Photo gallery: Hospital heroes honoured at annual James Paget University Hospital awards
Two hospital workers who took swift action to stop thousands of patient records from being destroyed by fire were honoured with a surprise award at the James Paget University Hospital staff awards.
David Adams, head of estates, and porter Shaun Healy were named as the inaugural winners of the EDP Gold Award at the hospital's Remarkable People awards.
Hundreds of hospital workers attended the event at Potters Leisure Resort in Hopton on Friday, which saw a special award being presented to the men who acted quickly when a fire broke out in the medical records area of the Gorleston site's training and education centre.
The fire, involving an extractor fan, broke out at about 5.45pm on April 30 and Mr Adams and Mr Healy were the first on scene and managed to bring the blaze under control before the fire service arrived.
Mr Adams, who has worked at the JPH for 25 years, said: 'I was standing there thinking should we fight it or run and because it was where all the patient records were, it was something we could not leave. The fire was above our heads and we used five or six fire extinguishers to put it out.'
Firefighters from Gorleston, Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft were called to the blaze. But because the two hospital workers had put it out quickly, the hospital was able return to normal very quickly.
Mr Adams added that he was shocked to have won the award.
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'It is overwhelming. I am privileged to work in a hospital for many years and I have so much respect for my colleagues,' he added.
Mr Healy was unable to attend the awards, so Kevin Mason, last year's employee of the year, accepted it on his behalf.
More than 200 nominations were received from patients, staff, relatives and carers for the annual awards, which came on the week that the JPH was found to have met all quality standards following a Care Quality Commission inspection.
Christine Allen, chief executive, told the audience: 'I'm hugely proud of all of you. The kindness and care of our staff has the potential to change lives. There have been a lot of challenges throughout the year and we continue to rise to them and you continue to provide the best possible care.'
David Wright, chairman, added that there had been a record number of nominations for this year's event.
'It is a challenging time for the NHS, but I am proud to say that our staff remain focused and enthusiastic towards the future of our hospital. This event allows us the opportunity to show our appreciation for our staff and to showcase their excellent work. We have been overwhelmed with the response from staff, patients, relatives and carers, who have taken the time to nominate those people that have made a difference to them and we are very grateful for their support,' he said.