They were Happy winners last year- but who will be this year’s Sunderland health heroes?

GP/GP Practice of the Year Award winners Happy House Surgery receive their award from Ken Bremner Chief Executive City Hospitals NHS FT & South Tyneside NHS FT.
GP/GP Practice of the Year Award winners Happy House Surgery receive their award from Ken Bremner Chief Executive City Hospitals NHS FT & South Tyneside NHS FT.

It was a night to remember for an award-winning Sunderland GP practice - and now bosses are urging Echo readers to nominate their successor.

The Happy House Surgery in Sunderland took home the trophy for the GP/GP Practice of the Year category in last year’s Best of Health Awards.

The Happy House Surgery team at last year's awards.

The Happy House Surgery team at last year's awards.

Now comes the search for this year’s winners and Stephen Harder, practice manager for Happy House, reflected on the hugely successful event last year.

He said: “It was an absolutely brilliant night and it was a great venue with a lovely atmosphere. Everyone felt part of it.”

He described the competition finale as “well put together.

“We were fortunate to be winners but really, everyone in the room were winners and so were a lot of the people who did not make it to the finals night.”

There are lots of great stories that individuals will know about people who have given them great service.

Stephen Harder

But Stephen welcomed the effect that being an awards winner has on the surgery. “It is nice to have that recognition, particularly as it came from our local press,” he said.

Happy House was chosen as a winner after the competition judges read the nominations for the practice, including one from a patient who said she “would not be here today” if it were not for Happy House.

They spotted the signs of a very serious condition and their intervention helped to save her life.

Now the search has started to find a successor to Happy House in this year’s competition.

Happy House is another of the great examples of health professionals who give such wonderful service to the people of Wearside and County Durham.

We want you to nominate your own health heroes and here are some details of this year’s competition.

THE SPONSORS.

Once again the Shields Gazette and Sunderland Echo is holding the annual awards in partnership with South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust and City Hospitals Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust.

The sponsors for this year’s awards include Sunderland Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), and East Coast Fitness.

THE TIMELINE.

The deadline for all nominations to be submitted is Friday, April 5, and the judges will meet the following week to decide on the shortlist.

The final will be held at the Roker Hotel, in Sunderland, on Thursday, May 9.

HOW TO ENTER.

To nominate, send your name, address and phone number, as well as your email address, if applicable.

Send the name of the person you wish to nominate, along with their address, telephone number and email (if known).

Remember to include the category you are putting your nominated cause into.

And send a detailed reason as to why you think your nominated person or organisation should be choen as the winner.

There are three ways you can nominate;

* Email those entries to lynn.wild@jpress.co.uk.

* Send them to Lynn Wild, Alexander House, Second Floor, Rainton Bridge Business Park, Houghton-le-Spring, Sunderland, DH4 5RA.

* Nominate online. Visit the website at http://www.nehealthawards.co.uk.

THE CATEGORIES.

* GP or GP Practice of the Year.

* Dentist or Dental Practice of the Year.

* Pharmacist or Pharmacy of the Year.

* Hospital Doctor of the Year.

* Nurse of the Year.

* Optometrist of the Year.

* Therapist of the Year.

* Midwife of the Year.

* Care Worker of the Year.

* Customer Service/Unsung Hero of the Year.

* Community Healthcare Initiative Year.

* Healthier Lifestyle Award.

* Mental Wellbeing Award.

* Lifetime Achievement Award.