WITHYBUSH Hospital’s Karen Harries led the list of winners at the Western Telegraph Health and Care Awards as she scooped a prestigious double on a night to remember for her and many others.

The A&E team supervisor received the Monmouthshire Building Society-sponsored Support Staff of the Year gong and then, to round off the special online ceremony, collected the Outstanding Achievement prize, which was backed by event co-headline sponsors BMI Werndale Hospital and the Bluestone Foundation.

Hosted by Dr Hilary Jones and featuring congratulatory video messages from well-known celebrities including rugby stars Shane Williams and Sam Warburton, Wednesday night’s ceremony, broadcast on the Western Telegraph’s Facebook page, was a salute to the region’s healthcare heroes.

The efforts of those currently working in the healthcare sector have never been so valuable given the strain placed on the industry by the coronavirus pandemic.

This year’s awards were a chance for people to show their appreciation to those who have gone above and beyond in the fight against Covid-19, a virus which affected us all in one way or another during 2020 – and looks like it will continue to do so for some time yet.

Celebrating back-to-back successes on the night were Well Pharmacy, St Davids and Paul Sartori Hospice at Home, who triumphed in the Pharmacy of the Year and Pembrokeshire College-backed Together We Achieve categories respectively.

Langton Hall in Fishguard was crowned Care Home of the Year, Haverfordwest’s Winch Lane Surgery picked up the GP Practice of the Year honour and Dr Abdullah Cheema’s work earned him the Doctor of the Year title.

Sarah Hicks, a respiratory clinical nurse specialist based at Withybush, landed the Direct Nursing Services-sponsored Nurse of the Year gong, while Angelo Rossi, who provides foot care for the homeless, was named Volunteer of the Year, an award sponsored by Western Power Distribution.

Social worker Keeley Connor fought off some stiff competition to scoop the West Wales Unsung Hero crown, sponsored by Pembrokeshire Leisure Services, and Hywel Dda University Health Board’s Blue Team (Dr Sarah Davidson, Prof Ken Woodhouse, Dr Sue Dring and Dr Carlos Aguirre) received the t2-backed Best Innovation award.

Robert Rees prevailed in a head-to-head with Rory Robinson for the Valero-sponsored Paramedic of the Year award, Cariad Pet Therapy CIC landed the Mental Health and Wellbeing accolade, while Jolly Jumpers Day Nursery took the Early Years award.

The video of the ceremony can still be viewed by visiting facebook.com/westerntelegraph