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Jim is Southend’s first Hospital Hero

10 July 2012

Health Care

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, 65, of Leigh, has just been named the first Hospital Hero - a newly-introduced initiative to honour members of staff who go above and beyond their job descriptions to ensure patients feel cherished and to enhance Southend University Hospital's reputation.

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."

Southend University Hospital's initiative comes as the NHS launches its own NHS Heroes drive to uncover the extraordinary work which health service workers carry out every day. Patients, friends, families, work colleagues and professional peers are being asked to nominate their personal NHS Hero and celebrate their achievements.

The search is not just for those who save lives. It is often the smallest, most considerate actions which go people's expectations and make such a difference to their experience of NHS care.

Nomination forms can be downloaded from www.nhsheroes.com, with a closing date of mid-September.