Let’s cheer on all those who make NHS great

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They really are the unsung heroes of our community – and that’s exactly why our NHS staff deserved to have the spotlight turned on all their hard work last night.

Our Best of Health Awards 2011 was a celebration of all the outstanding things they do and it really was an occasion to remember.

Readers of The News had been quick to nominate all those health stars who have made a difference to their lives.

And the awards night was the perfect way to show all those who work in the NHS exactly how much we value them and what they do for us.

Hospital doctors, nurses, dentists, GPs and others working in the medical profession show awe-inspiring levels of dedication every day while caring for others.

We truly believe that’s something none of us should ever take for granted.

The NHS as a whole is going through a difficult time at the moment and many of our front line staff will know that more than most.

Sometimes, things don’t go to plan. But the number of letters we receive in praise of our health service far outweighs those we get about complaints.

All of those who were nominated for one of this year’s awards deserves the praise that has come their way.

You only have to hear some of the stories behind the nominations to appreciate how much of an impact these outstanding people have had.

During what must have felt like some of the darkest days of her life, Kelley Threadingham knew that Jeanette Barnes was always there for her. When her baby Erin was born premature at 26 weeks, Jeanette never faltered in her compassion and support.

That’s why she was voted Hospital Nurse of the Year and we know that’s an accolade she will want to share with all those who work in the neo-natal unit at Queen Alexandra Hospital.

Stars like Jeanette and all the rest of our winners and runner-ups operate under extreme pressure in some of the most challenging circumstances imaginable.

They truly are extraordinary.