Lottie O’Byrne supports The Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital, near Oswestry, to provide care packages for children and young people who have undergone spinal fusion surgery – a procedure she had herself back in October 2018 following her scoliosis diagnosis.
The 19-year-old has been recognised in the NHS Rising Star Award category, which aims to celebrate those who are under 30 who give up their time, lend their experiences and deliver better services for themselves and others in their area.
She has been named as a regional winner for the Midlands, and will now go forward to the national finals, with overall winners being announced next year.
Lottie, who had two curves in her spine as a result of scoliosis, said: “I am so excited to have been chosen as the regional winner in the NHS Rising Star category.
“Recovering from spinal fusion surgery is so challenging – both physically and mentally – and involves learning to do basic things again such as sitting, standing and walking.
“I wanted to do everything I could to help other patients, so decided to set up Smiles for Scoliosis and create care packages as I know first-hand that it’s a really difficult time and having little thoughtful gifts will help lift the spirits of both the patient and their families.
“Ann Bishop, the specialist spinal nurse at RJAH, has been so supportive and helpful throughout the process – I definitely could not have done it without her.”
The NHS Parliamentary Awards see MPs and NHS leaders join forces to honour health and care staff who have helped to improve treatment for patients.
The judges, drawn from across the NHS, have selected the 10 regional winners who have been selected from over 147 nominations, one in each of the 10 categories.
Mark Brandreth, chief executive of the hospital, said: “Lottie is such an inspiring young woman and it’s fantastic she’s going above and beyond to support patients on their road to recovery.
“I am delighted that she has been chosen as the regional Midlands winner for the NHS Rising Star Award.”
Owen Paterson, north Shropshire MP, said: "I was delighted to hear to hear that Lottie has made the shortlist for NHS Rising Star Award in this year's NHS Parliamentary Awards.
"This is a great achievement and a testament to her hard work and dedication.
"She is one of many inspirational individuals and teams at RJAH and I am pleased that she has been recognised in this way."
Dr Nigel Sturrock, regional medical director at NHS England and NHS Improvement in the Midlands, said: “I was impressed by the high standard of all entries from the Midlands this year and choosing between the dozens of teams and individuals who all go above and beyond, to go forward and represent our region, has been incredibly difficult. I wish our champions the best of luck in the national heats and will be rooting for them on the day.”
Lottie will now go head to head with other winners from across the country to be judged by a national panel made up of senior leaders representing staff and patients, for the chance to win the prestigious national award, which will be presented at a special ceremony in the House of Commons in July 2021.