WIRRAL hospital staff have been praised for their ‘exceptional’ work and commitment during the NHS Foundation Trust's annual awards.

Each year unsung NHS heroes are voted by members of the public and NHS staff - all 527 nominations were assessed by a panel of 10 judges.

The Foundation Awards,introduced six years ago, have become a coveted accolade for hospital staff as the nominations are made by their colleagues, patients and carers.

Almost 700 NHS staff attended the ceremony at the Floral Pavilion in New Brighton, which was hosted by Liverpudlian award winning writer, actor and comedian Neil Fitzmaurice. Children’s Ward sister Liz Collins won the Individual ‘Treating You Well’ Award while the Team Award went to the Paediatric Diabetes Team at Arrowe Park Hospital.

After receiving the award, Liz said: “I am totally shocked to have won this award - it’s the first award I have won since starting my nursing career back in February 1979.”

Dr Jude Joseph, consultant and clinical lead, who spoke on behalf of the Paediatric Diabetes Team, added: “I would like to thank the families who nominated our team - it is clear the work we are now undertaking is extremely important and improving the quality of life for children with diabetes across Wirral.”

The winner of the ‘Proud Trust Employee of the Year’ award was joiner Mike Hughes from Prenton who was described as always being ‘cheerful’ and ‘helpful’.

Mike, who has worked in the NHS for 21 years, received 71 nominations for his excellent craftsmanship which can be seen across Wirral hospitals.

Earlier in the year Mike underwent a hip replaced at Clatterbridge Hospital and, as a result, was able to walk up and collect his award.

Mike said: “I didn’t expect this at all. The hospitals need to be in tip top condition so that the patients receive their care in the best environment possible. I was very nervous going up to collect my award.”

This year attracted the highest ever number of nominations for teams and staff members in a range of hospital-based disciplines. These were themed around ‘Delivering Excellence in Healthcare’ and split into several health categories.

Chief Executive of Wirral NHS Trust David Allison, said: “I’d like to thank everyone for making the effort to vote. This event helps to acknowledge the excellent staff we have in our hospitals.

"What staff undertake each day is exceptional and shines through for all of us to see. It’s right to celebrate this success as our staff serve the population of Wirral and beyond so well."