31st October 2016

Image: Our Health Heroes.Today, we’re delighted to announce the 24 regional winners for the inaugural Our Health Heroes Awards.

Working with the National Skills Academy for Health and in partnership with UNISON, the Our Health Heroes Awards have been created to acknowledge the significant contribution made by the support workforce, which plays such a crucial role in delivering patient care and ensuring the NHS keeps running.

We asked healthcare teams across the UK were asked to nominate colleagues for one of two awards – clinical support worker of the year and operational services worker of the year.

From over 500 entries, a total of 24 regional winners- two from each of UNISON’s 12 regions- have been chosen as national finalists by judges. All were selected for their ability to put patients first, to act as positive role models to colleagues and to overcome personal challenges in their lives.

All regional winners will now go forward to a public vote to choose an overall national winner in each category.

Regional winners for operational services worker of the year are:

  • Eastern – Stephen Hartman (view his video), Porter at Worcester Royal Hospital (formerly at Basildon Hospital, Essex)
  • East Midlands – Joanne Snell (view her video), Administrative Officer at John Coupland Hospital, Lincolnshire
  • Greater London – Gifty Brobbey (view her video), Ward Hostess at the Royal Marsden, London
  • Northern – Elizabeth Mason (view her video), Cleaner at Happy House Surgery, Tyne and Wear
  • Northern Ireland – Elizabeth Cameron, Centre Receptionist at Fortwilliam Day Service, Belfast
  • North West – Samantha Meade (view her video), Quality Support Officer at Family Nurse Partnership, Central Manchester University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Manchester
  • Scotland – Paul Deans (view his video), Porter Supervisor at Glasgow Dental Hospital and School, Glasgow
  • South East – Claire Mills (view her video), Administrator at Medway Community Healthcare, Kent
  • South West – Jeff Surmon (view his video), Handyman at Bristol City Council, Bristol
  • Wales – Helen Rees, Catering Assistant at Princess of Wales Hospital, Bridgend
  • West Midlands – Lisa Perkins (view her video), Secretary and Admin lead at LymphCare UK, West Bromwich
  • Yorkshire and Humber – Michelle Oakes (view her video), Business Manager at NHS Sheffield CCG, Sheffield

Regional winners for clinical support worker of the year are:

  • Eastern – Beverly Lyford (view her video), Assistant Cardiac Practitioner at Papworth Hospital, Cambridge
  • East Midlands – Barbara Singh (view her video), Maternity Support Worker at Nottingham University Hospitals, Nottingham
  • Greater London – Jeanette Curtin (view her video), Theatre Support Worker at Hillingdon Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, London
  • Northern – Iain Scott (view his video), Emergency Care Assistant at Berwick Ambulance Station, Northumberland
  • Northern Ireland - Stephen Rodgers, Care Support Worker at Belfast Health and Social Care Trust, Belfast
  • North West – Rachel Szarfenberg (view her video), Assistant Practitioner in Head and Neck Surgery Unit at Manchester Royal Infirmary, Manchester
  • Scotland – Stacy Wilson, Healthcare Support Worker at Royal Alexandra Hospital, Paisley
  • South East – Nicola Day (view her video), Children’s Therapy Assistant Practitioner at Medway Community Healthcare, Kent
  • South West – Stephanie Crump (view her video), Clinical Apprentice at Royal Devon & Exeter Hospital, Exeter
  • Wales – Jamie Alsop (view his video), Support Time and Recover worker at Whitchurch Hospital, Cardiff
  • West Midlands – Amanda Lavick (view her video), Therapy Technician at Royal Stoke University Hospital, Staffordshire
  • Yorkshire and the Humber – Tony Hudson (view his video), Peer Support Worker at Rotherham Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services, South Yorkshire

John Rogers, Chief Executive at Skills for Health, said: “The NHS couldn’t function without the dedication of clinical support workers and operational service staff. They ensure that hospitals and healthcare practices around the UK provide the best care possible for patients.

“They keep the health service running efficiently and effectively, yet their efforts often go unnoticed. Our research has shown that the health sector can only reach its potential in terms of productivity and efficiency by understanding the contribution and value of support workers.

“We are delighted with the calibre of award entries we have received and the judges certainly had a difficult task in selecting our regional winners. Each of our 24 national finalists are already winners in their region, and should be proud of their commitment to their roles in healthcare.”

The two national winners will be announced at a special awards ceremony hosted at UNISON’s headquarters in Euston, London, on 29 November 2016.

Vote now

People can vote for who they want to win the national awards for clinical support worker of the year and operational services worker of the year via www.skillsforhealth.org.uk/ohh-vote until 14 November 2016.