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Hospital Heroes 2017 - Patients' Choice award

And the nominees are...

Southend Hospital has again teamed up with The Echo to help find a Patients' Choice winner for our annual Hospital Heroes awards.

Voted for by the public, in conjunction with The Echo, it's the patients', carers', relatives' and visitors' chance to say thank you by nominating a member of staff who has gone that extra mile to deliver the best possible service and really embodies our ethos of care with compassion.

The judging panel has met and here are our final three:

Option 1 - Lesley Eldridge, Louise Leech and the Early Pregnancy Unit (EPU) team


Lesley received two nominations for this award, one for her quick thinking at home and one for the work she and her team do at Southend.  One of her patients - who is also coincidentally her neighbour - collapsed at home with a suspected ectopic pregnancy:

"Lesley had already been monitoring me on the EPU but when I collapsed at home, my husband called her as well as an ambulance.

"Knowing my history, Lesley rang ahead to the hospital, arranging staff and blood transfusions ready for when I arrived by ambulance.  Since my surgery she has helped me every step of the way through a truly horrendous time for our family.

"Lesley has gone above what her job entails, she really is my hero."

Lesley and Louise also received a nomination from a patient who has sadly suffered two devastating miscarriages within six months:

"From the moment we were told that our babies were not viable we were supported 100%.  Lesley and Louise are extremely committed, professional, caring and empathetic.  They ensured my husband and I had every available resource to hand, they were at the end of the phone to give me reassurance and advice.

"They also allowed me to scream, shout and cry on their shoulder.  Working on EPU must be extremely hard but they don't just tick boxes and hand out leaflets - they care, they listen, they are truly amazing and deserve recognition."

Option 2 - Mr Panagiotis Dimopoulos, Consultant Urological Surgeon

Mr Panos

Mr Dimopoulos received a very touching nomination from a patient who says he owes his life to Mr Dimopoulos.

In his own words, the nominator is 'used to being ill' having suffered from lupus since he was 14.  Now aged 40, he says nothing could have prepared him for the devastating news that he had aggressive bladder cancer. This nominator felt lucky to have the most amazing wife to support him as well as the most amazing doctor in Mr Dimopoulos.

The nominator had to have his bladder and prostate removed and chemotherapy wasn't even an option due because of the lupus. Surgery, although difficult due to his sticky blood, was successful. The next few weeks were touch and go and it was during this time that our nominator thinks Mr Dimopoulos showed his outstanding caring.

"I popped internal stitches which caused a hernia, suffered a lot of pain and even got sepsis, but Mr Dimopoulos got me through it all. He had a way of calming me down - sharing jokes, talking about the pub, Greek holidays - it all just instantly made me feel better."

"I know it's his 'job' but Mr Dimopoulos needs recognition. I'm still under his care and he continues to give me the best care 18 months on. Encouraging, respectful, caring to my family - I truly know without him, I would not be here today writing this."   

Option 3 - Emma Matthews, Dora Amran and the Cardiac and Medical Day Stay (CMDS) team


The CMDS team received a special nomination from a husband who was so touched by the care and compassion his wife received from the team, he felt compelled to submit a nomination.

CMDS is often a place where a number of women with metastatic breast cancer of various stages start or end their journey as the cancer causes fluid to gather either around the lungs or in some instances the heart.

This nominator said: "My wife is one such patient who is fighting this disease and a number of times she has been dealt with by the consultants, nurses and HCAs on the unit - they are all literally life savers!

"My wife and I attend CMDS frequently and I often notice other women with cancer who attend on their own. Never have I seen such compassion and helpfulness on a ward from all staff whoever enters their department. They give patients dignity and respect, and most importantly, a smile - which goes a long way in their recuperation.

"All the staff are wonderful - even when my wife is on other ward in the hospital and issues occur with the IPC lung drains, I can always run down to CMDS and they are always willing to help above and beyond their normal duties.

The CMDS team really do make a difference and during my weekly visit to Southend Hospital for my wife's treatment, we meet other cancer patients with the same symptoms and they are always positive about the team.  They are a credit to you and the hospital and they deserve some recognition."

Click here to cast your vote

Closing date for voting is midnight on Sunday 10 September 2017.