The winners of NHS Lothian’s Celebrating Success staff awards were presented with their prizes at a virtual ceremony – which was made possible by funding from NHS Lothian’s official charity, the Edinburgh and Lothians Health Foundation.
Jane Ferguson, director of the Edinburgh and Lothians Health Foundation, said: “We are honoured to once again support the Celebrating Success event and celebrate all of the amazing NHS Lothian staff who go above and beyond every day to ensure patients receive exceptional care.
"It has been a privilege to stand beside and support our hardworking, dedicated colleagues as they worked and continue to work through one of the biggest global health challenges of our lifetimes. We’d just like to add our own personal thanks to each and every one of them for everything they do for us.”
Staff at Edinburgh’s Royal Infirmary scooped the ‘Health Heroes’ award, which was the only one to be chosen by the public based on personal experiences.
Ward 105 was put forward by Tom Waterson, who started as a porter at the old Royal Infirmary 31 years ago.
Before he died suddenly at the ERI on September 8, Mr Waterson praised the hospital’s vascular surgery ward team for going the extra mile and for their standard of care and compassion.
Known and respected from the shop floor to the board room, the father-of-two went onto become a campaigner for NHS workers whose contribution to public service was described as ‘immense’.
Thérèse Duggan, senior charge nurse at Ward 105, said: “I was so proud that my team was recognised for their empathy, the dignity they meet our patients with, and that they give exceptional care. They’re an amazing bunch.”
Among the other ten award winners was Laura Clelland, who set up a hairdressing and self-care salon at the East Lothian Community Hospital.
“When we first moved to this new hospital from the old Herdmanflat Hospital, we had a spare room,” she said.
“My thinking was that we could have somewhere nice for them to go and get their hair done, give our patients that one-to-one time. It’s important to have some quality time together.”
Ms Clelland, who picked up the Staff Member of the Year Award, said: “If a patient is a bit stressed, it’s a nice place for them to sit and relax. There is no intervention with medication, you just share happy moments, listening and dancing to music and helping them look after each other.”
Another worker was awarded for setting up a clothes bank to help patients preserve their dignity.
Sam Stirling and the Physiotherapy Department in Medicine for the Elderly at Western General Hospital help people who don’t have family or local community links by giving them clothes so they more than hospital gowns or pyjamas for the duration of their stay.
And Mhairi Collie bagged the Global Citizenship Award, which recognises staff who work to help areas that struggle with poverty and inequality across the globe.
The judges said Mhairi exemplified these values through her work setting up the Uganda Childbirth Injury Charity.
Over the past 15 years, she spent her annual leave travelling to Uganda to support the treatment of women with childbirth injuries.
Professor John Connaghan CBE, chair of NHS Lothian Board, said staff deserved to be thanked for their efforts after the pandemic “put an undeniable and enduring strain on healthcare organisations everywhere.”
He said: “It’s humbling to reflect on how NHS Lothian staff deliver compassionate, high quality, person-centred care. What is even more impressive is that they do this while driving innovation and improvements in healthcare for Lothian residents and beyond.
"Congratulations to all the Celebrating Success Award nominees and winners and many thanks to staff for their ongoing efforts in what are challenging times.”
Calum Campbell, NHS Lothian’s chief executive, added: “It’s amazing to see so many of our wonderful colleagues be appreciated for the work that they do, particularly during such difficult times.
"The Celebrating Success Awards show how much we value our staff who are the heart and soul of NHS Lothian. I congratulate all our finalists for their achievements, and I hope they are proud of the work that they do, as I am proud of them.”
As another thank you to keyworkers for their outstanding response to the pandemic, health chiefs created a special commemorative video and song that was produced and performed by Scottish singer-songwriter Marina Rolink.