Four hundred members of staff, sponsors and guests recently packed Springwood Park Hall in Kelso for the fourth annual NHS Borders Celebrating Excellence Awards.

In what is a highlight of the year for local NHS staff, awards were handed out to 12 individuals and teams, with another 11 chairman’s commendations also distributed.

The award categories reflected NHS Borders’ values and celebrated staff, nominated by the public and fellow staff members, who are deemed to have upheld these to the highest degree possible.

When nominations opened to the public earlier this year, NHS Borders received more than 120 nominations from patients, their families and carers about the care they had received in the Borders General Hospital, community hospitals and other services provided across the region such as mental health.

Speaking after the awards ceremony, John Raine, Chairman of NHS Borders, said it had been an incredibly successful evening and it had been fantastic to see the enthusiasm of staff and their support for their winning colleagues.

“This was an opportunity to recognise and pay tribute to the work of staff across all services, from front line to support workers, from those engaged in the community and in health centres and those who work in hospitals,” Mr Raine added.

“Against a lot of competition it was the Catering Team which took the Chairman`s Award. It`s an important part of the work of the health service and the Catering Team does such a splendid job both for patients and staff.”

Prior to the awards, staff and guests sat down to an enjoyable meal and the evening was rounded off by a disco.

Among the evening’s ecstatic winners were the clearly delighted members of the BGH Pregnancy Assessment Unit, who picked up the award for Clinical Excellence. Midwife Ann Lynch said the nine members of the team were all ‘over the moon’ to have collected an award.

“We were delighted and really surprised to have won an award given the number of really fantastic teams nominated. It means a lot that a patient felt we deserved to be recognised for our efforts.”

Fundraising Manager Karen Wilson, who along with former Fundraising Officer Morven Paterson, scooped the Partnership Working award, says it was both a “shock and an honour” to have picked up an award. “Especially as the other nominees in the category would all make worthy winners,” she said.

“We’ve made a real effort to build relationships with our colleagues in other departments and across services to help raise awareness of the charity, help it function more efficiently and create a better experience for our donors and fundraisers so it’s nice to know that has been recognised. 

“We still have lots more we hope to do so hopefully winning this award will raise awareness for the charity and help us build on our work so far.”

The Borders Hospital Radio Service was another winner, with Colin Taylor picking up the Supporter of the Year award on behalf of his fellow volunteers.

Colin commented: “We were absolutely delighted to be chosen by the Panel, to be the winners of the Supporter of the Year Award. It was taken as a sign of recognition by the hospital, and we will continue to support the hospital.”

Commenting on behalf of the Catering Team, Caroline Herkes, Catering Manager said: “The entire NHS Borders Catering team was delighted  and proud to receive  the ‘Behind the Scenes award’  at the ‘Celebrating Excellence Ceremony’ recognising not only the work of the Catering Team but also its dedication to keeping service standards high.

“Receiving the ‘Chairman’s Award’ in addition to this has left us feeling elated that our service is held in such high regard. We are all still buzzing with the ‘feel good factor’, congratulatory comments and positive feedback we are receiving.”


NHS Borders Values Award (sponsored by Unite the Union)

An individual or team who demonstrates care & compassion to patients and dignity & respect to each other whilst keeping patients at the heart of everything they do.

WINNER: Nicky Berry, Associate Director of Nursing/Head of Midwifery


Improving Health (sponsored by Greenvale AP)

An individual or team who have made a real contribution to improving the health of colleagues or members of the wider public, or to helping people take control of their own health.

WINNER: Borders Healthy Living Network


Innovation & Improvement (sponsored by

An individual or team who has implemented change, through inspired, creative or original thinking, which has improved the experience of patients, families and carers, or colleagues.

WINNER: Dialysis Unit


Leading by Example (sponsored by Porter’s Porches & Conservatories)

An individual who has demonstrated excellent leadership skills by showing genuine concern for others, mentoring or supporting and enabling the development of people and services and inspiring and motivating others to be the best they can be.

WINNER: Stephanie Errington, head of Planning & Performance


Supporter of the Year (sponsored by Hogg & Thorburn)

An individual or team who volunteer or support the organisation (for example through fundraising), or provide an outstanding service, and have shown exceptional commitment to supporting NHS Borders.

WINNER: Borders Hospital Radio Service


Primary Care Provider (sponsored by Agenor Technology)

A local team of independent contractors or an individual (i.e. a general practice, dental practice, optician or community pharmacy) which has consistently delivered high quality person-centred care to their patients. This team or individual will liaise effectively with colleagues and demonstrate significant improvements in their local services.

WINNER: Coldstream Medical Practice


Rising Star (sponsored by Clelands Volvo)

A young person who in the course of his or her studies or work placement (e.g. Junior Doctor, Student Nurse) has shown impressive dedication and commitment to furthering themselves and supporting the work of NHS Borders.

WINNER: Barbara Smith, Project Assistant, Healthy Living Network


Clinical Excellence

An individual or team who demonstrates initiative and personal motivation to provide exceptionally high quality and safe care.

WINNER: Pregnancy Assessment Unit


Partnership Working (sponsored by Unison)

An individual or team who has exemplified partnership working to deliver services more efficiently or effectively.  The nominee may have worked across boundaries within NHS Borders, within an integrated service or with external partners.

WINNER: Morven Paterson & Karen Wilson, “the difference” fund-raising team


Behind the Scenes, Clinical

A clinical individual or team who may be out of the limelight but who provide invaluable support to frontline services or colleagues in other teams.

WINNER: June Patterson, Theatre Sister


Behind the Scenes, Non-Clinical (sponsored by Five Star Taxis)

A non-clinical individual or team who may be out of the limelight but who provide invaluable support to frontline services or colleagues in other teams.

WINNER: Catering Team


Person-Centred Care (sponsored by Border Eggs)

An individual or team who deliver high quality care while being responsive to individual needs and preferences.  They are open and honest with service users and treat everyone with care, compassion, dignity and respect.

WINNER: Katie Masterson, Physiotherapy Team Leader


Chairman’s Award

This award seeks to reward an individual or team who have gone above and beyond the call of duty to help improve the life of another.

WINNER: Catering Team


In addition, Chairman’s Commendations were presented to:

Haylodge Day Hospital

John Watt, Physiotherapist

The Bereavement Team

Flora Galbraith, A&E Staff Nurse

The General Services Team

Gale Jeffrey, CPN within the Mental Health Service

Joint Learning Disability Service

Sussie Shrestha, Surgical Registrar

Teviot Medical Practice with Scottish Ambulance Paramedic Practitioners

Katie Masterson, Physiotherapy Team Leader

Newcastleton Health Centre