People's hero nurse Jo eases the suffering for patients at Doncaster Royal Infirmary

She is part of what they call the caring profession - but Doncaster nurse Jo Mann takes it to a whole new level.

By The Newsroom
Wednesday, 13th September 2017, 9:07 am
Updated Wednesday, 27th September 2017, 10:39 am
Doncaster and Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals most caring person winner Jo Mann with Jim Brimble of NHS Professionals and TV personality  Harry Gration
Doncaster and Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals most caring person winner Jo Mann with Jim Brimble of NHS Professionals and TV personality Harry Gration

Jo, from Westwoodside, a gynae-cancer specialist nurse has been heralded for going beyond the call of duty to help make sure a patient and her family were coping after being told the patient was dying of cancer, providing calls to their home to check-on their well-being.

The grateful family said thank-you by nominating her the Doncaster and Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals Trust's Star awards - in which she was this week handed the carer of the year award.

It was one of 12 awards dished out at an awards night at the Keepmoat Stadium, compered by television personality Harry Gration.

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Jo beat two other nominees for the caring award, Dr Nigel Brooke and Julie Pridmore.

She was nominated by the daughter of a patient that she cared for whose mother was diagnosed with cancer. Jo was present when the terminal cancer diagnosis was given, and made sure it was a calm and supportive discussion.

A hospital spokesman said: "She gave the family time to digest the information and gave them the support they needed. Jo has since gone above and beyond, calling the patient at home to make sure she is coping and is on the other end of the phone whenever the family need advice or re-assurance.

The patient's daughter, named only Carol, said: "I cannot put into words how Jo has has helped us all through the initial shock and devastation of mum's diagnosis and we will always be grateful to her for treating mum like an individual and caring about her. Jo is an absolute star, not just a specialist nurse, but a special nurse also."

Jo, aged 52, who work has worked at the Doncaster Royal Infirmary for 13 years, said it felt really humbling to be nominated and win the award.

She said: "It is just what we do. It is a privilege to do the job and I want to do anything I can make a cancer diagnosis a little bit easier for the patient.

"A diagnosis can change the lives of a patient forever and if we can help just a bit it is privilige for us.

"But I work as part of a team - it is not just me, and I'm proud to be part of that team."

Nigel was nominated by a dad of two, with whose children he has had regular appointments, for his hard work and dedication which led to one of the youngsters going to school dressed as him for a 'dress as your hero' day.

Julie was nominated for the lengths she goes to reassure the breast cancer patients she works with, and her efforts to raise money for hospital projects.

Another hero revealed on the night was John Malee, although he was not there to pick up his Unsung Hero award.

Mortuary service assistant John works with bereaved relatives, and was praised for the compassion, dignity and respect with with he treats those relatives.

Also nominated for unsung hero were Amy Farrington and Rebecca Wilson.

Amy was nominated by a grateful patient after she helped to re-unite her with photographs and handprints of her stillborn baby, taken in 2003. Amy was on the case every day and determined to help.

The unnamed patient said: "As soon as I got the phone call I had happy tears flowing down my face. I never imagined I would get the photos after all these years by thanks to Amy and Jo in the patient experience team, and Nick, the photographer, my wish has come true. Amy is my star as she went that extra mile for me when she didn't have to."

Rebecca was nominated for her work to improve end of life care at the trust's respiratory unit. She was instrumental in developing the Nightingale Suite, where relatives can spend the night, and has since introduced improvements there.

Hospital chief executive Richard Parker praised the winners and the nominees. He said: "This is all about our staff, and the NHS and its core values - it is the people who make care and support possible, and on a 24 hour basis, and often unsung."

Award winners:

Leader of the Year

Winner: Dr Juan Ballesteros

Nominated: Jane Dumville, Suzanne Bolam

Unsung hero

Winner: John Malee

Nominated: Amy Farrington, Rebecca Wilkinson


Winner:Julie Shaw

Nominated: Carol Orr, Care of the elderly team


Winner: Rebecca Fox

Nominated: Tommy Chan, Lauren Wales and Shaunna Turner-Flynn


Winner: Ward 25

Nominated: HeatherJackson, Julie Thornton and Sarah Plowman

Most caring person

Winner: Jo Mann

Nominated: Dr Nigel Brooke, Julie Pridmore


Winner: Library volunteers

Nominated: Jenny Liddle, Basssetlaw Hospital reception volunteers


Winner: Jennie Harris

Nominated: Amy Neal, Mark Fairweather


Winner: Cindy Storer and Rod Kersh

Nominated: Gerard Jayamanne, Stacey Nutt and Karen Lanaghan


Winner: Respiratory unit

Nominated: Patient flow, Flu campaign, Bariatric surgery, lung cancer nurse specialists

Star of the Year

Winner: Ward 18

Highly commented: Diane Thorlby-Coy, Julia Shaw

Star of Stars: Jennie Harris