Hartlepool Mail Best of Health Awards launched

Chemotherapy/haemotology staff (left to right) Karen Bird, Pauline Wallace, Rosie Livingston, Joanne Thomson, Julie Saint, Julie Defty and Pamela Hauxwell
Chemotherapy/haemotology staff (left to right) Karen Bird, Pauline Wallace, Rosie Livingston, Joanne Thomson, Julie Saint, Julie Defty and Pamela Hauxwell

FROM physios to nurses, dentists to pharmacists, and midwives to doctors. Our health service is second to none.

And it’s time to show our gratitude for the excellent work done by unsung heroes.

Today, we are launching the Hartlepool Mail Best of Health awards to honour the angels.

We want to publicly praise the town’s marvellous medical staff but we need you, our readers, to tell us who they are.

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.

There’s hundreds of frontline staff who deserve praise and we met some of them.

Rosie Livingston is a chemotherapy nurse specialist working with the Chemotherapy/Haematology Day Unit, based at the University Hospital of Hartlepool.

The unit’s team of seven staff have a fantastic record of winning the Team of the Year award in the competition for the last three years running.

“It is the patients who make it worthwhile,” said Rosie. “They are lovely and they always come first.”

Rosie has worked in the chemo department for 12 years and been in the NHS since 1991. “It is hard work but it is really enjoyable and we have a good team here.”

The team of Rosie, Julie Saint, Julie Defty, Pauline Wallace, Joanne Thomson and Karen Bird certainly win praise from 90-year-old Agnes Stockton, from Hartlepool.

Agnes is at the unit because she suffers from a blood disorder and needs injections to boost her red cell count.

She said: “I have been coming here for ten years and I don’t know what I would have done without these people. They are wonderful.”

Former miner Frank McCarroll, 80, from Horden, is there for a blood transfusion. He said: “They are such a good team here.”

That team is hoping to make it a fab four years of success but to achieve it, they need a nomination.

Why not put forward your favourites in the health service?

Over at the physiotherapy department, Nina Bedding is one of 260 staff helping the public, either in the hospital or out in the community.

She said: “I love seeing patients go home and it is nice to think we have made a difference for them.”

The team provides physio and other therapies to everyone from accident victims to seriously ill patients in intensive care.

Kayleigh Dean, 22, has just finished her course of physio which followed surgery on her knee to correct a long term problem she’s had since childhood.

“The treatment is great here and I can’t recommend these people highly enough. They deserve an award,” said Kayleigh, herself a cancer pathway co-ordinator at the University Hospital of North Tees.

Why not nominate the physio team or your own personal health service favourite?

There’s plenty of job satisfaction to be had in the health service and Georgie Thompson knows it only too well.

She has worked as a healthcare assistant in the University Hospital of Hartlepool birthing centre for three years.

It’s an inspirational place where messages such as “birth is a wonderful experience” adorn the walls to put mums-to-be at ease.

Georgie loves her work and said: “It is lovely to bathe the babies and help with educating the mums. I love coming in for the deliveries.

“It is great that there is an awards like this which recognises all the work which is done by so many people in the health profession.”

Midwife Sandra Mason said: “It makes it all worthwhile when you know someone is really happy with the work you have done.

“I hope lots of people come forward and nominate those who work in all the sections of the health services.”

So what are you waiting for?

Get those nominations in and let’s make sure our fantastic health care heroes get the praise they deserve.