A CHATTERBOX health worker who loves the challenge of caring for ‘grumpy patients’ has been hailed as one of Royal Blackburn Hospital’s unsung heroes.

Dot O’Meara, a healthcare assistant on ward C3, was named as one of 10 ‘Star Award’ winners at East Lancashire Hospital NHS Trust, after more than 200 individuals and teams were nominated for the hospitals’ annual celebration.

The mum-of-three from Accrington has only worked on the gastroenterology ward for 14 months, but has already put forward several simple ideas which have made a big difference for patients.

The 49-year-old had noticed patients and their families often struggled to remember all the information and guidance given to them by medics, so make it easier, she suggested the standard information should be printed on business cards which the patients could keep.

She also developed a formal handover process for healthcare assistants, similar to that used by nurses, to ensure better consistency of care.

Dot said: “When I started here I was a fresh pair of eyes and sometimes simple things can get buried in the business of the day. “The business cards have been really well received, but my main passion is communicating with patients.

“I’m someone who chats a lot, but I try and be perceptive to different people and what they like. You do get grumpy patients sometimes but I love the challenge of trying to soften the experience for them. I also have some great colleagues and we make a wonderful team.” The judges selected her for the Unsung Hero award and said: “Dot is an utterly humbling individual. She goes the extra mile to improve the care of patients and their families and has a reputation for getting patients to laugh and relax.”