Lothian healthcare heroes announced as award finalists

Caring health professionals from across the Lothains have been shortlisted for renowned national accolades at the Scottish Health Awards 2011.

Nine individuals and teams from NHS Lothian have fought off stiff competition from around the country, to secure their place at the final award ceremony in Edinburgh.

Amongst the worthy finalists is Andrew Anderson, Centre Head of Maggie's, Edinburgh who is in the running for the Care for Long Term Illness Award after a thankful patient nominated him for the accolade. 

Andrew heads of team of staff and volunteers who devote their time and energy to ensure that people of ages and backgrounds are given the support, direction and advice required to try come to terms with the devastating effects of cancer.

Maggie's, Edinburgh provides a safe space and guidance on medical, financial, physical and emotional matters to help those with cancer cope with their condition.

In nominating Andrew and his team the grateful patient stated,

“The first step over the threshold in Maggie's was extremely emotional. Having survived a major operation I was now embarking on another journey after a shock diagnosis of a rare cancer. Walking in to Maggie’s is like being hugged gently.”

Sharon McMenemy, a charge nurse at the Mother and Baby Unit, St John's Hospital, Livingston is also shortlisted for a top honour.  She has been selected by the judges as a finalist for the coveted Nurse Award in recognition of the outstanding care she provides to very ill mothers who are admitted with their babies.

Sharon’s priority is always the wellbeing and safety of her patients, which is closely followed by the support she gives to the staff she works with.  She ensures the ward is a warm and welcoming place where patients and families can feel comfortable and supported.  As a consequence, her team have the skills and confidence required to manage women who have very severe mental illnesses and successfully contain disturbed patients in a caring environment.

As a result of Sharon’s leadership, the healthcare team is built on trust and mutual respect, with the support to help patients in a thoughtful and compassionate manner. The ward is always full of thank you cards from grateful patients and this year’s judges agreed with them, earning Sharon a top spot at the final award ceremony.

It’s not just healthcare professionals who are in the running for an award – this year there is also an honour to recognise employers who have made a contribution to the health and wellbeing of their employees.

Hawick Knitwear is in the running for the new Health Promoting Business Award after the judges selected them as a finalist for their successful efforts to create a supportive environment and proactively increase awareness amongst employees of the benefits of leading a healthier lifestyle.

To help their staff with their health and wellbeing, Hawick Knitwear has introduced a number of initiatives including, staff health checks, stress awareness training for managers, discounted gym membership, oral hygiene and healthy eating workshops and a staff 29 mile walk for charity.

As a direct result of this activity, absence levels have almost halved from 3.6% in 2008/09 to 1.9% in 2010/11, and currently sits at 2.0%. Their recent Health Needs Assessment identified that the majority of employees are now aware of health issues too.

The full list of finalists from the Lothians includes:

  • Care at Home Award - Intensive Home Treatment Teams, NHS Lothian
  • Care for Long Term Illness Award – Andrew Anderson, Centre Head of Maggie's, Edinburgh
  • Care for Mental Health Award - CAMHS Intensive Treatment Service, Royal Edinburgh Hospital
  • Doctors Award –, Dr Thanos Tsirikos, spinal surgeon, Sick Kids, Edinburgh
  • Doctors Award – Dr Enrique Garrido, Royal Infirmary Edinburgh
  • Nurses Award – Sharon McMenemy, charge nurse, Mother and Baby Unit, St John's Hospital, Livingston
  • Quality Improvement Award - Dr Nicholas L Mills, senior lecturer and consultant cardiologist, Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh/ University Centre for Cardiovascular Science
  • Quality Improvement Award – The Women's Clinic, Sexual Health Clinic, Spittal Street, Edinburgh
  • Health Promoting Business Award – Hawick Knitwear

Cabinet Secretary for Health, Wellbeing and Cities Strategy, Nicola Sturgeon said:

“Our ambition is to deliver the highest quality of healthcare to the people of Scotland, and these awards give us the opportunity to recognise those individuals and teams who are making an outstanding contribution to that ambition.  All those nominated have gone that extra mile to deliver consistent, reliable and responsive healthcare for everyone.”
“Over 400 nominations were received across the 14 award categories.  Many of these were from patients and the public, and all nominations showcased excellent examples how individuals, teams and local NHS systems are working together with patients, families and carers.  I would like to congratulate the winners and the runners up for their enthusiasm and commitment to improving the quality of care delivered by our NHS which I believe is amongst the best in the world.”

Alan Boyter, Director of Human Resources and Organisational Development, NHS Lothian, said:

“I am delighted that the special efforts and outstanding achievements of staff from a range of NHS Lothian services and sites have received recognition in this year’s Scottish Health Awards.
“Having four teams and five individuals shortlisted in seven of the categories is a fantastic result and my congratulations go to all of our finalists on this well-deserved acknowledgement.”

The Scottish Health Awards recognise and reward the commitment and hard work of those who work in, and with, NHS Scotland to provide an outstanding level of care to the public.

The winners of the Scottish Health Awards 2011 will be announced at a glittering award ceremony in Edinburgh’s Corn Exchange on Thursday 10 November 2011.

To view the full list of finalists, or for more information, please visit www.scottishhealthawards.com