Glitzy night to honour heroes

THANKS Sandie Cornish with Verity Lovelock and baby Nathanael. Picture: Allan Hutchings (123103-777)
THANKS Sandie Cornish with Verity Lovelock and baby Nathanael. Picture: Allan Hutchings (123103-777)

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MIDWIFE Sandie Cornish shows the caring side that made her a winner in this year’s Best of Health Awards.

Last night The News held a party to recognise health heroes, like Sandie, who won the accolade of Midwife of the Year.

Sandie was put forward by Verity Lovelock, 27, who gave birth to son Nathanael last September.

She said she would never forget the support and help she got from Sandie during a difficult time.

Verity, of Queens Road, Portsmouth, said: ‘I wanted to have a really natural birth with no intervention or drugs.

‘This is partly because I have Multiple Screlosis, and I was worried I might have to have a Casearsean section.’

When Verity was showing no signs of giving birth after her waters had broken seven days earlier, she needed to be induced at Queen Alexandra Hospital, Cosham.

‘I was really reluctant because I didn’t want any intervention,’ added Verity, an architect.

‘But in the end I had to.

‘I explained to Sandie I wanted as natural a birth as possible and she understood everything.

‘She used to be a home birth midwife and generally has lots of experience.

‘She turned the lights down in the room, put some music on and danced with me and said this would be a fun night.

‘And it was. She explained everything that was happening and completely put my mind at rest.

‘Nathanael was arriving quickly and Sandie explained to me why an obstetrician had been called.

‘Sandie kept me calm and stayed on longer than her shift and then came in to see us the next day.

‘She’s an absolutely wonderful midwife, which is why I put her up for an award.

‘I’m over the moon that she won.’

Sandie, 63, said she was shocked to be picked as a winner.

She said: ‘I was humbled to be nominated.

‘It was absolutely beautiful, what was said.

‘To win the award is fantastic.

‘I was pleased to take someone like Verity from the level she was at to something higher and to give her that confidence.’

Runner-up in the category was Jackie Davis.

The Best of Health Awards were held inside a packed Portsmouth Guildhall last night. For the third year running we were inundated with nominations for health workers such as doctors, dentists, community workers, mental health workers and pharmacists.

The evening was hosted by TV personality Fred Dinenage.

And Mark Waldron, editor of The News, opened the ceremony.

He said: ‘We are all hugely proud of the raft of health workers and volunteers – whether they’re part of the National Health Service or the private sector – who still strive to do the best they can to keep us moving.

‘Judging the winners was no easy task. Reading through the range of readers’ comments, which were often very emotive, made it hard to even narrow it down to a winner and a runner-up.

‘All of those nominated, deserved an award for the work they do because the health sector is only as good as the people who work in it.’

Hard task to pick out the winners

BACK in April, The News launched this year’s Best of Health Awards 2012.

We asked people – whether they were patients, colleagues or spouses – to put forward someone who they thought to be a dedicated health worker.

And with 12 categories to chose from – such as Pharmacy of the Year, Midwife of the Year and Hospital Team of the Year – readers responded in their droves.

This year people could nominate their health hero by filling out a form printed in The News, nominating on or emailing us.

Once the nominations were in, it was down to a panel of judges to make up their minds.

The panel was made up of the former director of public health Paul Edmondson-Jones, The News editor Mark Waldron, health reporter Priya Mistry and each of the sponsors for the categories.

So many people had touching and emotive stories, but eventually a shortlist was drawn up.

And within that were the winners and runner-ups in each category.

Finally all those shortlisted were invited to the Portsmouth Guildhall for last night’s black tie event.

After a welcome speech from Mr Waldron, guests tucked in to a three-course meal, before TV presenter Fred Dinenage took to the stage to reveal the winners.


Hospital Team of the Year

Winner: Haemodialysis team

Runner up: Sultan Ward

Midwife of the Year

Winner: Sandie Cornish

Runner up: Jackie Davis

GP Practice of the Year

Winner: Wickham Surgery

Runner up: Curlew Practice

Dental Practice of the Year

Winner: UoP Dental Academy

Runner up: Phil Gowers

Pharmacy of the Year

Winner: Rowlands Pharmacy

Runner up: Lloyds Pharmacy, Fareham

Hospital Doctor of the Year

Winner: Partha Kar

Runner up: Lorraine Albon

Mental Health Nurse/Team of the Year

Winner: Dean Whybrow

Runner up: Karen Guy

Community Team of the Year

Winner: Stroke Rehabilitation Team

Runner up: Sandy Spong

Unsung Hero

Winner: Richard Allison

Runner up: Don Veal

Carer of the Year

Winner: Michelle Wickham

Runner up: Paul Liscombe

Ambulance Worker of the Year

Winner: Kevin Charman

Runner up: Alan Varley

Hospital Nurse of the Year

Winner: Karen Neller

Runner up: Sue Atkins