Silver medal-winning Paralympian and former Stoke Mandeville patient Peter Norfolk was the guest of honour at the eighth Bucks NHS workers’ awards.
The London 2012 Team GB wheelchair tennis-doubles star told the assembled 150 guests: “On behalf of all patients, indeed I was one of your patients, I would like to thank you so much for all your hard and wonderful work.”
The event took place at Aylesbury Waterside Theatre last night (Thursday).
Mr Norfolk, OBE, said: “I want to pay tribute to you all and thank you for sharing this wonderful evening with me.
“I have been so impressed by everything I have heard and seen this evening and you are all inspirational, you truly put people back together again.
“Stoke Mandeville Hospital is a beacon for inspiration and excellence and its influence goes around the world, you should all be really proud of yourselves.”
Staff member Mary Miller won the lifetime achievement award and was praised for ‘her passion and dedication’ in her work with the pain management service. She started working for the trust 35 years ago.
Nutritional specialist nurse Liz Evans was awarded the healthcare professional of the year accolade. The judges said she impressed through her ‘inspirational work within patient nutrition, in particular her approach to teaching patients to artificially feed at home’.
Anne Eden, chief executive of Bucks Healthcare NHS Trust, said: “The staff awards are a way of saying ‘thank you’ to those staff, contractors and volunteers who consistently provide a high level of care and quality to our patients. Often going above and beyond the call of duty.
“The nominations received this year clearly demonstrate that many staff and volunteers really do go that little bit further.
“I am especially pleased in this momentous year of a ‘home’ Paralympics to showcase our National Spinal Injuries Centre at Stoke Mandeville, the birthplace of the Paralympic Games.”
The newly formed Bucks Health Choir, conducted by Dr James Ross, performed at the ceremony. The group formed after staff were inspired by the BBC’s Sing While You Work initiative.