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June's Hospital Hero - Jim Burns

01 June 2012

Hospital Heroes

Children needing to spend time in Southend University Hospital’s Neptune children’s unit find the experience far less daunting – thanks to domestic assistant Jim Burns.

Jim came to work at the hospital after a long career as a welder and a railway maintenance worker. He loves every minute he spends on Neptune children's ward - and the young patients clearly love him. Some even fondly refer to him as 'Grandad'.

Jim was nominated for the award by two of his colleagues and received a glowing testimonial:

"Jim takes time to learn the interests of the children, to make them laugh and to put them at their ease. He is an enthusiastic team member and always supportive of his colleagues. Parents, too, appreciate the fact he takes the time to learn their names, make them tea and sometimes offer a shoulder to cry on."

Jim, a grandfather of two, has worked on a number of hospital wards but feels he has found his niche on Neptune.

"I love being with the children, the staff are lovely and it is just my ideal job. It was quite an honour to be chosen as the first Hospital Hero."

But he is no stranger to such accolades - before coming to work at the hospital, he was 'employee of the month' at his employment agency.

Hospital chief executive, Jacqueline Totterdell, said: "We are delighted to make Jim our first Hospital Hero, as he clearly embodies the values of the hospital: everybody matters, everything counts and everyone is responsible."