A CHILDREN’S doctor at Colchester General Hospital has been hailed an NHS Hero for the nine years of support she has given to a poorly youngster.

Consultant paediatrician Dr Andrea Turner was nominated by the child’s mother.

Her nominator said: “She is without question the most dedicated, sincere, caring, compassionate, considerate, assertive, patient, perceptive and capable doctor we have had the good fortune to meet.

“My child has a range of health needs that have become more complex and severe over the years.

“Dr Turner has been with us every step of the way, for every new diagnosis and prognosis we’ve received.

“She has shared the triumphs and the tears, and always been a consistent source of unwavering support.”

The mother said an example had been when her child was going into respiratory failure and needed to be put on a ventilator and transferred to intensive care.

Dr Turner came in on her day off to support the family during “an incredibly scary time.”

She added: “Her presence made such a difference, just knowing she was there and would answer any questions or concerns.”

As the child’s conditions have progressed to life threatening and life limiting, the family’s amount of time spent in hospital has increased.

The mother added: “Dr Turner is always aware of the impact this has on the whole family, she is always considerate and endeavours to ensure my child has as much time at home as possible.”

“Dr Turner is incredibly knowledgeable about all my child’s conditions, and is very skilled at explaining complicated medical terms in a way that is easy for ‘non doctors’ to understand.

“Dr Turner is well liked and well respected amongst parents and staff.

She continued: “It is very difficult to put in to words just how amazing Dr Turner is.

“We have an uncertain future, but the one thing that is certain is, we sincerely hope that Dr Turner is a part of it for as long as possible.

“I hope this puts across successfully just what an amazing lady she is, from being the glue that has held our family together, to being the voice of reason when I wasn’t feeling very reasonable.

“We do and always will hold her in such high regard, she has made a huge difference to our family and my child is alive thanks to her dedication and commitment.”

The mother asked to remain anonymous.

Dr Turner said: “I am absolutely delighted to be nominated as a local NHS hero.

“However, this is a real team effort, and I couldn’t do the job I do without the team around me. This includes nurses, doctors, dietitians, play specialists, health care assistants, our ward pharmacist and more - we all work together in Children’s Services to do the best we can for the babies, children and young people in our care.”

Dr Barbara Buckley is managing director and deputy chief executive at East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust, which runs Colchester and Ipswich Hospitals.

She praised nominated staff, adding: “It is absolutely fantastic when our patients appreciate individuals. The individuals within the hospital work within teams, so it is recognition of great teams they work in and it really shows our staff put their patients at the centre of what they do.”

Dr Buckley’s NHS career has spanned 33 years and she added: “It is a fantastic institution, not only to work in but as a patient.

“But it only works because of the people that work in it.”