Nominations have now opened for Southend Hospital's annual patient's choice awards.

The hospital is searching for three shortlisted nominees for the Hospital Heroes Patient's Choice awards, as put forward by the public.

They are appealing for patients, carers, relatives, and visitors to come forward with their suggestions of staff members who have made a huge difference by going above and beyond whilst providing care.

The Echo and the Southend are proud to support this years' awards, to celebrate a member of staff who has gone the extra mile to deliver incredible service and embody the NHS ethos of care with compassion.

Last year’s winner was consultant urological surgeon, Panagiotis Dimopoulos, who received almost 60% of last year’s record breaking 16,000 votes. He collected his award to thunderous applause, but like all the winners on the evening was humble about the accolade.

After being presented with the award, he said: "It was a surprise, I feel really honoured. The true heroes are those struggling in their everyday lives for their health, I'm just one of the many people at Southend Hospital who helps improve their lives.

"It was quite unexpected to hear that I got over 8,000 votes, so I just want to thank everyone who voted for me."

Upon hearing about his big win, relatives of his patients took to social media to praise his work.

Emma Bartlett, from Canvey, said: "He is the reason my dad is here. My dad is cancer free and living his life with his wife, daughters and grandsons.

"No matter how many time we thank him it will never seem enough for what he has done for my family."

Fran Hayward, from Shoebury, also added: "This amazing man definitely saved my son's life and without him I truly believe my son would not be here now with his wife, children and family. Thank you is just not enough."

Only three nominees will make it through to the voting round, so with a deadline of July 30, don't miss the chance to show your thanks to a member of staff at the hospital.

To make a nomination, visit to download a form. Once completed, email to, or return it by post to Hospital Heroes Awards, c/o The Lodge, Southend University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Prittlewell Chase, Westcliff-on-Sea, Essex, SS0 0RY.