment and compassion”.
“I wanted to nominate Maxwell and Lynne because of how much they’ve meant to me and how much their support has meant to other people that I’ve spoken to,” the patient said.
“It doesn’t matter how desperate things are, or how bad you’re feeling, the door is never closed. To be able to go somewhere and not have to leave a part of you at the door and for somebody to actually have that sense of who you are is remarkable.
“They’ll be like, ‘we know you don’t have any hope at the moment, but actually can we hold on to some of that hope for you?’. You really can’t put into words how much that means in some situations.”
Ms MacMurchie spoke of the “importance of humanity” in the support that they offered to patients.
Mr Reay added: “It makes you realise some of the challenges folk have in life and to be able to work and be a part of that is a great thing.”
The annual awards were supported by the Edinburgh and Lothian Health Foundation and were open to anyone from across healthcare services in Lothian. Last night’s event was hosted by Forth One presenter Arlene Stuart.
Tim Davison, NHS Lothian’s chief executive, said: “The Celebrating Success Awards are an opportunity to recognise the inspiring and truly amazing work our staff deliver every day of every week.
“Each and every member of our staff deserves recognition and special praise for their hard work over the last 12 months. I was delighted to see such a high calibre of entries which reflects the high quality of our staff.”
Among the other winners was Pamela Duffy, patient rep at the Teenage and Young Adult Cancer Unit, who was volunteer of the year. Ronald Fraser, the Western General’s gardening supervisor, was awarded Staff Member of the Year. The incident management team which dealt with the legionella outbreak in the Capital was named as the health board’s team of the year.