Vote for your hospital heroes!

For the third year running, we have teamed up with the Shropshire Star for one of the award categories.

The Shropshire Star Public Recognition Award recognises teams or individuals who have made a remarkable contribution and show exceptional compassion and dedication in their role.

Members of the public were asked to nominate their hospital heroes for the award and three finalists have been shortlisted. It is now up to you to choose the winner – who will receive their award on Thursday 16 November.

You have until Sunday 15 October to vote.

Meet your finalists…

Here are the three finalists for the Shropshire Star Public Recognition Award:

Karen Kirton – Sister and Urology Specialist Nurse

Karen Kirton was nominated by one of her patients who told how she had “changed my life”.

The sister and urology specialist nurse, who works at both Royal Shrewsbury Hospital and Princess Royal Hospital Telford, worked to give her patient “a quality of life I never thought possible.”

Sister Kirton, who is 53 and lives in Shrewsbury, has been with the trust since 2005.

She was modest about her nomination, choosing to praise the work of her colleagues, who she said worked endlessly to improve the lives of their patients.

She said: “I work in a team of really excellent urology clinical nurse specialists, and they all do an amazing job together and it is a bit embarrassing to be singled out – the whole team is a brilliant team.”

Sister Kirton comes from a family tradition of working in the NHS, and proudly wears a belt buckle her own mum received when she qualified, which was passed to her when she qualified herself.

She said the nomination meant a lot because of the efforts she had put in to help her patient.

She said: “I have worked really hard on it so it makes me very proud. It is just lovely, she is a local lady who appreciates what I do and it is nice to be recognised like that.”

Sister Kirton, who has around 40 patients, said the job is particularly rewarding because of the chance to follow a patient’s journey – hopefully to a place where their life is better.

She said: “It is very satisfying. Before I did this job I worked in A&E for 10 years, which was a very stressful environment to work in and you can see you make a difference but you don’t follow the patients through to the end of their journey. So to have a group of patients I look after throughout their whole treatment plan, from when symptoms are severe to hopefully giving them a better quality of life is immensely satisfying and rewarding.”

Ward 22 Short Stay

The team on Royal Shrewsbury Hospital’s ‘Short Stay’ Ward 22 were nominated for going “over and above” as they cared for a patient at the end of his life.

The citation praised the efforts of the “whole team on Ward 22” as they looked after a 90-year-old man, describing them as ‘hospital heroes’.

It stated: “All of the staff, without exception, committed to dad’s care, from shuffling patients late in their busy day to find a quieter side room; to ensuring he was made comfortable.

“He received constant, meticulous care. Their dedication and compassion extended to us as a family, moving chairs in for overnight, leaving snacks, offering tea and meals and even words of kindness.

“We were on their radar as well as dad. Staff introduced themselves and said goodbye, letting us know when they would be back. It was very comforting.

“On top of this they made a connection with dad. Even in really poorly times staff could raise a precious smile from him.

“He had, in a very short time found that bond that can only happen if you know someone really cares. This team went over and above. They asked and listened to his wishes and managed to engage with him, right up to the very last moments.”

Tom Davies, ward manager, said he was proud that the team had managed to help both the patient and his family at the time they needed it most.

He said: “I have spoken with the team quite a bit about it and a lot of nominations for other awards are from the trust but the fact it has come from a member of the public, they did not have to do this. They went out of their way to do this and it makes it that extra bit special.”

The ward is part of the hospital’s new ‘acute floor’ which opened last year.

Hannah Pope, matron on the ward, said: “I said when the nomination came in that the best thing was that we have been nominated by a relative of a patient, that is one of the reasons we do the job we do – so to find it came from a patient’s family means the most to us.”

Ward 25 Colorectal

Staff on Ward 25 at Royal Shrewsbury Hospital have been praised for their “exemplary” care.

Ward sister Roxy Guarin and the rest of the team on the colorectal ward were actually nominated by the family of a patient who had been undergoing general surgery and was moved onto the ward due to a lack of space.

They described how the staff had gone “above and beyond anything that we could ever have expected”.

They said: “Nothing was ever too much trouble for any of the staff. Whenever we visited they would always take the time to listen to myself and my family about anything we needed to talk about and occasionally it was just to listen to us so we could offload how we were feeling.

“We would like to thank all the staff from the bottom of our hearts and in particular Roxy, Gill Joseph (matron), Jessica Pugh (HCA) and Julie (staff nurse).”

Mandie Esp, who has managed the ward for more than 16 years and has been with the trust for around 36, said: “I am enormously proud, and because it is from a member of the public it just adds that extra special something really.”

She added: “Roxy feels really proud and it is for the whole team as well, and reflects how we give care to our patients.

“We have a very friendly young team and everyone wants to go that extra mile – and everyone does go that extra mile.”

Roxy, who had been singled out in the nomination, is one of SaTH’s international nurses. She joined several years ago after being offered a job in a recruitment drive in the Philippines.

During her time at the trust she has developed new skills to the point where she now steps in for her boss when she is away.

She said that they had been proud to receive the nomination.

She said: “For the family to see that she was not our specialism and to see the care she had means a lot to us.”

Vote for your hospital hero