She was stunned to be a winner - and now she’s backing our call for 2019 Sunderland health heroes

Award-winning health worker Gill Hanratty has reflected on the ‘lovely night’ when she was declared as a champion.

Friday, 22nd March 2019, 5:00 am
Gill Hanratty with her trophy from the 2018 Best of Health Awards.

It is nearly a year since Gill collected the trophy as joint winner of the Unsung Hero category at the 2018 Best of Health Awards.

Looking back on the event, the stalwart of 22 years in the health sector said: “I was shocked and surprised. There are a lot of people out there who deserve it as much as I do.”

The 2018 Customer Service/Unsung hero award winners, presented by Neil Mundy Chairman South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust. Susan Maughn (left) and Gill Hanratty (right).

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She praised colleagues for putting her in the running for honours, and said the team she worked with was equally worthy of praise.

And she urged people to nominate worthy heroes for this year’s competition, adding: “When people recognise you for what you do and you are appreciated, it is lovely.”

She described last year’s awards night as very special and said it was lovely to hear all the stories of achievements by other excellent people in the health sector.

Gill works part of her time in the Children and Young People’s Diabetes Service and the rest in general paediatrics out-patients.

Gill is a healthcare assistant at the Niall Quinn Children’s Centre in the department of paediatrics and is described as “a fantastic example of the sort of innovative worker on which the NHS depend.”

The nominations are streaming in for this year’s competition but we want even more.

We shall be aiming to report on most of the nominated causes in the weeks to come.

That way, the top-class workers in our health profession get the recognition they deserve, whether or not they pick up an award at the end of the competition.

We need your nominations in the categories listed below.

Nominations can come from all sources. It can come from the health service professionals themselves, their colleagues, from members of the public – or from anyone who feels they know someone who deserves to be rewarded.

Once nominations come in, it will be up to a panel of judges to decide on a shortlist.

Then it is on to the finals night which will be held at the Roker Hotel, in Sunderland, on Thursday, May 9.

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


Once again the Shields Gazette and Sunderland Echo are 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), the Wonderful Wig Company and East Coast Fitness.


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.


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 chosen as the winner.

There are three ways you can nominate:

lEmail those entries to [email protected] .

lSend them to Lynn Wild, Alexander House, Second Floor, Rainton Bridge Business Park, Houghton, Sunderland, DH4 5RA.

lNominate online. Visit the website at


l GP or GP Practice of the Year.

l Dentist or Dental Practice of the Year.

l Pharmacist or Pharmacy of the Year.

l Hospital Doctor of the Year.

l Nurse of the Year.

l Optometrist of the Year.

l Therapist of the Year.

l Midwife of the Year.

l Care Worker of the Year.

l Customer Service/Unsung Hero of the Year.

l Community Healthcare Initiative Year.

l Healthier Lifestyle Award.

l Mental Wellbeing Award.

l Lifetime Achievement Award.