Humbled winner’s plea to honour Health Heroes with a difference

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The winner of last year’s Health Hero award has been left humbled by the experience as she urged the public to give recognition to those who go the extra mile by nominating them for this year’s gong.

Tracey Pearson, a learning disability nurse team leader with Wester Hailes Healthy Living Centre, was crowned the Evening News Health Hero in 2017. She was nominated by readers Marjory and Michael Abbott for the outstanding care she gave to their foster daughter.

The 46-year-old was “honoured” to win the gong at the NHS Lothian Celebrating Success Awards and described the process as a “great experience”.

Tracey said: “It was quite a surprise and a huge honour to be nominated by the family. It reflected the work not only by myself, but the whole community and disability team.

“We work really hard with every individual on a daily basis to ensure they have a positive experience.

“It was humbling to see the video on the awards night from the family. I felt very proud to see the testament and I was taken aback.”

Tracey was allocated to help support Marjory, Michael and their foster daughter, who has learning disabilities and autism, to help her make the transition from living with the family to supported housing.

Marjory said: “This is a massive change for my foster daughter, but also for the whole family. She has lived with us for over ten years and is very much part of things.

“Tracey understands our worries and concerns. In addition, she is one of the hardest working professionals that we have come across in the 13 years that we have fostered.”

Tracey is now urging the public who have praise for a health worker to enter them into this year’s competition, with nominations having now opened.

The Evening News wants to hear your stories and discover who has made a difference through their caring nature, dedication and enthusiasm.

It might be a doctor or nurse whose attention has had a positive impact during a tough time for you or your family. The nomination might be a surgeon who has saved your life.

Tracey added: “I would encourage anyone to nominate their Health Hero if they have done something to help you or someone you know. It is great to get recognition from patients and their families for the work you put in.

“It was a great experience for me to be part of and I feel our Health Heroes deserve to be recognised.

“There are so many who go the extra mile to ensure the best patient experience.”

Nominations can be made online at or by calling 0131 465 5821. Forms can be downloaded and posted to Celebrating Success Team, NHS Lothian, Waverley Gate, Communications Department, 2-4 Waterloo Place, Edinburgh EH1 3EG. The deadline is 31 March. The Health Hero will be announced on 13 June at the Corn Exchange.