Two health heroes go on to gain praise on a national level

GREAT WORK Sue Atkins receives her award from Wave 105's Jon Brooks and, inset, community health practitioner John Cross
GREAT WORK Sue Atkins receives her award from Wave 105's Jon Brooks and, inset, community health practitioner John Cross

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TWO health workers that have been winners at The News Best of Health Awards have gone on to be nominated and winners in national ceremonies.

John Cross works as community health practitioner for South Central Ambulance Service (Scas) and has won an NHS Hero Award.

GREAT WORK Community health practitioner John Cross

GREAT WORK Community health practitioner John Cross

The NHS Heroes Awards is a national prize awarded to National Health Service workers that go above and beyond the call of duty to provide care.

John, who was crowned winner of the Ambulance Worker of the Year category at The News awards in 2011, said: ‘I’m pleased and shocked to have won.

‘It’s always a surprise when someone has nominated you, but I’m pleased to be making a difference in the Portsmouth area.’

He was also shortlisted at Scas’s award ceremony called the Ambies – in the A&E Person of the Year and the Chairman’s Special Award categories.

John was recognised for a host of services he carries out in Portsmouth, including fronting the ‘talktojohn’ service supported by The Safer Portsmouth Partnership.

It offers support and assessment for those in the city, who are concerned about their drinking.

John drives a mini-ambulance, used to attend emergencies and in the community for health promotion initiatives.

Alongside this, he also runs Safe Space – a late night medical drop-in centre, in Guildhall Walk, offering medical attention, flip flops and a safe space to relax and recover in.

Tim Churchill, demand manager for Scas, said: ‘Scas is delighted that John has won this the NHS Hero Award and nominated for two Ambies.

‘It reflects the hard work and dedication that he applies to his role, supporting the public and residents of Portsmouth.’

Another Best of Health Award-winner has also been shortlisted for a national accolade.

Sue Atkins, a senior sister for the Alcohol Nurse Specialist Team, based at Queen Alexandra Hospital, Cosham, is one of eight nominees in for Nurse of the Year 2012.

Sue has been put forward in recognition of the work she has done to set up a specialist team that helps people suffering from alcohol problems.

She said: ‘It’s fantastic news to be shortlisted for such a prestigious award.

‘To have been nominated as a finalist in the Nurse of the Year category is truly thrilling.

‘It demonstrates external recognition for the nursing profession in Portsmouth, and I couldn’t have done it without the whole alcohol team that I work with in the city.’