Hospital's unsung heroes honoured

UNSUNG heroes at a Suffolk hospital who have gone the “extra mile” have been hailed at a special awards ceremony in their honour.

Dave Gooderham

UNSUNG heroes at a Suffolk hospital who have gone the “extra mile” have been hailed at a special awards ceremony in their honour.

Staff at West Suffolk Hospital in Bury St Edmunds have picked up Shining Lights awards to celebrate their outstanding contribution to patients, colleagues or through new innovations.

The winners included Christine Waters , hailed as an inspiration by judges, who put aside studying problems caused by dyslexia to complete a masters degree in the subject of pain.

As well as wowing the Shining Lights panel, she also achieved the highest first class grade ever awarded from Cardiff University for her dissertation last year and then had the paper nominated for top awards and featured in an international conference.

Ms Waters, 51, who lives in Rickinghall, near Bury St Edmunds, said: “I was delighted with the success of the dissertation, especially because I nearly gave it all up at the start when I was struggling with higher level work.

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“I found it very difficult to retain information. Then I was diagnosed with dyslexia and was taught different techniques and strategies to help.

“It has made the world of difference and shows that even having dyslexia, people can achieve in many aspects of their life despite fundamental difficulties.”

Judges said Ms Waters, a member of the hospital's integrated pain team, worked tirelessly to help patients and staff alike, often staying after her shift to sort out any problems which may have arisen.

Away from the hospital, her dissertation has since been nominated for the Welsh Pain Society Research Prize and presented at an international conference.

Porters Bill Watkins and Lee Bland also received awards for showing genuine compassion and kindness to patients. Mr Watkins was described as “one of life's unsung heroes” paying tribute to his hard-working and conscientious attitude.

The judges also paid tribute to Mr Bland's ability to go above and beyond the call of duty to give support.

Nurse Margaret Harold was nominated by a grateful patient who described her as “wonderful, caring and a very special lady”.

Elsewhere, the voluntary team who work on the reception desk were honoured for showing knowledge and sympathy and working hard to make visitors feel at ease.

Roger Quince, chairman of the West Suffolk Hospital NHS Trust, said: “Shining Lights is our annual celebration of the staff whose enormous contribution has made a real difference to the lives of patients.

“These individuals and teams have all gone above and beyond the call of duty to make sure their patients have the best possible experience when using our services.”