Southend Hospital Heroes celebrated
25 September 2017
Glitz and glamour aren’t normally words you associate with a hospital, but there was plenty of the former for the fifth annual Southend Hospital Heroes awards. The thing that shone the most though was talent.
The awards took place at Saxon Hall, Southend, and the great and
the good of the hospital who had been shortlisted for this year's
eight categories were celebrated and collected their deserving
awards in front of Sir David Amess MP, The Worshipful Deputy Mayor
of Southend Cllr Mr Derek Jarvis and Chairman of Rayleigh Town
Council Cllr Mrs Carol Pavelin
Award categories included Innovation, Care With Compassion,
Unsung Hero, Managing Director's Professional & Accountable,
Working Together, Employee of the Year, Chairman's Outstanding
Achievement and Patients' Choice.
Addressing the audience prior to the awards was Clare Panniker,
attending her first Hospital Heroes since becoming Chief Executive
earlier this year. She said: "With increasing demand for our
services, the provision of compassionate, high quality patient care
has never been more important than it is now and, thanks to all
ofyou, we are making great strides towards building a strong
foundation for the future."
Yvonne Blücher, Managing Director of Southend Hospital, said:
"Personally it fills me with pride to see this room full of people
who dedicate so much care and attention to their work and to the
smooth working of the hospital as a whole.
"I know from the number of entries the judging panel read during
the shortlisting process, that the finalists we have here tonight
are the cream of an amazing crop of nominees. Every single
staff member here really has made a significant difference to their
working environment and the care that our patients receive."
One award, the Patients' Choice award was nominated by and voted
for by members of the public and Echo readers and this year saw
people voting in their thousands creating a new record for the
sheer number of votes.
The award was presented by Echo Editor in Chief, Chris Hatton,
who said: "We received more than 16,000 votes this year and our
winner took almost 60% of those votes."
That winner was Consultant Urological Surgeon, Panagiotis
Dimopoulos. He collected his award to thunderous applause, but like
all the winners on the evening was humble about the accolade.
On winning the award, he said: "It was a surprise, I feel really
honoured. The true heroes are those struggling in their everyday
lives for their health, I'm just one of the many people at Southend
Hospital who helps improve their lives. It was quite unexpected to
hear that I got over 8,000 votes, so I just want to thank everyone
who voted for me."
On hearing of his win two relatives of his patients were quick
to add further praise on the hospital's Facebook page.
Emma Bartlett, from Canvey Island, said: "He is the reason my
dad is here. My dad is cancer free and living his life with his
wife, daughters and grandsons. No matter how many time we thanks
him (Panos) it will never seem enough for what he has done for my
Whilst Fran Hayward, from Shoburyness, added: "This amazing man
definitely saved my son's life and without him I truly believe my
son would not be here now with his wife, children and family. Thank
you (is) just not enough."
Another winner who got huge applause, and arguably the biggest
cheer of the night, was Facilities Contract manager, Nicky
Kitchener, who took home the Chairman's Outstanding Achievement
Having already been nominated in the category for Unsung Hero,
an award she didn't win, Nicky was just really pleased to have been
nominated. So, imagine her surprise then when she discovered she
had won the Chairman's award out of all of those nominated on the
Not a surprise when you discover that Nicky, who has worked at
the Trust for over 20 years, had been nominated by 12
Hospital Chairman, Alan Tobias OBE, said: "This year I didn't
shortlist three nominees because my choice of winner was apparent
as soon as I started reading through all the nominations we
received for this individual. Her dedication to the Trust and
commitment to continually improving our services for both patients
and staff is phenomenal."
After receiving her award Nicky said: "I'm absolutely
flabbergasted, I never ever thought that I would be considered for
an award from the chairman. It was such a memorable evening and I
shall never forget it as long as I live."
And Nicky has nominated many people in the past for the awards
but this was the first time she had been in the running for the
awards herself. She explained the importance of making nominations
for people you work with that make an outstanding contribution to
not just their job, but to patients and the Trust.
"I feel like I'm just doing my job but it is really nice to know
that somewhere all of us winners have made a real difference. I
don't just see this award as just for me though it is also for the
teams I work with.
Alan Tobias OBE rounded off the evening's proceedings by saying:
"Each person at Southend Hospital plays a vital part in the patient
journey regardless of where they work, and they should feel proud
that they are making a difference every day. Thank you for
your passion, commitment, dedication and innovation."
Visit our Facebook page to see more images from the
Hospital Heroes 2017
Emergency Department ENP team
Ambulatory Emergency CareClinical Decisions Unit (CDU) & H2H
Narelle Jacobs -Occupational Therapist, Paediatrics
Tracy Davies Lee, Junior Occupational Therapist
Ana Crespo Barcina, Staff Nurse
Nicky Kitchener, Facilities Contract Manager
Andy Hatton, Emergency Department Porter
Nic Girvan, Learning & Organisational Development
Professional & Accountable award
Amanda Burton, Interim Head of
Hayley Cross, Manager, Balmoral Ward
The Estuary Short Stay Medical Ward including H2H Rehab &
Breast Screening Admin Team
Day Assessment Unit
Employee of the Year
Fiona Sommerville, Education & Simulation Lead TCCA
Sita Lumsden & Gordon Hopkins
Teresa Samson & Pauline Pedder, Accommodation Office
Nicky Kitchener, Facilities Contract
Lesley Eldridge, Louise Leech & Early Pregnancy Unit
Mr Panagiotis Dimopoulos, Consultant Urological
Emma Matthews, Dr Dora Amran & Cardiac and Medical Day Stay