The Sunderland hospital hero who became an award winner after 30 years in the NHS

An NHS stalwart has reflected on his Best of Health awards win as “a bit of a surprise but a very welcome one.”

Saturday, 9th February 2019, 08:00 am
Dave McNicholas at last year's Sunderland & South Tyneside Health Awards at the Roker Hotel.

Dave McNicholas was one of two winners of last year’s Long Term Achievement category in the Sunderland Echo-run awards which is back again for 2019.

Dave, the ICCU manager at City Hopsitals Sunderland, shared the honour with Kamil Wynne from South Tyneside.

Dave McNicholas (left) gets his award from Ken Bremner (right) the Chief Executive City Hospitals NHS FT & South Tyneside NHS FT.

And Dave described how the honour could not have been more timely as he headed towards semi retirement.

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Reflecting on last year’s ceremony, he said: “I did not really expect it as there were lots of very good nominations. It was a bit of a surprise but a very welcome one.

“But to be honest, what I remember most about it is what happened after the night.

“I remember the number of people who stopped me in the corridor of the hospital and congratulated me. There were people saying ‘well done, well deserved’ and that was really nice.”

But Dave stressed that winning the trophy was an award for the whole of his section and not just himself. “It is recognition for the people around me. I would not have got anywhere if it was not for lots of other people.”

Dave stressed the importance of people putting forward their own health heroes for this year’s competition.

He said: “Even for those who don’t get to win, the fact that someone sees fit to nominate you is very pleasing.

“And if you do win, it is really nice that people stop you and say ‘well done’ even if they don’t know you.”

Dave has worked in the NHS for over 30 years. His nomination last year said: “David’s enthusiasm, leadership and values have contributed significantly to the quality of the services provided by critical care, which are enviable by any measurement across the range of key national targets for critical care.”

Now the search is on for this year’s winners.

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 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 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;

* Email those entries to .

* 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


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.