Our Health Heroes Awards – Clinic Apprentice Makes the Finals

Today (18 October 2017), 33 Healthcare Workers who provide excellent patient care across the UK have been announced as finalists and regional winners for Skills for Health’s Our Health Heroes Awards 2017, including three from Scotland.

The Our Health Heroes Awards, sponsored by Health Education England, were established in 2016 and aim to celebrate the unsung healthcare heroes from across the UK, including those working in the NHS, that go above and beyond in their roles every day.

Yvonne Welch, a Healthcare Assistant at Arran War Memorial Hospital and Marie McIver, Medical Secretary at Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in Glasgow were chosen as regional winners for Clinical Support Worker of the Year and Operational Services Support Worker of the Year respectively.

Andrew Gunn, an Apprentice Business Support Executive in Marketing from The Edinburgh Clinic was also one of three shortlisted for Apprentice of the Year.

All three will now go forward to the public vote which will decide the national winners, to be revealed at the Awards ceremony in November.

Healthcare Professionals were asked to nominate their Integrated Team of the Year, Workforce Planning Team of the Year and Apprentice of the Year, alongside the already established Clinical and Operational Services Support Worker of the Year awards.

After 930 nominations, including 16 from Scotland, a total of 33 finalists and regional winners have been revealed across the five categories.

Yvonne was nominated after working for over 17 years at Arran War Memorial Hospital. She has a relentless can-do attitude and was the first ever person in the hospital to complete the British Casting Course. Yvonne’s team have the highest praise for her, describing her as their backbone.

Marie was put forward for going above and beyond every day and working hard to make sure each patients experience is as smooth and comfortable as possible. Her sunny disposition, approachability and positive outlook are an inspiration to her team.

Andrew has been nominated for being a highly-valued team player and his eagerness to learn new skills. In the last few years, Andrew has organised staff charity runs, coffee mornings and fundraisers as well as project managing the clinic’s annual Highland Games.

John Rogers, Chief Executive at Skills for Health, said: “Once again, we are delighted to host the Our Health Heroes Awards, with additional award categories and key sponsors.”

“These 33 winners are outstanding in their field and are thoroughly deserving of their places in the shortlist. The calibre of nominations we received this year was sky high. Each and every one demonstrated excellence in patient care and our judges had a really difficult task in selecting a shortlist from such high-quality submissions.”

“We’re very much looking forward to meeting all the finalists in November and finding out the national winners”

The panel of judges included representatives from Skills for Health and the National Skills Academy for Health as well as headline sponsors Health Education England, media partner National Health Executive and the Support Worker and Apprenticeship category sponsors, UNISON and The Open University.

UNISON head of health Sara Gorton said: “Every day behind the scenes in the NHS, there are entire teams of healthcare support staff going above and beyond to ensure that patients are getting the best possible care, despite the many constraints they are forced to operate under.

“The quality of the nominations received and the deserving regional winners announced are a true tribute to the wider NHS, which often goes unnoticed. Health workers work as a team to deliver the best care, and they need to be recognised, valued and rewarded as just that."

David Willett, Director at The Open University, said: “We are thrilled to be involved with ‘Our Health Heroes’ this year, sponsoring the Apprenticeship category. As a provider of degree apprenticeships ourselves, we're very impressed with the high standard of entries. It’s fantastic that apprentices are being recognised this year, they are the future of our healthcare workforce and judging by the standard of the applications, they really are health heroes.”

The public vote for national winners of Operational Services Support Worker of the Year, Clinical Support Worker of the Year and to place the Apprentices of the Year will be open until 6 November. Go to to vote now. 

Date: 18/10/2017