FROM the wards to the waiting rooms of Oxfordshire’s hospitals, finalists have been picked for the Hospital Heroes awards. A total of five individuals and five teams have been shortlisted in the running for Oxford Mail’s Hospital Hero. The awards were launched for the first time this year to recognise the work of staff across Oxfordshire’s NHS hospitals over more than six decades. Today reporter Katriona Ormiston reveals the first individual and team who have been shortlisted. The winners will be announced at a Blenheim Palace reception on Thursday, November 28.

TEAM AWARD: TRANSPLANT patient Maxine Hartnett said she was at “death’s door” when staff at the John Radcliffe Hospital’s gastroenterology ward 5F managed to get her well enough to have her second liver transplant.

For their treatment over 15 years since she was diagnosed with liver disease, she picked them as her nomination for Hospital Heroes.

The 47-year-old from Blackbird Leys, Oxford, said the cleaners, house-keepers, receptionists, healthcare assistants, nurses and doctors treat her as one of their own family.

Mrs Hartnett was diagnosed with primary biliary cirrhosis in 1998 — which was thought to have stemmed from a virus she had.

She said: “I chose them because of the service and care given to me and also the support they gave to my husband and family during my stay on the ward when I was seriously ill and not expected to live.

“All the staff are true heroes.

“I was at death’s door but they got me well enough for my liver transplant.

“I call them on the ward my family, it is like a home from home.”

The mum of Sophie, 17, and wife of Peter Hartnett, 49, is still in and out of the ward battling the disease.

She had her first liver transplant in 2003 and the second in 2012, both in Birmingham.

Ward sister Susie Swan, from Abingdon, said: “We were really delighted and surprised as well.

“There are quite a lot of challenges running a busy ward like this and lots of problems we face on a daily basis — it is not always good news so it is nice to get something positive for a change.

“I think we really have saved her life as well to be honest, collectively, which is a really nice thing to be able to say. She is a lovely lady.

“It is something we are doing all the time and we never really stop and think about it.”

Ward clerk Lorraine Felix said: “It is a lovely ward and everyone gives their all from start to finish, so it is nice to be recognised for that.”