MEDICAL staff who go the extra mile to help patients have been recognised for their outstanding service.

The winners of the NHS Castle Point and Rochford CCG Quality Awards were announced during a ceremony at the Skylark Hotel, near Southend Airport.

Award categories were judged by members of the CCG's nursing and quality team, along with patient representatives.

Chief nurse Tricia D'Orsi said it was an occasion to give back to those that have put in extra work for a patient.

She said: “Around 3,000 patients are seen every day in Castle Point and Rochford. We've heard so many wonderful stories about how staff have gone the extra mile for patient, we wanted to take the time to say thank you."

The six categories included a people's choice award decided by the public, which was won by Dr Luke Whiting of Audley Mills Surgery, Rayleigh.

Dr Whiting was praised for being listening and understanding, being described as a "tower of strength and support" by one patient who was helped through a difficult time.

Ms D’Orsi said: “We had some very powerful examples of excellent care. It was very difficult to choose the winner for this category.”

Kath Daly, patient representative for NHS Castle Point and Rochford CCG, added:“As patients ourselves, we have a different perspective on what matters to us.

"I want to thank all of the dedicated nurses, doctors, paramedics, and other healthcare professionals that work tirelessly to make us all better.

"You are all a credit to our world-class NHS. Having seen all of the nominations that came through, the one thing that struck me was how many hardworking, dedicated and committed individuals we have working in our doctors surgeries in Castle Point and Rochford. Despite on-going pressures and inspections, there are still many that are willing to go the extra mile to provide excellent patient care.”

Dr Sami Ozturk, of Wakering Medical Practice, won the innovation award for introducing an initiative allowing people with diabetes to take control of their health, while encouraging them to seek peer support and guidance.

The award for public engagement was won by Ashingdon Medical Centre, where receptionists were praised by going above and beyond for patients.

Heather Cannon, practice nurse at High Road Surgery, Benfleet, picked up an award for using technology to improve quality.

She is developing a frailty register at the practice to ensure elderly patients get the care they need.

Yvonne Dray, practice manager at Greensward Surgery, Hockley, won the leadership award, while Julie Choppen, a healthcare assistant at Essex Way Surgery, Benfleet, was named the unsung hero, being described as a dedicated role model.