HEALTH and care professionals flocked to a ceremony celebrating their commitment, hard work, and dedication this week.

The South Wales Argus Health & Care Awards 2018 took place at Chepstow Racecourse on Thursday, with hundreds attending to find out the winners.

The awards, now in their second year, were supported by two title sponsors - Rutherford Cancer Centres and St Joseph’s Hospital.

The manager of Rutherford Cancer Centre South Wales, Jamie Powell, shared a video about the Celtic Springs-based site, which offers high energy proton therapy treatment.

This was followed by a video by Andrew George, the finance director at St Joseph’s Hospital, in which described the hospital as delivering ‘five-star care’.

The event, which was compered by Rob Stokes, supported the Lucy Ellis Foundation, which was set up earlier in the year by the family of a 16-year-old who died following a battle with sepsis.

The charity aims to raise awareness, money for specialist equipment and training, and offer athletic scholarships to help underprivileged children and teens pursue their dreams.

Before the awards were announced, Helen Howson, from the Bevan Commission, described the NHS as ‘the jewel in the crown’ of the country and spoke of the importance of everyone playing their part to ensure the future of the service

Guest speaker Dr Pixie McKenna, from Channel 4’s Embarrassing Bodies, said: “The best people in health and care are flexible, adaptable, and approachable.”

The ‘Together we Achieve Award' was sponsored by Monmouthshire Building Society and went to Reflect and CASCADE, which aims to prevent women who’ve had a compulsory removal of a child from experiencing a repeat pregnancy in the short-term.

The ‘Research Impact Award’ recognised ‘excellent research that has made a real difference to people’s lives’ and was presented by Helen Howson to the Organ Donation Study Research Team, whose research on the opt-out system of organ donation on families led to the launch of a media campaign, with policy-makers considering the findings.

Team member, Leah McLoughlin, said: “This is overwhelming; it is great to know our team has made a difference.”

A1 Care Services, based in Newport and Pontypool, uses technology to help carers and nurses work effectively together, and won the ‘Innovative Care in the Care Home Sector Award’ which was sponsored by Royal College of Nursing.

Carer Mary Mowat, said: “This is absolutely wonderful, and I couldn’t be happier for us and the team.”

Woffington House won ‘Best Innovation Award’ which was sponsored by Freemasons of Monmouthshire.

Their pen pal programme, in association with the Ffrind i Mi project, has led to reduction in anti-psychotic prescribing.

Martin Davies, of Martin Davies Ltd, said he was delighted after winning the ‘Pharmacy of the Year Award’ which was sponsored by South Wales Argus. Mr Davies added: “This award wouldn’t be possible without our amazing staff, so thank you to them, and to Argus readers, and the newspaper itself.”

Winners of the 'GP Practice of the Year Award’, which was sponsored by Tovey Bros, were St David’s Clinic.

The team at St David’s Hospice Care won the ‘3rd Sector or Community Team of the Year Award’, which was sponsored by the Monmouthshire Building Society. CEO Emma Saysell, said: “We are absolutely thrilled, and so proud of our team who are willing to go above and beyond.”

The ‘Team of the Year Award’ was sponsored by Coleg Gwent Business and went to Q Care, who provide specialist home care, helping promote social interaction and encourage cognitive stimulation.

Team member Julian Spencer said: “It’s just something we do; people are happy to work for the time we need to work, but it’s excellent to have won this award.”

The ‘Volunteer of the Year Award', which was sponsored by Western Power Distribution (WPD), was awarded to Jackie Lewis, who has raised more than £60,000 for St David’s Hospice following the death of her son in 2011.

WPD also sponsored the ‘Special Recognition Nursing Award’ which was won by Sue Woods, from Royal Gwent Hospital’s Neonatal Unit, who said: “I’m shocked and honoured; I didn’t recognise how much we do that people remember. I’m just doing my job.”

The ‘Doctor of the Year Award’ was sponsored by St John’s College and went to Dr Tim Rogerson, who works at Royal Gwent Hospital (RGH) and with the Wales Air Ambulance.

Dr Rogerson said he was surprised "as there were some great candidates", but accepted the award on behalf of the "great" team at RGH.

Finally, the ‘Outstanding Achievement Award’ aimed to celebrate people who push through change ‘with tenacity and determination’ overcoming barriers and developing new approaches to deliver the best possible care. It was sponsored by the main event sponsors.

Professor Keir Lewis won, for his work helping those with respiratory problems.

He said in a video: “If you want to innovate you have to think outside the box and follow slightly different rules.

"It’s innovate or die.”