Celebrating our healthcare heroes

from left, Angela Shackleton, Martin Shackleton, Chantelle McGovern and Tom Baines at the Blackpool Gazette Best of Health Awards
from left, Angela Shackleton, Martin Shackleton, Chantelle McGovern and Tom Baines at the Blackpool Gazette Best of Health Awards

The very best of the Fylde coast’s medical professionals were celebrated at The Gazette’s Best of Health Awards.

Doctors, nurses, carers, dentists, midwives, pharmacists and childcare practitioners were among those rewarded after being nominated for excellence, for going above and beyond their normal duties to look after others.

Carer of the Year Winner Liam Quinn at the Blackpool Gazette Best of Health Awards

Carer of the Year Winner Liam Quinn at the Blackpool Gazette Best of Health Awards

Hosted by Radio Wave’s Ged Mills and Hayley Kay, the event at the Imperial Hotel saw awards handed out before a dinner and entertainment.

Alison Farron, regional manager for headline sponsor Barchester, said: “We’re here to celebrate some amazing people who’ve been nominated because they ensure the people of the Fylde coast get excellent care. Those nominated have proven they’ve exceeded customer expectations on the level of care they give.

“At Barchester we’re committed to providing high-quality services and we are very proud to be associated with the Best of Health awards.

Winner of the midwife category, Francesca Hall, was nominated for helping a lady through a lengthy labour, long after her shift had finished. The winner paid tribute ‘every one of my colleagues on the unit’ and added: “I’d really like to thank my family for getting me to where I am today.”

Dentist Zuber Bagasi of Synergy Dental took the award for the third time, and said: “Thank-you to my amazing team for making this happen. It definitely wouldn’t have been possible without you.”

Doctor of the Year winner Dr Susnerwala said: “Thank-you to all my patients over the years. I’m part of a big team of nurses and doctors and administrative staff who work behind the scenes.

“I’m not the only one – it’s a big team so thanks to all of them.”

He paid tribute to secretaries who had worked with him since he started at the Vic and added: “I’d also like to thank my family for supporting me over all the years.”

Peter Mowbray was named Unsung Hero.

The off-duty medic used the torch on his mobile phone to help save a security guard’s life after he was attacked with a bottle.

Dad-of-five Darren Fisher, 41, was smashed over the head outside Sainsbury’s in Talbot Road, leaving him with a suspected bleed on the brain.

Peter, who works in theatre at Blackpool Victoria Hospital, rushed to his aid and realised the guard’s left eye was ‘blown’ - which indicates he had a serious head injury - so made him sit up to reduce the pressure on his brain to prevent brain damage or even death.

The story made the front page of The Gazette.

Accepting the award, emotional Peter said: “I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for Darren who I’m glad to say is doing pretty well. Thank-you to my friends and family – and to you all.”

He then used the torch light on his mobile phone to shine into Mr Fisher’s eyes to make sure he wasn’t deteriorating as they waited for an ambulance.

Darren, who was in hospital for three days but is now making a good recovery, said: “It’s an amazing thing that Peter has done. I’m forever in his debt.”

Peter said: “I’m immensely proud that it all came together in the end.”

Nurse of the Year Award, sponsored by Spire Fylde Coast Hospital

Winner: Francesca Hall, Blackpool Victoria Hospital

Shortlisted Nominees: Heidi Williams, Marton Medical Practice; Joanne Holt, Gateway Mental Health Services; Amanda Fewtrell, Whitegate Drive Walk-In Centre

Carer of the Year Award sponsored by UCLAN

Winner Liam Quinn, Blackpool Carer’s Centre

Shortlisted nominees: Gary Feeney, Langdales Care Home; Star Bickerstaffe, Joanne Fletcher, Daniel Wilkinson

Midwife of the Year Award sponsored by The Gazette

Outright Winner: Chantelle McGovern

Pharmacist of the Year Award sponsored by Barchester Healthcare

Winner: Jabir Bala, Rhodes Pharmacy

Shortlisted Nominees: Lytham Road Pharmacy

Elderly Welfare Award sponsored by Whitworth Chemists

Winner: Susan Forbes, Glenroyd Care Home

Shortlisted Nominees: Mandy Banks, Blackpool Victoria Hospital; June Riches, Langdales Care Home; Deena Whittingham, Langdales Care Home

Childcare of the Year Award sponsored by Spiral Health

Winner: Sally Manning and Kim Barry, Grunty’s Day Care Nursery

Shortlisted Nominees: Jane McNair, Busy Bees

Therapist of the Year Award

Winner: Sam Wall, Spire Fylde Coast Hospital

Shortlisted Nominees: Richard Baron, Spiral Healthcare

Dentist of the Year Award sponsored by Barchester Healthcare

Winner: Zuber Bagasi, Synergy Dental

Shortlisted Nominees: Howard Hunter, Ivory Dental Care; Sharon Caro, St Annes Dental Practice

Doctor of the Year Award sponsored by Synergy Dental Clinic

Winner: Dr Susnerwala, Blackpool Victoria Hospital

Shortlisted Nominees: Dr Billington, Marton Medical Practice; Dr Rahman, Beechwood Surgery; Dr Au, Queensway Medical Centre

Unsung Hero Award sponsored by FCMS and PDS Medical

Winner: Peter Mowbray

Shortlisted nominees: Lynn Hardman; Mags Hanning and Charlie; Kate Stashkiw

The Gazette Special Recognition Award

Winner: The Palliative and End of Life Team, Blackpool Victoria Hospital