HARD-working staff at Colchester General Hospital have been recognised for their efforts.

The hospital’s At Our Best awards saw 59 entries, including 19 for the individual awards, 38 for the team award and one entry for volunteers.

A shortlist of ten individuals and seven teams were invited to an awards ceremony, on Friday, May 16, hosted by Dee Hacket, Director of Nursing and Patient Experience at the Turner Road hospital.

Suzie Hawkins, deputy sister in Jefferson Ward, was selected as the individual winner.

Her nomination came from a relative of a woman with a terminal illness, who said: “Suzie looked after my grandmother when she was terminally ill and supported us as a family too.

“It was an awful time and she made it better.

“She stayed with us when she died and helped us say goodbye. She cuddled me and cried with us, as a friend."

Laura Evans, emergency staff nurse was runner-up in the individual category.

She was nominated by a patient who had taken a drug overdose, who said: “After a very traumatic time in my life, I was admitted to Colchester General Hospital after taking an overdose which is often frowned upon.

“Laura showed compassion, understanding and a very caring nature, whilst continuing to care for every other patient's needs, and all on the back of two 12.5-hour shifts.

“She is an absolute credit not just to her department, but the hospital in general. I wish I could have thanked her in person.”

The radiotherapy department was the winner in the team category, having been nominated by a patient undergoing a five-week course of treatment.

The patient said: “The radiotherapy department is always busy, with a large team looking after the turnover of treatments for patients.

“Every day, without exception over my 5 weeks of treatment, the team were smiling and reassuring, always greeting me by name and checking I had no health issues since the last treatment.

“I felt safe in their hands.”

The emergency assessment unit (EAU) was selected as runners-up after treating seriously ill Zoe Daley.

The unit was nominated by Zoe’s parents, who said: “Our daughter was seriously ill and the care EAU gave her was wonderful including the support given to me Zoe's mother, my husband and children.

“Zoe was with them for about five days before being transferred to St Helena's Hospice where she died.

“Helen Bayliss stood out from a dedicated team of nurses who gave as much of their time as they could in a very busy environment.”

Anne Blackwell was the winner in the volunteer category.

She was selected after volunteering on Friday mornings for more than two years.

The un-paid volunteer helped in admin duties.

Her nomination, from the Infection Control Team, said: “Anne is a valued member and has truly integrated into the team.

“Nothing is too much trouble for her and she has a quiet but cheery nature.

“Anne is what At Your Best stands for and displays the attributes of caring, compassion and good communication skills at all times. We are proud she is a member of our team."

Individual winners took home £25 in high street vouchers while team winners got £100 in leisure vouchers.

Runners-up were awarded a certificate and a congratulatory letter.