Healthy dedication and devotion to duty

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THESE are the unsung heroes of Hartlepool’s healthcare sector who have been shortlisted for prestigious awards tonight.

The winners will be announced at a black-tie dinner awards ceremony at Hardwick Hall, in Sedgefield, compered by after-dinner speaker and media stalwart Alan Wright.

The Hartlepool Mail teamed up with NHS Hartlepool and North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust to publicly honour those health workers who make such a difference to the people’s lives.

The beauty of the Mail’s Best of Health Awards is that it is shaped by the public and our readers.

We gave our readers the chance to nominate those they feel deserve recognition and the response was amazing. Colleagues, family and friends could also nominate people.

We received hundreds of nominations in numerous categories and such was the response that we extended the shortlists in a number of categories. Awards will be given in 10 categories with three other special recognition awards also handed out.

Categories take in every aspect of healthcare including doctors, nurses, GP and dental practices, opticians, hospital teams, community workers, carers and those with long service.

A judging panel made up of 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, met recently to select winners.

Mail editor Joy Yates said: “What stood out at last year’s event was the humility shown by everyone and the genuine admiration and respect that everyone who attended had for each other.

“This year’s ceremony will again be a true celebration of what makes Hartlepool’s health sector so special. Alongside our readers, we are honoured to be able to provide a platform to honour and praise those people who do an amazing job without the slightest thought of self-recognition.”

NHS Hartlepool chairman Steve Wallace said: “We are delighted to be involved in this event which showcases the excellent staff who work in the healthcare sector.

“The awards showcase the dedication and determination of people working in that sector.

“Last year’s event was a huge success and it was humbling to be in the company of such wonderful, caring people. I have no doubt this evening will be the same.”

North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust chief executive Alan Foster said: “These awards are a platform to praise staff and celebrate everything that is good about healthcare. It is a privilege for us to be involved and help champion outstanding medical staff.”

Coverage of the awards eveningwill appear in Thursday’s Mail and a 16-page souvenir supplement will appear in the Mail on Tuesday, June 28.

SHORTLISTED IN 10 CATEGORIES ARE:

GP OF THE YEAR

Dr Paul Pagni - McKenzie House Surgery

Dr Simon Acey - Havelock Grange

Dr Pauline de Jongh - Millennium Surgery

Dr Peter Johnston Hart Medical Practice

Dr Sanjay Kumar Ray, Gladstone House

Dr Ignacio Garcia - McKenzie House Surgery

GP PRACTICE OF THE YEAR

Hartfields Medical Centre

Fens Medical Centre

Gladstone House Surgery

IT/SYSTEMS MANAGEMENT

Steve Blundell - University Hospital of Hartlepool

Dr Peter Barlow - IntraHealth

Phoenix Centre North Team - District Nursing Team

NURSE OF THE YEAR

Richard Bates - North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust

Jason Black - District Nursing Team

Sue Tones - Substance Misuse Service

PHARMACIST OF THE YEAR

Brent Foster - Victoria Pharmacy

Chris Bishop - Healthways Chemist

Sukling Edwards - Co-operative Pharmacy

DENTIST OF THE YEAR

Frederick Fleming - Flemings Dental Surgeons

Tim Fleming - Flemings Dental Surgeons

Richard Whitehouse - Elliott McCarthy Dental Surgery

RECEPTIONIST OF THE YEAR

Sharon Burn - Wynyard Road Primary Care Centre

Linda Rayner - Hart Medical Practice

Reception Team - McKenzie House

TEAM OF THE YEAR

District Nursing Team - Phoenix Centre

Chemotherapy Unit - University Hospital of Hartlepool

Day Hospice - Hartlepool and District Hospice

CARER OF THE YEAR

Hartlepool Carers

Easington District Carers Support

Nicola McAllister

Michelle Birbeck

OPTOMETRIST OF THE YEAR

Michael Timlin - M Timlin Optometrists

Tony Saunders - Pagan & McQuade Opticians

Ian Walker - Specsavers Opticians