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Winner: Paul Foster, care support worker, Walsall Manor Hospital

This award celebrates the input of clinical support workers in the significant contribution they make to the health sector. These workers play a crucial role in facilitating the effective delivery of high-quality healthcare services across the UK.

Paul, from the trauma ward at Walsall Healthcare Trust, provides care for patients with cognitive impairments on the 26-bed trauma ward at Walsall Manor Hospital.

To ensure his patients feel happy and safe, Paul takes time to talk to them and put them at ease, addressing their worries and concerns to make their stay as comfortable as possible.

Colleagues regularly comment that his patients are always immaculately washed and dressed. On Remembrance Sunday 2018, he came in early for his shift to ensure all his elderly gentleman were ready for the 11am services and parade. As he got them ready, he spent time with each patient, remembering the war and their fallen comrades, which family members explained was such a valuable moment for each of them.

As well as his patients, Paul is a champion among his colleagues. As a mentor for apprentices on ward nine, he leads by example, providing care with professionalism, compassion and respect.

Paul said: “I felt really overwhelmed when I was nominated, I received so many good wishes from work colleagues, my patients and their friends and families. We all work hard and it’s nice to be recognised and appreciated. I could not have done it without the support of my colleagues on ward nine. I can’t believe I’ve won!”

John Rogers, Chief Executive at Skills for Health, said: “Having read through the nomination which was submitted for Paul and hearing more about his passion and commitment to his patients today, I can see why the public voted for him to be our national champion. He is obviously a fantastic asset not only to his ward but also for the Walsall Manor Hospital and his trust.”

Paul fought off competition from 11 other regional finalists from across England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales in the public vote to be crowned the overall national winner.