HOSPITAL heroes proved they were gold medal standard when they were presented with awards by one of Worcester’s great Olympic champions.

The achievements of NHS nurses, doctors and support staff were celebrated at a ceremony at the Charles Hastings Education Centre on the site of Worcestershire Royal Hospital in Worcester.

Olympic rower Zac Purchase was on hand to congratulate winners and present awards in front of an audience of 200 people.

More than 150 nominations were received from staff and patients during October and November, leading to 21 members of staff and teams receiving awards.

Harry Turner, Worcester-shire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust, said: “It’s been a challenging year for anyone who works in the NHS, and it is so important that we take time out to pay tribute to our staff who work so hard to provide the best possible experience, treatment and care for our patients. I can think of no better way to celebrate the outstanding achievements.”

Zac Purchase tweeted after the event: “Some fantastic awards to some highly deserving people.”

Worcester’s award-winners included: l Epilepsy specialist nurse Sharon Dawe, who won the nurse of the year award after she was nominated by patients and colleagues for excellent care, effort to educate young people about epilepsy and for taking a masters degree to improve her knowledge. She said: “As well as supporting patients’ individual needs, I want to reduce the stigma of epilepsy in the community. I’m so proud and touched to have been nominated.”

l Doctor of the year went to Rabia Imtiaz. She was given the award for going above and beyond in her work as a consultant obstetrician. Dr Imtiaz dedicated her award to her late husband, who she said inspired her to give her all.

l The patient choice award went to staff nurse Grace Brighton after patients said that she lit up the room and offered truly exceptional care.