Comment: Let’s hear it for our top health heroes

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Our health service is seldom out of the news – and often for the worst reasons.

There are stories of target-bursting waiting times, stressed staff, malpractice, inadequate funding, buildings not fit for purpose. The list seems endless.

But there’s another, much bigger, story to tell. For the vast majority of patients treated in our health centres and hospitals there’s a positive outcome. The stories are legion of patients who have been successfully treated, and who are hugely thankful and appreciative of the skill, professionalism and care that they receive.

These are stories well worth telling.

So today The Evening News has joined forces with NHS Lothian to find the unsung heroes and heroines of the health service – the members of staff who provide exceptional commitment and dedication to their patients.

It could be an outstanding doctor or nurse, a volunteer caring for autistic children, or a community midwife. We want your nominations for Lothian Health Hero, part of the NHS Celebrating Success Awards.

The awards have been hugely popular with readers in recognising the selfless and committed individuals working tirelessly for the NHS and who go above and beyond in treating patients.

Last year’s winner was Heather McVicars, who works as a research nurse in cancer clinical trials at the Western General Hospital. Diabetes nurse Gayle McRobert, based at the Western General Hospital, scooped the award in 2013 after helping David Murray come to terms with complications when he was diagnosed with cancer.

We should celebrate the very best that the NHS does amid all the challenges it faces, from budget pressures to the ever-rising number of patients. These problems are not at all the fault of the nurses and doctors who work hard every day to make a difference.

We want readers to pass on the word about the awards and nominate people who have touched their lives in the past year.