Staff at Epsom and St Helier hospitals who have gone above and beyond the call of duty this winter were celebrated at a special awards ceremony recently, as they were crowned ‘Winter Heroes’ by none other than journalist and broadcaster Jeremy Vine.
The Winter Heroes ceremony, which was a first for Epsom and St Helier and possibly for the NHS a whole, was devised to recognise the hard work and commitment of staff during the very busy winter period. Nominations from colleagues and patients flooded in, and in a surprise twist during the evening, Chief Executive Daniel Elkeles (and special guest Jeremy Vine) also crowned a number of staff as Winter Superheroes!
Chief Executive Daniel said: “This special ‘Winter Heroes’ award ceremony was about recognising the many different ways our staff go the extra mile to make sure that we deliver great care to our patients, even during challenging and busy times.
“We know that this winter season has been exceptionally difficult for our staff and patients, as bitterly cold weather brought more people than ever before through our doors. That’s why I asked people to nominate their Winter Heroes – during those levels of unprecedented pressure, we have relied on huge levels of effort from our staff to keep patients safe and provide compassionate care to those who need us.
“I would like to say a huge thank you to Jeremy for coming along and making the event a true celebration. He began proceedings with a touching, funny and heart-warming speech and stayed throughout the celebrations to personally hand out the awards and meet with staff.”
During the celebrations, the crowd heard just some examples of how staff had gone above and beyond, including:
- The A&E receptionist who made tea and sandwiches for patients who had a long wait to be seen
- Large numbers of our staff giving up their evenings and weekends in order to help our patients get the treatment they need
- A member of security staff who raised significant amount of money for our Christmas Toy Appeal
- Our Head of Occupational Health, who ran a comprehensive programme to ensure a record number of staff had their flu vaccine and were therefore protected against the illness.
Daniel added: “I would like to say a huge thank you to all of our staff for their outstanding efforts over the winter. Not all heroes wear capes, but a lot of them wear NHS uniforms!”
“We would like to thank Allocate Software, who kindly offered to fund this entire event for us. Allocate provide our Trust with e-rostering software, and will soon be including our Trust in a digitised collaborative temporary staff bank for South West London.”