Cast a vote for your health champions

General Health tile
General Health tile

The Free Press today launches its search to honour an unsung health hero who has gone above and beyond the call of duty to care for hospital patients across the area.

Your favourite local paper has teamed up with health chiefs to stage the Doncaster and Bassetlaw NHS Doncaster Free Press Health Awards.

Our loyal readers have already chosen their nominations for individual awards but today we are asking you to nominate your choice for the overall ‘Star of the Year’ award.

Graeme Huston, editor-in-chief of South Yorkshire Newspapers, said: “This is a good chance to celebrate those who work so hard to help others.”

Judges have come up with a shortlist of seven individuals and two teams, but who wins the award is down to you.

To vote all you need to do is simply look through all the entries and make a note of the vote code below the photograph of the person you wish to vote for.

You can vote as many times as you like by text or once via email. You must include the code in your text and/or on the email. Deadline for votes is Wednesday, September 11, at noon.

How to vote:

Send your vote via email to with STARS in the subject header followed by the code and name of the person or team you wish to vote for.

Or text DFP leave a space followed by STARS leave a space follow by your vote code, name, house number and postcode and send to 61500.

Usual JP rules apply. Texts cost 50p plus your usual network rate. The editor’s decision is final. By supplying your telephone number you’re happy to receive SMS messages from Johnston Press and its approved business partners. Johnston Press (or via its agents) and its business partners may contact you about new promotions, products and services. Please add the word EXIT at the end of your message if you do not wish to receive these.

Please note if you should enter after the stated closing date your entry will not be valid but you still may be charged. For quality and training purposes we may monitor communications.

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Trish Sykes - 1001

Trish, a clerk on the renal ward at Doncaster Royal Infirmary, organised and chased progress on transport for dialysis patients, often arranging lifts home for people.

As well as this, she also gathered the data that helped build a case for change.

As a result, a dedicated service has now been set up so that people who need transport home from hospital after dialysis no longer have to wait.

Steph Ebbs - Text 1002

A healthcare worker at Bassetlaw Hospital, who was praised for making extra-special effort to get to know the little details and personal touches of her patients. Steph took the time to soothe people under her care, often having the same conversation with them over and over again. She also shone out for the respect and extra touches of kindness she showed them, like remembering that one seriously-poorly patient liked a very unusual type of coffee and making sure he could have it.

Jo-Ann Holmes - 1003

Busy Jo-Ann balances her work as a secretary and governance officer in the Surgical Clinical Service Unit at Doncaster Royal Infirmary with her role as a bank (relief) health care worker at the hospital’s Ward 20. She was praised by her colleagues for always having a smile on her face and making time to ask patients how they are doing, often referring to them as ‘this lady’ or ‘this lovely gentleman’. Nothing is too much trouble and she is always ‘on hand’ to help on the ward.

Terry Platek - 1004

A car park attendant, who always goes the extra mile to help patients and visitors to Montagu Hospital in Mexborough.

He always helps people who may not be able to find their way around while construction work is ongoing to build a rehabilitation centre.

Terry was put forward by staff because his infectious good humour is always appreciated by the patients, staff and visitors who come into contact with him.

Danielle Bryce - 1005

A receptionist in the outpatients department, Danielle was praised for going above the call of duty to help a patient. She saw a gentleman at about 5.30pm near outpatients who was confused and she tried without success to organise transport home for him. As he lived in the Bassetlaw area, she was concerned to make sure that he got home safely so she travelled with him on the shuttle to Bassetlaw Hospital, where she had arranged for a taxi to take him home.

Nikki Walker - 1006

A sister in main theatres across the trust, she always ensures that things run smoothly and that her team are happy.

Nikki Walker always makes sure theatre runs as efficiently as possible and often, in her own time, speaks to people to make sure the theatre and equipment is working to their maximum potential.

She was singled out for praise for her ‘excellent leadership and management skills’.

Phil Hughes - 1007

A service assistant in the orthopaedics department at Doncaster Royal Infirmary, Phil won accolades for the extraordinary effort he put into ensuring that the team’s recent office move went smoothly. He is a member of the hotel services team responsible for portering, cleaning and many other essential jobs. Phil helped the staff make the move run as smoothly and as quickly as possible. The jobs he carried out were above and beyond his call of duty.

The rehabilitation team at Montagu Hospital - 1008

The group of staff won praise for setting up an initiative called the ‘Feel Good Factor’ to help patients in the rehabilitation unit.

Staff were aware that patients had a lot of free time between sessions and wanted to find out if there was anything they could do to improve this.

They met with patients and relatives to hear their ideas and suggestions about what patients would like to do during these periods.

From this, they organised coffee get-togethers, hand massages, games groups, cake decorating and other activities related to the patients’ rehabilitation.

The Integrated care team at Doncaster Royal Infirmary - 1009

The integrated care team were highlighted after the daughter of a patient wrote a letter praising their care and compassion.

Therapy assistants Jackie Thomas and Kirsty Evans, along with occupational therapist Fiona Squire and A&E staff nurse Theresa Gilmartin received a letter of appreciation 
for the care, concern and compassion they had demonstrated the correspondent’s mother during her recent stay in hospital.

The letter detailed how all four members of staff listened to the patient’s and her daughter’s needs, which helped make a difficult time easier to bear.