‘Honorary Mackem’ and midwife are backing our health awards

SO PROUD: Nicola Milburn, above, and Sarah Hindle, below, are backing our awards.

SO PROUD: Nicola Milburn, above, and Sarah Hindle, below, are backing our awards.

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AN “honorary Mackem” has backed our Best of Health awards and told of her love of dealing with dozens of hospital patients every day.

Nicola Milburn is a speech and language therapist based at the Sunderland Royal Hospital.

Sarah Hindle

Sarah Hindle

She is responsible for dealing with more than 100 people who have a range of speech and swallowing disorders, caused by conditions from stroke to Parkinson’s Disease and dementia.

Her job includes assessing what is safe for people to eat.

The Preston-born former Newcastle University student describes herself as “an honorary Mackem” with a job that is “really rewarding. It is special when you see someone who is making real progress.

“I get to meet lots of different people and I love it. I would not want to do anything else.”

She’s spent six years in the NHS and said: “It is quite an extensive patient service and quite a mix of people.”

The competition is being held in association with City Hospitals Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust, with Sunderland Clinical Commissioning Group as a partner sponsor and Olivers Dental Studio and Gentoo as category sponsors.

We spoke to staff at the hospital and another proud health worker is Sarah Hindle whose role as a midwife sees her based both at the Royal in the delivery suite, and in the community for three days.

She looks after women in labour and after they have given birth. “I love the continuity,” she said. She loves the one-to-one care that the system has, and praised Sunderland for being one of the few hospitals in the country to offer team midwifery.

“It is a massive responsibility to bring people into the world and it is a huge privilege.”

We want to hear from Echo readers by the score, to nominate health heroes in every aspect of the profession.

We need entries in categories which range from carer of the year, community nurse of the year and dentist of the year, to clinical support and mental health nurse of the year.

There is plenty of time to put forward your favourites in the health service.

All entries must be received by March 20.. After that, a panel of judges will meet around a week later to begin the difficult task of narrowing the field.

They will draw up a shortlist in each of our categories. All those who make it to the shortlist will be invited to the glittering finals night to be held at the Stadium of Light on Thursday, April 16.

We want you to nominate your favourites in each of the categories listed on this page.

And for those of you with more than one worthy cause to put forward, feel free to inundate us with as many entries as you like.

To nominate, either fill in the form on this page or do it online HERE.