Health Hero Award

Sponsored by Edinburgh Evening News

Heather McVicars

The Health Hero Award is the only publicly nominated category where the public have the opportunity to nominate a healthcare worker who has delivered exceptional service as well as the best patient care.

Heather McVicars, a Research Nurse in Cancer Clinical Trials at the Western General Hospital was nominated by one of her patients for the Health Hero Award.

Lynn Mellon first met Heather when she was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2012. Lynn signed up to a trial which Heather was facilitating that aimed to treat primary cases of breast cancer.

Lynn said: “During my treatment, Heather was so supportive to me and to my family. She is constantly on the end of the phone and, as she knew I was struggling with my diagnosis, she helped me to get psychological support.

“Heather always takes the time to listen and help in whatever way she can. She always manages to put a smile on my face no matter how bad you’re feeling and she doesn’t just provide support for the patient but to the family and loved ones too. Everyone should have Heather on their side when going through treatment for cancer. I really don’t know how I would have got through it without her.”

Improving Patient Access

The Outpatient Department at Leith Community Treatment Centre

In this category, the judges were looking for individuals or teams who have made a significant improvement to aspects of the patient journey, with criteria including offering patients a choice at the point of referral, improving patient access to diagnosis, treatment and care services and improved clinical access or outcomes.

The Outpatient Department at Leith Community Treatment Centre has been recognised for showing initiative in their introduction of Trans-nasal Endoscopy, a patient-friendly procedure which requires no sedation or aftercare. The centre are one of the few facilities offering such a procedure in the UK and patient feedback shows significant improvements to patient comfort and satisfaction.

Best Example of Innovation, Quality and Productivity

Sponsored by the University of Edinburgh

Dr. Kate Templeton and the ‘Gene Xpert’ Team
A new award this year, this award recognises staff or teams who have taken steps to improve working practices and service within their department, in order to benefit fellow staff or patients through the implementation of a new system or programme.

This team stood out for their collaborative approach in being the first hospital in the UK to implement on-site testing for Norovirus at Liberton hospital. This has reduced the diagnosis time from 22 hours to 90 minutes which has dramatically improved bed efficiency.

The Voluntary Service Award

Niall McGoldrick and Orna Ni Choileain for the ‘Let’s Talk About Mouth Cancer’ campaign
This award recognises the outstanding individuals and teams who give up their time to help improve the health and wellbeing of patients, service users and their families and carers in Lothian.

The judges were extremely impressed with Niall and Orna’s enthusiasm in setting up Let’s Talk About Mouth Cancer which has seen free mouth cancer screening events across Lothian.

Mentor of the Year

Jane McNulty and Dr. Graham Nimmo

The Mentor of the Year Award aims to identify a member of staff who not only performs their job to the best of their ability, but shares their knowledge and expertise with colleagues, junior members of staff, students or placements. This award is for someone who really understands the importance of reassuring and supporting staff, takes responsibility for imparting knowledge and sharing advice and who encompasses our core values to act as a positive role model.

Jane McNulty and Dr. Graham Nimmo were nominated for their development of a group of Advanced Critical Care Nurse Practitioners in order to support the delivery of safe and effective care within NHS Lothian. Their mentoring and guidance has been recognised as the ‘gold standard’ in training programmes for the implementation of such a group and many other national health boards are now looking to them for advice and guidance in setting up their own similar service.

Staff Member of the Year

Sponsored by Edinburgh Napier University

Kelly Black, Medical Secretary Team Lead, Western General Hospital
This award is for staff members who go above-and-beyond. The individual should be committed to person-centred care, have a positive influence on colleagues, patients and individuals, and be a constant and effective contributor to their team.

Kelly is widely regarded as a shining example of an NHS Lothian employee and her unwavering consistency and brilliantly high standards are admired by many of her colleagues. She acts as a glue for colleagues and is a friendly face for patients too.

Respect for Others

The Healthy Working Lives Bite Size Literacy and Numeracy Education Project
This award was looking for a staff member or team which actively tries to identify with a group of patients or staff who are perhaps hard to reach or difficult to identify and who strive to work with these groups to encourage inclusion and equality, be that in healthcare or the working environment.
The Healthy Working Lives Bite Size Literacy and Numeracy Education project has helped employees to develop their confidence and self-esteem through workplace learning. In it’s fourth year, they have received some inspiring feedback from participants and hope it continues for many more years to come.

Team of the Year

Sponsored by Unison

The REACT Team
In this category, the judges were looking for a team that has demonstrated an excellent performance throughout the year, where there has been key engagement between managers and clinical staff, evidence of improved outcomes for patients and evidence of patient involvement influencing performance. The judging panel were extremely impressed with REACT’s provision of rapid assessment of adults over the age of 75 in their own home. This provision of acute care at home is having a positive impact on prevention of emergency hospital admissions as well as having a 90% satisfaction rating from patients, carers and GP’s.

Caring Champion of the Year

Louise McFarlane, Dental Receptionist, Sighthill Dental Clinic
In this category, judges were looking to find a member of staff who shows an exceptional level of care and compassion in his or her work, are committed to creating a welcoming and happy environment and who display a selfless way of working putting other’s needs before their own.

Louise is a ‘well kent’ face in Sighthill Dental Practice and always has a ready smile for anyone coming in and out of the department. She is caring towards patients young or old and her colleagues have lost count of the amount of times she has received bouquets of flowers from grateful patients. In fact, we’ve heard that one gentleman who isn’t even a dental patient pops in for a chat with the wonderful Louise.

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