WHAT a tough challenge that was!
A select panel of judges faced a massively difficult task as they met to consider the entries in this year’s Best of Health competition.
For the first time, more than 300 members of the Hartlepool public nominated their own heroes in the health profession.
And between them, they came up with around 150 different names which they felt were deserving of an honour.
Unfortunately, only a select few will pick up a Best of Health award but the judges were unanimous in saying: “Every one of those entrants could have been a winner.”
From GPs to optometrists, carers to midwives, dentists to receptionists - we had impressive entries across the board.
But the judges did eventually come up with a shortlist of entrants who will be revealed soon.
Each will be invited to attend the glittering finale on June 6. This year, the awards are being backed by NHS Hartlepool, the North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust, IntraHealth, Seneca Homes, and the Cleveland Fire Support Network.
In all categories, judges looked for evidence of how entrants have consistently delivered high quality services and shown an excellent attitude towards patients in the Hartlepool area.
The judges were Hartlepool Mail editor Joy Yates, Mary King (governor of the North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust) and patient and community liaison officer Elizabeth Carroll.
Now comes the final part in this year’s challenge.
The shortlisted candidates will be asked to attend the finals night in Sedgefield.
And we will be there to bring you full, in-depth coverage.
It promises to be an emotional night with surprises galore and the Hartlepool Mail will have a team of reporting and photographic staff there to follow every step. Follow the Hartlepool Mail in-paper, online and via social media sites for the most up-to-date coverage of the awards.