Hospital porter Barry carries off top award

West Suffolk Hospital,Porter of the year 'Bk Lesley Williams, Barry Dixon
West Suffolk Hospital,Porter of the year 'Bk Lesley Williams, Barry Dixon
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A kind, compassionate porter who provides a top quality service to patients at West Suffolk Hospital was recognised at a special ceremony on Friday.

Barry Dixon was presented with the Michael Williams’ Porter of the Year shield during a ceremony in the Bury St Edmunds hospital’s Time Out restaurant.

The 56-year-old, who joined the hospital five years ago and is currently working as a supervisor, was given the award in recognition of his commitment and dedication to his role.

Runners-up were Jack Sanderson, a part-time porter who works in A&E, and Jason Catton, who usually works the night shift. All three live in Bury.

Jan Bloomfield, the hospital’s executive director of workforce and communications, said: “The porter of the year award recognises the enormous contribution which our porters make to the smooth running of the hospital each and every day.

“It is a pleasure to be able to thank them publicly for their efforts and the compassion and dedication they show.”

The title is awarded in memory of Michael Williams, who worked at the hospital for ten years.

It recognises the excellent service provided by porters, whose duties include transporting patients, collecting waste, delivering food trolleys and maintaining medical gas cylinders.

All hospital staff are able to vote for the porter they feel has made the biggest difference to patient care.

The winner receives the shield and prize money, which are presented by Mr Williams’ widow Lesley, who is a former director of nurse education at West Suffolk Hospital.

On Friday, Mrs Williams will also presented an award recognising the commitment of the hospital’s four permanent night porters, Robert Haggerty, Michael Mclaen, Kevin Woodhouse and Paul Finch, and an extraordinary prize to general bank porter Barry Richards.

Mr Richards, 51, of Fornham St Martin, joined the hospital 18 months ago, after retiring from the fire service.

Having worked 168 hours last month, he said: “I think it was given to me because I’d covered a lot of shifts and at short notice. I didn’t think I’d done anything out of the ordinary to be honest.”