Jim is Southend’s first Hospital Hero
10 July 2012
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
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
But he is no stranger to such accolades - before coming to work
at the hospital, he was 'employee of the month' at his employment
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
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.