Health Heroes

Cowshed reveals UK Finalists for Our Health Heroes Awards

Healthcare Workers who provide excellent patient care across the UK have today (18 October 2017) been announced as finalists and regional winners for the Skills for Health’s Our Health Heroes Awards 2017, sponsored by Health Education England.

The Our Health Heroes Awards, established in 2016 aim to celebrate the unsung healthcare heroes from across the UK, including those working in the NHS, that go above and beyond in their roles every day. After a successful debut, the Awards expanded to include three new categories.

Healthcare Professionals were asked to nominate their Integrated Team of the Year, Workforce Planning Team of the Year and Apprentice of the Year, alongside the already established Clinical and Operational Services Support Worker of the Year awards.

After 930 nominations, a total of 33 finalists and regional winners have been revealed across the five categories. Regional winners for Clinical Support Worker of the Year and Operational Services Support Worker of the Year award go forward to a public vote along with three finalists for Apprentice of the Year.

The public vote will determine two national winners for Support Worker of the Year and the gold, silver and bronze placement of the Apprentices. All 33 health heroes are invited to the Awards ceremony in November, with the national support worker and apprentice winners being revealed and celebrated on the day.

John Rogers, Chief Executive at Skills for Health, said: “Once again, we are delighted to host the Our Health Heroes Awards, with additional award categories and key sponsors.”

“These 33 winners are outstanding in their field and are thoroughly deserving of their places in the shortlist. The calibre of nominations we received this year was sky high. Each and every one demonstrated excellence in patient care and our judges had a really difficult task in selecting a shortlist from such high-quality submissions.”

“We’re very much looking forward to meeting all the finalists in November and finding out the national support worker and apprentice winners”

The Awards ceremony is being hosted by Birds of a Feather actress and regular Loose Women panellist, Linda Robson. She said: ““I am absolutely delighted to be hosting the Our Health Heroes Awards this year. Healthcare workers are the beating heart of our country and I think it’s only right we celebrate them, especially the ones that are working tirelessly behind the scenes and sometimes get overlooked.

“I get the fantastic honour of revealing the national winners but I’m very much looking forward to meeting all of the regional winners and finalists next month.”

The panel of judges included representatives from Skills for Health and the National Skills Academy for Health as well as headline sponsors Health Education England, media partner National Health Executive and category sponsors NHS England, NHS Improvement, UNISON and The Open University.

Laura Roberts, Regional Director – North, Health Education England, said: “All the entries we read were fantastic and it was incredibly difficult to narrow it down. Every single person that received a nomination should feel very proud of themselves, the UK really is full of Health Heroes!”

The public vote for national winners of Operational Services Support Worker of the Year, Clinical Support Worker of the Year and to place the Apprentices of the Year will be open until Monday 6 November.

Go to  to vote now.


Our Health Heroes 2017 finalists and regional winners


Clinical Support Worker of the Year regional winners – sponsored by UNISON

Eastern: Chris Hamilton, Healthcare Assistant, The Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Kings Lynn

East Midlands: Steph Buswell, Social Worker, Isebrook Hospital, Wellingborough

Greater London: Parinda Varra, Support Worker, Croydon Recovery & Rehabilitation Team

Northern: Cheryl Young, Deaf Clinical Support Assistant, Walkergate Park, Newcastle

Northern Ireland: Seamus Begley, Exercise Lead, Western Health and Social Care Trust

North West: Donna Bostock, CERT Engagement Worker, Salford

Scotland: Yvonne Welch, Healthcare Assistant, Arran War Memorial Hospital

South East: Gerri Fox, Senior Rehabilitation Assistant, St Nicholas Hospice, Suffolk

South West: Steve Dearsley, Community Support Services Supervisor, Headway Devon

Wales: John Clifford, Physiotherapy Technical Instructor, Neath Port Talbot Hospital

West Midlands: Ryan Lillie, Community Support Worker, St. Michaels Hospital, Warwick

Yorkshire and Humber: Helen Roberts, Therapy Support Worker, Lynfield Mount Hospital


Operational Services Support Worker of the Year regional winners – sponsored by UNISON

Eastern: Gwenda Porter-Harris, Assistant Telecoms Manager, Bedford Hospital

East Midlands: Julie Skeemer, Domestic Assistant, Leicester Royal Infirmary

Greater London: Anthea Lee Allen, Team Secretary, South London and Maudsley Hospital

Northern: Keith Arries, Maintenance Person, The Grange Nursing Home, Northumberland

Northern Ireland: Matthew Glasgow, General Secretary, Warren Children’s Centre, Lisburn

North West: Melanie Ince, EMIS Systems Manager, North Manchester General Hospital

Scotland: Marie McIver, Medical Secretary, Queen Elizabeth University Hospital, Glasgow

South East: Danii Clark, Equality & Human Rights Assistant, East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust

South West: Jackie Pearson, Reception Supervisor, Adelaide Medical Centre, Hampshire

Wales: Leanne Mathers, Placement Co-ordinator, Beechwood College, Penarth

West Midlands: Jess Toon, Activities Co-ordinator, Richmond Bede Village, Coventry

Yorkshire and Humber: Paul Tobin, General Porter, St. James Hospital, Leeds


Apprentice of the Year finalists – sponsored by The Open University

Aaron Myall, Apprentice Healthcare Assistant in Sexual Health, Homerton Hospital, London

Andrew Gunn, Apprentice Business Support Executive in Marketing, The Edinburgh Clinic

Omprakash Beniwal, Apprentice Healthcare Assistant in Chemotherapy, Barnet Hospital, London


Workforce Planning Team of the Year finalists – sponsored by NHS England

GP Team, Carlisle

The Practice Education Team, Royal Bournemouth Hospital

Doctors Assistants Team, East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust


Integrated Team of the Year winners– sponsored by NHS Improvement

Prison Healthcare Team, South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust



Quotes from the sponsors:

UNISON head of health Sara Gorton said: “Every day behind the scenes in the NHS, there are entire teams of healthcare support staff going above and beyond to ensure that patients are getting the best possible care, despite the many constraints they are forced to operate under. The quality of the nominations received and the deserving regional winners announced are a true tribute to the wider NHS, which often goes unnoticed. Health workers work as a team to deliver the best care, and they need to be recognised, valued and rewarded as just that.”

David Willett, Director at The Open University, said: “We are thrilled to be involved with ‘Our Health Heroes’ this year, sponsoring the Apprenticeship category. As a provider of degree apprenticeships ourselves, we’re very impressed with the high standard of entries. It’s fantastic that apprentices are being recognised this year, they are the future of our healthcare workforce and judging by the standard of the applications, they really are health heroes.”

Ruth May, Executive Director of Nursing for NHS Improvement, said: “Working together as a team is crucial in a high-pressured, fast-moving hospital environment and it really shows when a team is gelling well together. We are delighted to be on board with the Our Health Heroes Awards this year and to have the opportunity to reward some of the very best integrated teams from across the UK. We’re very much looking forward to celebrating the achievements of all the finalists in November.”

Dr Marion Lynch, Deputy Director NHS England South Central, Workforce Lead, said: “Productive workforce planning is crucial in making sure a health and social care system is running smoothly. We’ve had some fantastic nominations for teams that are leading the way in excellent ways of working and are truly a credit to the healthcare workforce across the UK. We’re very much looking forward to meeting all the finalists in person in November and will be congratulating them on all their hard work!”


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