It’s time for YOU to vote for your NHS hero.

Members of the public are nominating their chosen one as part of Southend Hospital’s annual Hospital Heroes Awards, in conjunction with the Echo.

The coveted Patients’ Choice Award is the one residents get to vote on.

Three finalists have been short-listed from nominations received and residents can now vote and decide who wins.

Echo Editor Chris Hatton said: “The Echo is proud to be backing these awards.

“I would encourage as many people as possible to vote and ensure we can give these medical workers the recognition they deserve.

“Our NHS staff do an amazing job and it’s so important to recognise them.”

The awards evening will be held on Friday, October 11, at Saxon Hall, Aviation Way, Southend.

How you can vote

RESIDENTS can now vote for their winner in the hospital awards online.

Once voters have clicked on the link, they will see an outline of why each of the three finalists were chosen along with a picture of each nominee.

This gives the voters the information they need to decide to cast their vote.

There is then a chance for voters to chose between the three.

Voting for the Patient’s Choice Awards closes at 9am on Friday, September 27. So get your vote in!

To vote for this year’s hospital awards, click here.



DOCTOR David Gallagher is an extremely dedicated neurologist whose colleagues testify to the numerous compliments received from patients.

They say how caring and compassionate he is, always going above and beyond.

He is an extremely respected member of the team and is one of the “go-to” consultants for staff.

He’s described as a walking dictionary of medical terms, has a great sense of humour, is always approachable and will always find time for his colleagues.

A patient of his said: “I know we are only patients but his after care and help is fantastic. He’s got such a caring attitude and talks to you as if you are a friend.”

One nominator was taken aback by the dedication and care her husband received, she said: “Despite being diagnosed with a terminal condition, Dr Gallagher reassured my husband he’ll do everything possible to help. As I sat watching the care, my husband received, I was brought to tears.”



ANETA Kowalik was nominated by a family after the care she gave their grandmother.

The family, who asked not to be named, said: “I am nominating this staff member because she went beyond her role when looking after my grandmother while she was a patient on Estuary Ward.

“Aneta has an excellent bedside manner, brilliant communication skills and a witty sense of humour, which my grandmother said kept the patients going.

“She is hardworking and treats every patient as an individual.

“Even when Aneta was working on a different team she would come to make sure my grandmother was okay.“This shows how caring and compassionate she is as even though she had her own team of patients to look after she still kept an eye on the other patients on the ward.

“Aneta’s presence is uplifting for patients and keeps them going.

“My grandmother was a very proud lady and never wanted to come into hospital but she stated that Aneta made her experience a lot better and distracted her from her terminal illness.”



BEREAVEMENT midwife, Amanda Cushing has been nominated after supporting a family who went through the trauma of a still-birth.

The family, who asked to anonymous, said: “Our daughter was tragically born sleeping in January of this year.

“The midwives on duty during the time we spent at the hospital, along with the bereavement midwife Amanda Cushing, have been nothing short of phenomenal this year.

“Being in labour knowing our daughter was going to be born sleeping was by far the most emotionally painful time of our lives, but the compassion shown by those midwives, not just to myself and my husband, but also to visiting family was more than we could have ever hoped for.

“Amanda visited us at our home, undertook all of the funeral arrangements for us and took care of all the official paperwork so we didn’t have to. She gave us her personal phone number so we could contact her on holiday if we needed someone to talk to.”