Hardworking health staff shed their uniforms and workwear and put on their finery for an awards ceremony recognising their efforts and achievements.

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The winner of the EDP-backed Patient Choice Award for most outstanding member of staff was paediatric consultant David Booth.

Dr Booth was nominated by Laura Palmer for the “first-class medical care” he has provided to her daughter, Eva, since she was born.

Eva, who is now 20 months old, has Down’s Syndrome and other health problems and underwent open heart surgery at Great Ormond Street Hospital in August 2011.

Miss Palmer, 31, who lives in Mundesley and works part time as a nurse, said: “Dr Booth has always been really easy to get hold of and very friendly. He goes above and beyond to see Eva if I’m worried about something and you never feel that you are being daft or silly by ringing him up and asking.

“When Eva had heart surgery last summer she needed to be seen within a few days and he took the time out to see her, even though he didn’t have a clinic that day. He came down to outpatients in his lunch hour.”

Dr Booth, who has been practising as a doctor since 1996, said: “I have got a challenging and interesting job that’s well paid, but it’s very rewarding to know that the extra effort we put in is appreciated. Our patients really want to be well and they take it for granted that they will be well. They don’t let being poorly hold them back and it is so rewarding to work with them.”

The 45-year-old from Hingham, who has a seven-year-old daughter, said: “I always try to think that if it was my sister, or my mum or my family what would I want their doctor to do for them?”

Three teams and 10 individuals from the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital and Cromer Hospital were presented with awards at a special staff awards ceremony held at The Forum on Friday night.

The Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust runs an annual awards scheme for its 6,500 staff and for staff employed by its service provider Serco.

Patients and colleagues have been able to nominate employees in 13 award categories, such as leadership, innovation, patient care, research and lifetime achievement.

Chairman David Prior said: “It’s such a pleasure to be able to recognise those employees who patients and colleagues feel have gone above and beyond the call of duty.

“It is also important to recognise those who dedicate their working lives, some of them for 40 years, to our hospitals. The response to the awards was overwhelming, with over 500 entries from all staff groups with many also from patients with heart-warming stories to tell. This made it really hard to pick out the finalists and winners.”

The Patient Choice Award, backed by the Eastern Daily Press, saw readers and patients nominate the individual staff members and teams who they felt had gone above and beyond to ensure they had the best care.

Gissing Ward, a general surgical/thoracic ward, was chosen as the winner of the Patient Choice team award.

Ward sister Kelly Davis said: “The patient award is always the most special because it’s how your patients feel about you. We’re thrilled to have won because it goes to show the absolute true dedication that all of our staff have for all of our patients. “This will be a welcome boost because they have been through a very difficult time and have worked very hard. To receive an award like this is so special to them – it’s fantastic and overwhelming.”

The awards were sponsored by Serco which provides a range of services at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, including catering and cleaning. The Patient Choice Award is backed by the Eastern Daily Press and the Innovation/Best Suggestion award is backed by Octagon. The Unsung Hero award for non-clinical staff is sponsored by David Batchelor in memory of his late wife, Denise, who worked as a medical secretary at the N&N for 19 years.

kim.briscoe@archant.co.uk

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