Around 11,000 people work in our hospitals in Oxfordshire – from doctors, nurses and other frontline staff to voluntary helpers and people in behind-the-scenes roles who make a huge difference to patients and their families.

And now it’s time to nominate a team or individual who you feel deserves to be named Hospital Hero of 2014.

Last year, for the first time and to coincide with the 65th anniversary of the NHS, the Oxford Mail joined forces with the Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust to launch Hospital Heroes to acknowledge the unsung heroes and heroines of Oxfordshire’s medical services.

Hundreds of people took the time to make nominations, each explaining their own special reasons why their chosen person should be honoured.

Some were nominated more than once.

Trust chief executive Sir Jonathan Michael and Oxford Mail editor Simon O’Neill had the difficult task of selecting the winners, who were presented with crystal trophies and a certificate at a glittering ceremony at Blenheim Palace during the OUHT’s annual awards ceremony.

Sir Jonathan said: “Our staff work incredibly hard to care for hundreds of thousands of people each year. “They share in families’ happiest moments and they support and care for families during very difficult and challenging times.

“Last year, the Oxford Mail Hospital Heroes awards highlighted the compassion, determination and dedication of our staff along with the remarkable courage and inspirational spirit of those people treated at Oxford University Hospitals.

“We are proud of our hospitals, we are proud of the people who work within them, and we are delighted the Oxford Mail is once again helping to recognise those who make such a difference to our lives.”

Mr O’Neill added: “Miraculous and wonderful treatment is routinely delivered every minute of the day in our hopsitals. And sometimes we almost take it for granted.

“These awards are our chance to take stock and recognise the excellence of that care and acknowledge the fantastic work carried out by so many.”

There are two categories: the Hospital Heroes Team award and the Hospital Heroes Individual award. They could be nurses, midwives, healthcare assistants, porters, hospital doctors or consultants who have changed your life or that of a loved one. Or they could be those who have made life easier with simple, thoughtful acts that made your care that bit easier.

As well as the JR and the Children’s Hospital, the trust also manages Oxford’s cancer centre, the Churchill Hospital as well as its Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre and Banbury’s Horton General Hospital. s To make your nomination, fill in the form opposite.

The closing date is Friday, September 5 with the shortlist announced later in October. The winners will be revealed as part of the trust’s annual staff awards in early December.


Oxford Mail:

  • Liver transplant patient Maxine Hartnett, front, nominated the entire staff of Ward 5F at the John Radcliffe Hospital

LAST year’s winners were picked out for going the extra mile in their already demanding, high-stress jobs.

The John Radcliffe Hospital’s gastroenterology Ward 5f were put forward by Maxine Hartnett, of Blackbird Leys.

She was diagnosed with primary biliary cirrhosis, probably caused by a virus, in 2008.

She said that she had been at “death’s door” when she had a second liver transplant and was not expected to survive her time at the hospital.

Mrs Hartnett spent three months on Ward 5f and said the cleaners, house-keepers, receptionists, healthcare assistants, nurses and doctors treated her as one of their own family.

For her it was the emotional support from everyone who worked there that made what they did so special.

All the staff rallied round her and her family, ensuring they got the love and support they needed to help them through such a difficult time.

She said as the team accepted their award: “I had a little tear in my eye, and so did my husband.

“They treat their patients so well. They treated me like one of their family and they don’t get recognised for the work they do.”

Ward sister Susie Swann said: “It felt amazing to be nominated and the whole team were extremely proud and happy to win.

“We have been working really hard and it means a lot to get positive feedback like this.”

Oxford Mail:

  • Children’s Hospital nurse Rowena Pearce, won last year’s individual award. She is flanked by Andrew and Nina Lawson who nominated her for the care to families with children who have Down’s Syndrome

Winner of the individual award was Rowena Pearce, a nurse at Oxford Children’s Hospital, who has supported dozens of parents through the highs and lows of having a disabled child.

The advanced nurse practitioner for children with disability was nominated as a Hospital Hero for being at parents’ sides during births, calling in at Southampton Hospital after heart operations, and visiting families at home.

She was one of five workers who made the shortlist for the award, and was nominated by three mums who had benefitted from her care and expertise.

Didcot mum Nina Lawson, 30, was grateful for the help she had with first son, Jon-Paul who has Down’s Syndrome. He needed surgery at just eight-months-old to fix holes in his heart.

Rowena was so dedicated in her job that she drove to Southampton to visit the little boy in hospital there.

At the time of her nomination, the 53-year-old Wantage of mum-of-two said: “I felt very humbled because I am sure there is a lot of people who are just as worthy.

“Lots of people who work within the hospital quietly get on with their jobs and do them very well and they don’t get this recognition.”

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