Vanessa’s a Hero

…and that’s official!

VVanessa and awardanessa Byford has been named Hospital Hero of 2014 after a joint project by Echo Newspapers and Southend Hospital. Readers of the paper and patients and their relatives at the hospital were asked to nominate hospital staff for the Patient Choice Award. Our own Vanessa, who is a healthcare assistant on Benfleet Ward (a stroke unit) got the most nominations.

Vanessa ByfordVanessa  was described as caring, compassionate, kind, gentle, patient and empathetic.Her patients said she was always smiling and was passionate about adding the personal touch to her care, doing her best to ease their worries and concerns.

Patients and families alike had so much good to say about her and that was reflected in the 1,566 public votes she received – 68 percent of the total.

The Echo reported on what people had to say about her:

Janice Battison, from Basildon, was a patient on the ward and nominated Vanessa for her care, love and compassion.

She said: “Vanessa is a wonderful nurse, is so dedicated and brightens up the ward when she is there. She calmed me down, generally had time for me and answered my questions; to me she is my Florence Nightingale.”

The health care assistant was also nominated on behalf of the whole Cornish family from Leigh-on-Sea.

Lisa Cornish wrote in saying: “My dad, very sadly, has had to be in hospital for the past seven weeks, during that time my family and I have been blown away by the kindness of Vanessa. She is gentle, patient and exceptionally empathetic and nothing is ever too much trouble for her. We have witnessed on several occasions how she interacts with my dad, and it shows she really is in the right profession.

“On one occasion my dad was very upset he hadn’t washed that day, despite due to go off shift in the next 20 minutes, Vanessa sat patiently, listening to my dad’s concerns and then offered to help shower him if it would help ease his worries.

“She works on what I can only imagine is a very challenging ward with patients who are sometimes very ill, yet remains amazingly cheerful and friendly, with a lovely smile on her face every time we have seen her. On behalf of my family we truly believe dad’s difficult time in hospital has been eased by Vanessa’s presence.”

Vanessa said she was surprised to get the most nominations and thanks all who nominated her.

Picture of Vanessa in uniform courtesy Echo Newspapers


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