We’re the toast of the NHS!

the heroes of the NHS in the Lothians have been recognised at a special awards ceremony.

The Celebrating Success Awards saw plaudits handed to individual staff members and teams for their hard work and dedication.

Among those recognised was staff member of the year, podiatry assistant Mary Anne Burton. Ms Burton, who has worked for the NHS for 20 years, was nominated for her commitment to innovation and constantly updating her skills to keep up with changes in her role, taking more responsibility for patient care after they have undergone nail surgery.

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Ms Burton, 37, said: “I was extremely surprised and caught off my guard when I was nominated, and the same when they called my name at the awards.

“But it is nice that it has been recognised after 20 years, because the NHS has changed throughout the years since I started. I see other members of staff coming through the doors and they think times are tough now, and I think well, you weren’t here ten, 15 years ago when times were really tough! My job has changed quite significantly over the years.”

Also picking up a gong was Ian Forrester, 56, who won the volunteer of the year award. Mr Forrester, who lives in West Calder, was seriously injured in an accident and after spending a long time in hospital decided he wanted to give something back to the NHS.

He takes on a wide range of volunteer roles at St John’s Hospital in Livingston, including leading health walks and helping to set up a health information centre. He was praised for being “always willing to go that extra mile”.

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Other winners included staff on ward six at the Royal Victoria Hospital, who were named team of the year. They were nominated by clinical nurse manager Pat Wynne, who said: “It’s not always the difficult or the large things that they do. Much of ward six is about the small things – about the staff smiling and welcoming people into the ward, being there for each other, caring of patients in the best way.”

The awards ceremony, hosted by DJ Grant Stott, was held at the Corn Exchange.

NHS Lothian Chief Executive, Professor James Barbour, said: “The Celebrating Success Awards are an opportunity to recognise the inspiring and truly amazing work our staff deliver every day of every week.

“It might be a nurse or doctor, a porter or a receptionist, who has gone that extra mile to provide a fantastic service or support to benefit patients, colleagues, and local healthcare services.

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“As we all face ever- changing challenges it is through the consistent dedication of our staff that we continue to provide quality health care services for the people of Lothian.

“This year, Celebrating Success recognised the ongoing commitment to develop and improve our ways of working.

“I am in no doubt that each and every member of our staff deserves recognition and special praise for their hard work over the last 12 months. While these winners represent the breadth of exceptional work going on across the organisation, the high calibre of entries demonstrated that this is the tip of a very large iceberg, and that this level of dedication runs throughout the organisation.”