THERE is still a week to vote for Patients’ Choice Awards at Southend Hospital with a shortlist of three finalists.

As of last Thursday, there had been 12,000 votes from the public for their favourite team or member of staff.

The finalist with the most votes will be crowned Patients’ Choice winner at the invite-only Hospital Heroes awards ceremony on Friday September 22.

The three finalists are the Early Pregnancy Unit (EPU) team, consisting of Lesley Eldridge and Louise Leech, Consultant Urological Surgeon, Panagiotis Dimopoulos and Emma Matthews, and Dr Dora Amran from the Cardiac and Medical Day Stay (CMDS) team.

Amanda Burton, Interim Head of the Communications Department which organises the event, said: “We are thrilled to have broken our voting record with over a week still to go.

“We have also received lots of positive comments on social media which demonstrates how much our local community value the care provided by the staff here at Southend Hospital.

“Voting is really tight between all three finalists at the moment, with no indication of who might be the ultimate winner.”

Lesley received two nominations for this award, one for her quick thinking at home and one for the work she and her team do at Southend.

One of her patients – who is also her neighbour – collapsed at home with a suspected ectopic pregnancy.

Knowing the patient’s history, Lesley rang ahead to the hospital, arranging staff and blood transfusions to be ready for when they arrived by ambulance.

Lesley and Louise also received a nomination from a patient who has sadly suffered two devastating miscarriages within six months but whom they supported through advice and care.

Mr Dimopoulos received his nomination from a patient who says he owes his life to him.

The nominator had to have his bladder and prostate removed as a result of bladder cancer and chemotherapy wasn’t even an option due to the fact he suffered from lupus.

After successful surgery, Mr Dimopoulos showed the patient outstanding, nominee-worthy care and attention.

The CMDS team received a nomination from a husband who was so touched by the care and compassion his wife received from the team.

To vote for your favourite team or member of staff out of the three finalists, visit