The “unsung heroes” of the Lothians health service have been honoured at a sparkling ceremony to recognise the very best of the NHS.
The Celebrating Success Awards, held at the Corn Exchange on Friday the 24th of October, gave out nine gongs, including the Evening News-backed Health Hero award, which saw members of the public make their own nominations.
Heather McVicars, who works as a research nurse in cancer clinical trials at the Western General Hospital, took the prize for going “above and beyond” in her care for Lynn Mellon.
Lynn, who was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2012 and signed up to a trial which Heather helped run, said “every cancer patient should have a Heather”.
“There were times when I just wanted to give up and I could phone her or she’d phone me and we’d just blether,” she said.
“One minute, you could be sitting on ward one getting your treatment and the tears are running down your face because you don’t want to be doing it. The next thing, she’s got you killing yourself laughing.”
Heather said she loved nursing and was proud to help people going through difficult times.
She said: “To be part of somebody’s life in that moment is such a privileged place to be.”
Evening News Editor Frank O’Donnell said the winners were an example to everyone of the “dedication and professionalism” throughout staff at NHS Lothian.
“So often the focus is on cuts to the health service or complaints when things have gone wrong” he said.
“The reality is that the overwhelming majority of people who are treated by the NHS receive excellent care. These awards are a reminder of that and a chance to celebrate the wonderful staff in NHS Lothian who provide support when we need it most.”
Health bosses and attendees lined up to pay tribute to the dedication of NHS Lothian employees. Former TV weathergirl Cat Cubie was the host for the evening.
NHS Lothian chief executive Tim Davison said he was proud of the “inspiring and truly amazing work” taking place across health services in Lothian every day.
“Many of our staff go above and beyond their duties every day, put the values at the heart of everyday working life and demonstrate our commitment to providing high quality patient-centred care,” he said.
“The Health Hero Award is a way of saying thank you to those staff who provide standards of care NHS Lothian is so proud of.”