WHAT a response we got to our Best of Health Awards.
Such was the volume and quality of nominations we increased the shortlist to six for GP of The Year, having received 18 nominations in that category alone.
There are 10 categories in this year’s prestigious awards and winners have now been chosen in each one.
There are also two special awards which recognise outstanding service or achievement.
A six-strong panel of judges met yesterday at Hartlepool College of Further Education to choose winners and what a task they had.
More than 100 nomination forms were returned to us which had to be shortlisted into 10 categories – and winners chosen from them.
After hours of deliberating, judges came up with a host of worthy winners – and what true healthcare heroes they are.
The winners will be revealed at an evening awards dinner next month in the sumptuous surroundings of Hardwick Hall, in Sedgefield.
The Mail teamed up with NHS Hartlepool and North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust to honour health workers at all levels, including doctors, nurses, GP and dental practices, opticians, hospital teams, community workers, carers and those with long service.
The awards cover every aspect of health provision from frontline nursing to support staff.
Now in its second year, the awards publicly thank the town’s marvellous medical staff for their dedication, devotion, care and compassion and highlight the unsung heroes working in Hartlepool’s healthcare sector.
The awards attracted massive interest and have been backed by leading companies and organisations, including Hartlepool College of Further Education, Hart Biologicals, IntraHealth and Cleveland Fire Support Network.
Representatives from each organisation joined Mail editor Joy Yates to sift their way through the shortlists.
The Best of Health Awards judges were Alby Pattison, of Hart Biologicals, Claire Young, of North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust, Helen Watts, of Hartlepool College of Further Education, Heather Whyman of Cleveland Fire Support Network and Elizabeth Carroll, of IntraHealth.
Speaking on behalf of the judges, Heather Whyman, chief executive of Cleveland Fire Support Network, said: “Going through the nominations brought it home just how dedicated and devoted our healthcare workers are.
“There are some amazing examples of people going that extra mile to make sure people in Hartlepool and neighbouring areas get the best possible service.
“It is quite humbling to read of their endeavours and it was an almost impossible task to pick just one winner in each category.
“Every person on every shortlist was a true champion.
“It wasn’t easy to separate any of them.”
Final details for the black-tie summer evening on June 22 are now being finalised.
Anyone wanting further information about the awards ceremony should contact the Mail’s head of news, Paul Watson, on (01429) 239361 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
l Mail view: Page 8