Our Health Heroes 2023 awards

The 2023 Our Health Heroes Awards celebrated the the contribution of support staff in vital roles, recognising those people who go above and beyond.

8 June 2023

The winners of the 2023 Our Health Heroes Awards were announced on Wednesday 7 June at a ceremony in London.

The awards, now in its seventh year, are organised by Skills for Health and celebrate a range of support roles in health and care. 

There are 11 categories, which recognise and honour the hard work carried out daily by thousands of staff across the UK. From porters and cleaners to receptionists, gardeners and security guards, these often unsung heroes make up roughly 40 per cent of the NHS’s million plus workforce. Our Health Heroes Awards is a national celebration of their achievements and an opportunity to give thanks for the important role that they play in keeping our health service functioning.

This year, the awards were supported by NHS EmployersNHS Race & Health ObservatoryNHS England, UNISON, SFJ Awards, and National Health Executive.

NHS Employers sponsored the Outstanding Lifetime Contribution to Healthcare Award, which was won by Toni Starr, from Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, for her services to neonatal nursing for 52 years, contributing to and championing evidence-based approaches to achieve the best for babies.

Danny Mortimer, chief executive of NHS Employers, said:

“NHS Employers is proud to support the Our Health Heroes Awards Outstanding Lifetime Contribution to Healthcare category for 2023.

“I would like to pass on my sincere congratulations to all the winners of this year’s awards and to thank them for their contribution to the NHS.

“It is great that we can recognise the efforts of these individuals and teams through these awards and to celebrate the huge difference they make to patient care.”

Visit the Skills for Health website.

View all of the winners below, ordered gold, silver and bronze. 

    • Toni Starr, neonatal sister, Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
    • Salli Jeynes, chief executive officer, The End of Life Partnership
    • Sandra Hands, cluster manager for North West Prisons, Spectrum Community Health CIC
    • Joe Maslen, radiotherapy assistant practitioner, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust
    • Rochelle Sampson-Clarke, estates project officer, Solent NHS Trust
    • Hailei Petersen, apprentice nurse, Devon Partnership NHS Trust
    • Mary McElroy, integrated care team admin support, Southern Health & Social Care Trust
    • Laura Cavina, involvement volunteer coordinator, South West London and St George’s Mental Health NHS Trust
    • Katie Whittam, coordinator/trainer, South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust
    • Karen Read, breast cancer support worker, Royal United Hospitals Bath NHS Foundation Trust
    • Edelle Brown, associate practitioner, City Health Partnership CIC
    • Helen McGowan-Thomson, recruitment and education support assistant, Bedfordshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
    • The Sleep Charity (Dedication to a Lifelong Learning Culture – sponsored by SFJ Awards)
    • Brighter Futures, Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (Best Health and Care Initiative by a UK Charity)
    • Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust (NHS Improvement through Digital Innovation)
    • Bridgewater Community Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust (Best Integrated Care Workforce Programme)
    • Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust (Best Emergency Services Collaboration)
    • Coventry and Warwickshire Partnership NHS Trust (Best Healthcare Initiative in a Community or Criminal Justice Setting)
    • Practice Plus Group (Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Champion)