AROUND 400 members of staff, sponsors and guests recently packed Springwood Park Hall in Kelso for the fourth annual NHS Borders Celebrating Excellence Awards.

In what is a highlight of the year for local NHS staff, awards were handed out to 12 individuals and teams, with another 11 chairman’s commendations also distributed during the evening.

The award categories reflected NHS Borders’ values and celebrated staff, nominated by the public and fellow staff members, who are deemed to have upheld these to the highest degree possible.

Speaking after the awards ceremony, NHS Borders chair John Raine said it had been an incredibly successful evening.

He added: "This was an opportunity to recognise and pay tribute to the work of staff across all services, from front line to support workers, from those engaged in the community and in health centres and those who work in hospitals.

“Against a lot of competition it was the Catering Team which took the Chairman`s Award.

"It`s an important part of the work of the health service and the Catering team does such a splendid job both for patients and staff.”

NHS Borders received more than 120 nominations from patients, their families and carers.

But there could only be 12 winners.

Caroline Herkes, manager of the successful Catering team, said: “The entire NHS Borders Catering team was delighted and proud to receive the Behind the Scenes award, recognising not only the work of the Catering Team but also its dedication to keeping service standards high.

“Receiving the Chairman’s Award in addition to this has left us feeling elated that our service is held in such high regard.

"We are all still buzzing with the ‘feel good factor’, congratulatory comments and positive feedback we are receiving.”

Among the evening’s winners were the members of the BGH Pregnancy Assessment Unit, who picked up the award for Clinical Excellence.

Midwife Ann Lynch said the nine members of the team were ‘over the moon’ to have won.

She told us: "We were delighted and really surprised to have won an award given the number of really fantastic teams nominated.

"It means a lot that a patient felt we deserved to be recognised for our efforts.”

Prior to the awards, staff and guests sat down to an enjoyable meal and the evening was rounded off by a disco.

Fundraising manager Karen Wilson, who along with former colleague Morven Paterson, scooped the Partnership Working award, admitted it was a “shock and an honour” to have won.

Karen said: “We’ve made a real effort to build relationships with our colleagues in other departments and across services to help raise awareness of the charity, help it function more efficiently and create a better experience for our donors and fundraisers so it’s nice to know that has been recognised.

“We still have lots more we hope to do so hopefully winning this award will raise awareness for the charity and help us build on our work so far.”

The Borders Hospital Radio Service was another winner, with Colin Taylor picking up the Supporter of the Year award on behalf of his fellow volunteers.

Colin said: “We were absolutely delighted to be chosen by the Panel, to be the winners of the Supporter of the Year Award.

"It was taken as a sign of recognition by the hospital, and we will continue to support the hospital.”

NHS Borders Values Award (sponsored by Unite the Union): Nicky Berry, Associate Director of Nursing/Head of Midwifery.

Improving Health (sponsored by Greenvale AP): Borders Healthy Living Network

Innovation & Improvement (sponsored by Dialysis Unit

Leading by Example (sponsored by Porter’s Porches & Conservatories): Stephanie Errington, head of Planning & Performance

Supporter of the Year (sponsored by Hogg & Thorburn): Borders Hospital Radio Service

Primary Care Provider (sponsored by Agenor Technology): Coldstream Medical Practice

Rising Star (sponsored by Clelands Volvo): Barbara Smith, Project Assistant, Healthy Living Network

Clinical Excellence: Pregnancy Assessment Unit

Partnership Working (sponsored by Unison): Morven Paterson & Karen Wilson, “the difference” fund-raising team

Behind the Scenes, Clinical: June Patterson, Theatre Sister

Behind the Scenes, Non-Clinical (sponsored by Five Star Taxis): Catering Team

Person-Centred Care (sponsored by Border Eggs): Katie Masterson, Physiotherapy Team Leader

Chairman’s Award: Catering Team

Chairman’s Commendations: Haylodge Day Hospital; John Watt, Physiotherapist; The Bereavement Team; Flora Galbraith, A&E Staff Nurse; The General Services Team; Gale Jeffrey, CPN within the Mental Health Service; Joint Learning Disability Service; Sussie Shrestha, Surgical Registrar; Teviot Medical Practice with Scottish Ambulance Paramedic Practitioners; Katie Masterson, Physiotherapy Team Leader; Newcastleton Health Centre.