HOSPITAL chiefs have celebrated the dedication of staff with the return of an annual awards ceremony.

Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust hosted the sixth annual WOW! Awards Gala Ceremony to honour the team members from the Royal Hampshire County Hospital (RHCH) in Winchester, the Basingstoke and North Hampshire Hospital, and the Andover War Memorial Hospital.

The special guest for the evening was Holby City actor Guy Henry, while the event was attended by the mayors of Basingstoke and Deane, Test Valley Winchester, as well as representatives from the Rotary clubs of Andover, Basingstoke and Winchester.

Vicky Houghton, a community children’s nurse based at the RHCH, picked up the Chief Nurse’s Award after being nominated by the parents of a child with complex medical needs who she has been working with for the last 15 years.

The nomination read: “Vicky has been our rock as we have journeyed through our son’s childhood. Without her, that journey would have been so much more difficult. She epitomises all that is best about the NHS – never failing to go well above and beyond what is required. She is exceptional!”

Vicky said: “This family mean a lot to me because I have been working with them for such a long time. It was a privilege to work with this boy as he grew up and turned into a lovely young man.

“What the nomination said about me is amazing and it sums up what I try to do for all of the children I work with, so I’m really proud.”

Also, the team of doctors, nurses and therapists working on Clifton Ward at the hospital picked up the Medical Services Award for their treatment not only of a 92-year-old patient coming to the end of his life, but also his family.

Carol Carle, a senior sister on Clifton Ward, said: “I am very proud of the whole team. Everyone was mentioned in the nomination, which was really nice and shows that we have a great team.

“We are committed to making sure that we offer the same high standard of care for all of our patients and their families.”

Over the course of 2018, the trust received 3,514 WOW! nominations.

Steve Erskine, chairman of the trust, said: “It’s a privilege to be here working in the same organisation as all of you. You are all magnificent, fantastic, brilliant!”