‘Our health service is in good hands’

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There isn’t a person in the Evening News circulation area who doesn’t have a reason to be grateful to the staff of NHS Lothian: that vital operation; the birth of a new child; the extra time spent reassuring an elderly relative.

Last night’s NHS Lothian Awards were an opportunity to pay tribute to the unsung heroes of the health board, who do extraordinary things everyday without a second thought.

One of the awards – the new Health Hero category – was nominated by readers of the Edinburgh Evening News.

There were many strong entries but judges eventually chose Lynne MacMurchie and Maxwell Reay, mental health chaplains at the Royal Edinburgh Hospital.

The testimony from one of their patients was so moving. Put simply, you don’t have to be a surgeon to change someone’s life dramatically.

The efforts of Lynne, Maxwell and all the nominees and winners are even more impressive when you consider how difficult 2012 has been for NHS Lothian.

Chief Executive Tim Davison has described 2012 as an “annus horribilis” for NHS Lothian. The new boss, who only took the reigns in the spring, has been charged with clearing up an unprecedented mess for the health board, which has included allegations of fiddling figures and staff bullying.

Things are improving, but this will take time.

But if last night’s Celebrating Success ceremony is anything to go by, Mr Davison has a fantastic group of dedicated staff many of whom are prepared to go the extra mile to care for their patients.

He should be proud, they should be proud. Our health service is in good hands.

Raising a Smile

singer and actress Kerry 
McGregor was an inspiration to many during her all too short life.

Her talent and determination helped her prove that being confined to a wheelchair is no bar to success in modern Britain even in the most image-conscious of professions.

The courage she showed after being diagnosed with cancer in her mid-30s was formidable.

She has already left a glowing legacy to her young son Joshua and all who knew her, but now she looks likely to add to that through her posthumous charity single.

Her version of Smile is guaranteed to make you, well, smile. We hope it’s a huge hit.