Andy Mitchell from Radio Wave

Blackpool Victoria Hospital A&E department/ emergency department/ urgent care centre
Blackpool Victoria Hospital A&E department/ emergency department/ urgent care centre
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We are in the throes of awards season... awards are everywhere - have you been given one yet?

Soon there will be awards nights to honour the very best of awards nights. So many chunks of plastic handed out in honour of those who’ve “gone that extra mile”.

Yet amid all the corporate ballyhoo of the gong season, just occasionally, we get to witness some very special people being recognised for their work, because in some cases it is quite literally a matter of life or death.

I refer to Friday night’s NHS Celebrating Success Awards at the Empress Ballroom.

I am honoured to have co hosted this event now for no less than 12 years, and it has grown and grown in that time to become a fabulous blue chip night at the Winter Gardens.

Everyone from cleaners and helpers to top surgeons get to take their place on the stage to receive their award from the chief exec and the chairman of the Hospital Trust.

This year was particularly poignant as it marked the 70th anniversary of the NHS nationally, and more importantly, here in Blackpool.

Prior to the dinner, we were treated to a rolling photo reel of over 150 pictures from the archives at the Vic, and my, didn’t they chronicle the rise of our famous general hospital.

Pictures of sparse wards in the 1950s were seen alongside the progressive and never ending expansion of the Victoria Hospital - work that is still continuing to this day.

Carry On Nurse style uniforms of the 60s, no nonsense matrons and even a lovely photo of the late Violet Carson opening the studios of my old station Radio Victoria, all graced the screen, and how wonderful it was.

I’ve had quite a few dealings with the Vic recently as you’ll no doubt have heard, and my love for the place and its people never leaves me.

Time and again they’ve patched us all up or pulled us back from the brink.

I was born in the Vic, they’ve cared my family and I for over 50 years, and they looked after my dad in his dying days. Everyone working in our hospital deserves an award, and not just that either - they deserve our respect and thanks every day of the year.