CARING NHS staff have been recognised for their service to patients.

More than 30 winners of the WOW! award scheme were treated to a buffet lunch at The Ark Conference Centre at Basingstoke hospital.

The awards scheme sees patients and consultants nominate staff for their work, in four categories – patient safety, above and beyond, innovation and environmental and sustainability and productivity.

Donna Green, director of nursing at Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said the scheme receives around 180 nominations per month across its three sites, in Basingstoke, Andover and Winchester.

Phil Whitehead, a non-executive director at the trust, said governors were proud to read nominations for the latest awards, before choosing the winners.

He told the winners: “It makes us so proud and somewhat humbled to be playing a small part in what is a remarkable organisation.”

Among the winners was Sarah Tombling, a specialist diabetes nurse at Basingstoke hospital, who was nominated by a patient.

The 42-year-old, from Alton, said: “The thing with diabetes is it affects every aspect of their day-to-day living.

“To be nominated for something like this, to show you have made a difference to the patient’s life, is really lovely.”

Sharon Crook, a secretary in the neurology department, was nominated by consultants Dr Lucy Kimpton and Dr Sarah Cader.

The 55-year-old, of Hillcrest Court, Winklebury, Basingstoke, said: “I feel valued by my team but it’s nice to know the consultants know what I do.”

Porter David Townley, 48, of Marnel Park, Pop-ley, was nominated by a wheelchair-bound patient at Basingstoke hospital who was afraid to go in lifts.

He said: “It was quite pleasing to get the nomination.

“Porters do not generally get many compliments. They are always the blame for everything beca-use we are bottom of the pile!”

Alexandra Thur-ston, from Kings-clere, was nominated in January for her 40 years as a nurse at the trust. The 58-year-old is now a midwife on the maternity ward at Basingstoke hospital.

She said: “It felt fantastic to be nominated, but it was quite a surprise.”

Philippa Aslet, 46, from Sherborne St John, was nominated for her work as a senior urology specialist nurse at Basingstoke hospital. She said she works mainly with patients who are waiting to find out if they have prostate cancer.

Mrs Aslet said: “It was lovely to be nominated.

“I love nursing – it’s a privilege and I wouldn’t want to do anything else.”