Across Derriford Hospital are St Luke’s specialist doctors, nurses, therapists and social workers who work alongside the hospital staff, using their expertise in end of life care and support to make a difference to terminally ill patients across every ward in their last weeks and days of life.

This dedicated team – which looks after 26% of all St Luke’s patients – is celebrating a prestigious regional award that’s all the more special because the nomination came from the very people who benefit from the compassionate care the team gives, our patients. The accolade – the Special Category Silver Award – has been bestowed upon the team in the Outstanding Care Awards for Devon and Cornwall, which are organised by the Care Network Group.

Each year, the awards celebrate those working in the care sector, from the emergency services to catering teams, highlighting the huge contribution of those who consistently go beyond the call of duty and to whom we all owe such a debt a gratitude.

The ‘Special Category’ recognises those who’ve made the biggest overall impact on the sector. The nomination for our team stated that St Luke’s is a service ‘Plymouth cannot live without’, emphasising how each hospital patient is treated with ‘the utmost respect from start to finish’ and how the team’s sensitivity and attention to detail gives families a ‘real sense of ease’ when their loved one is being looked after.

Martin Thomas, Head of the Hospital team at St Luke’s, said: “Our work is demanding and the pressure can often feel relentless, but we love what we do and feel very privileged to be there for people at such a challenging time, listening to what matters to them, preserving their dignity and making them as comfortable as possible.

“To know that those we care for have gone out of their way to nominate our close-knit team for this award means so much to us.”

George Lillie, St Luke’s Clinical Director and Deputy Chief Executive, said: “Our partnership with Derriford Hospital means that across the wards patients with life-limiting conditions can receive high-quality co-ordinated care and support at end of life. St Luke’s presence there is about more than expert hands-on medical care, it’s support and reassurance for patients and their families, too.

“Martin and the rest of the team are so deserving of this award and we couldn’t be more proud of them.”