Southend Hospital Heroes Patients’ Choice 2017: Who wins? You decide
22 August 2017
The annual awards evening for Southend Hospital Heroes takes place on Friday 22 September, as part of the evening there is the always hotly contested Patients’ Choice award.
It is a very special award as it is both nominated by patients
and voted on by them and the great Essex public. Voting for it is
taking place here on the Southend Hospital website, across our Facebook and Twitter pages and through the
Echo newspaper and its website.
Last year there were over 7,000 votes and, as ever, it is a
fantastically difficult category to call and features three
shortlisted nominees who would all make deserving winners on the
evening. They can only win with your vote though.
You can make your vote here and voting closes at midnight on
Sunday 10 September, with the winner announced at the awards
But, before you decide who gets your vote here are the Patients'
Choice finalists for 2017…
Eldridge, Louise Leech and the Early Pregnancy Unit (EPU)
Lesley and Louise, Clinical Nurse Specialist and Sister,
respectively, have been working in the Early Pregnancy Unit for the
last 10 and two years.
Thrilled at their nomination, they said: "It was a great
surprise to find that we had been nominated for this award. It can
be sad job sometimes but it is a great honour to help our couples
through this emotional and distressing time.
"We have telephone triages and one to one consultations with 350
women suffering from pregnancy loss and complications in early
pregnancy and over the last 12 months have received over 10,000
phonecalls. The unit, also known as the Phillip Hagan Early
Pregnancy Unit, was named after its former lead consultant, who
sadly passed away. We continue to strive to build on the legacy
that he helped start."
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
"Lesley had already been monitoring me on the EPU but when I
collapsed at home, my husband called her as well as an
"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
"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."
Dimopoulos, Consultant Urological Surgeon
Mr Dimopoulos received a very touching nomination from a patient
who says he owes his life to him.
Of his shortlisting for the award, Mr Dimopoulos said: "I was on
holiday when I heard, but it was really good news. It means an
awful lot the nomination coming from a patient as it is a positive
reflection of the care we have given our patients. I don't see this
as just an award about me, it is about the whole team making these
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
"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
"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."
Dr Dora Amran and the Cardiac and Medical Day Stay (CMDS)
Emma is the Ward Manager for CMDS, and Dr Amran is a Respiratory
Consultant on the ward. Regarding their nomination they said: "We
are honoured and privileged to have been nominated by one of our
patients. We are also especially proud of our services for cancer
patients because the work that we do stops patients having to stay
in hospital beds during their last weeks and months of their lives.
It enables them to go on holiday with their family, spend time at
home and makes a massive difference to their quality of life."
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
"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."