Scottish kidney specialist named winner at Scottish Health Awards for crucial work during coronavirus outbreak.
Dr Woo, who treats patients with established kidney failure at Inverclyde Royal Hospital’s renal unit, is the winner of the new "People’s Choice" award, sponsored by leading Scottish PPE manufacturer Alpha Solway. She came out top in a public vote to pick the winner from a strong shortlist at the Scottish Health Awards.
The seven finalists ranged from an acute medicine consultant in Glasgow to a student nurse in Forth valley and a care support team serving 23 inhabited islands. Every one of them has gone the extra mile to care for patients in the face of the extreme demands of the pandemic.
Inverclyde Royal Hospital’s Renal Unit was the first in Scotland to suffer an outbreak of COVID-19 and several people contracted the virus, resulting in dangerously low staffing-levels. This left Dr Woo’s 60 high-risk patients extremely vulnerable.
Reacting instantaneously to help save the lives of the people who depend on the clinic for dialysis three times a week, Dr Woo rapidly set up vital infection control measures to curb the spread of disease.
Working around the clock, she introduced the new protocols ahead of the publication of the official Government policy. She also felt it was important to address patients’ mental wellbeing and combat low morale. So Dr Woo encouraged her team to re-introduce the hospital’s creative arts programme which gave patients a space to engage in something creative and therapeutic throughout the pandemic.
Alpha Solway’s People’s Choice Award was set up this year specifically to recognise individual NHS professionals and teams who responded magnificently to the challenge of caring for people during the pandemic, while at the same time continuing to provide essential services and care.
Commenting on the award win, Dr Woo said: “I am totally overwhelmed and privileged to be voted as winner of the Alpha Solway People’s Choice Award. Like everybody nominated for this prestigious award, my team and I have made personal sacrifices during the pandemic. This has involved keyworkers showing tremendous selflessness, dedication and wholehearted commitment to looking after patients in the NHS, residents in care homes, feeding the nation or manufacturing essential PPE - the list goes on.
“It’s an honour to be presented with this award. However, for it also to be sponsored by a company recognised for excellence in a vital area of clinician and patient protection is something I am particularly proud of. It’s a delight to be associated with a PPE business that’s on top of its field.”
Globus Group Operations Director Sherree Gracie continued: “It has been an honour for us at Alpha Solway to be able to show our support and appreciation for the incredible ingenuity and dedication with which Scotland’s NHS professionals have responded to COVID-19. Dr Woo is a worthy winner and the work that she and her team have done for dialysis patients at Inverclyde has been inspiring. All the finalists have demonstrated truly outstanding commitment to caring for their communities at this difficult time.
“Alpha Solway has been proud to support NHS Scotland throughout the pandemic, and thanks to a £53 million contract announced by Nicola Sturgeon in August, we are going to meet the PPE demand for Scotland’s health and social care sectors until Summer 2021.”
Alpha Solway has been producing large quantities of high-quality FFP3 face masks, which offer the highest level of protection against viruses and bacteria, at its Scottish factories in Dumfriesshire throughout the pandemic. It has also recently signed a £53 million contract with NHS Scotland, which will include a further six million FFP3 masks, as well as 232 million surgical masks and 2 million visors.
Lisa Lynas from the Scottish Health Awards added: “The shortlist of nominees for Alpha Solway’s People’s Choice was fantastic. They really captured the way people feel about the NHS. Alpha Solway were a perfect fit as sponsors of this new award. They have been supporting NHS Scotland and healthcare workers throughout the pandemic and have moved even more of their manufacturing to Scotland this year, creating hundreds of new jobs. This award is recognising the excellence and dedication of Scotland’s healthcare workers, so it made sense for us to partner with a Scottish company that is so committed to our healthcare system.”
Alpha Solway is part of the Globus Group which has over a 25-year history of producing PPE equipment for healthcare and industry.