THE hard work of A&E staff is being recognised in a new monthly award run by Royal Berkshire Hospital.

The 'Team Member of the Month' award will see staff in the A&E department vote for somebody who they think has gone that extra mile, has continued to work hard in the challenging environment and who they feel deserves recognition.

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The initiative was launched by the John Sykes Foundation (JSF) in partnership with Royal Berkshire Hospital.

Dr Omar Nafousi, Team ED Clinical Lead, approached the Foundation to suggest the idea of a Team Member of the Month award, as he was keen to boost morale within his department.

The JSF were happy to be involved and the initiative commenced in May, this year.

At the end of the month, the votes are counted and the winner is announced.

They then select a prize donated by the Foundation and range from Amazon vouchers, shopping vouchers for The Oracle, to gifts from Lush, Hotel Chocolat and more.

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Dr Nafousi commented: "Recently the stress and workload on staff has been telling and as such, I am intending to introduce a way of recognising those staff in my department, whether they be doctors, nurses, porters, receptionist, health care assistants or volunteers, that have gone beyond and above the call of duty in providing for the department."

The first winner, who was announced in June, was Prezmek Borkowski, also known as Sam the Porter.

Dr Nafousi said: "His cheerful persona and willingness to help is an example to all of us.

"Thank you for all your hard work and help over the years."

Sam used his award to buy decorations for the Porter's room at the hospital.

Other winners include Laura Seymour who works in the education team, Dr Jennifer "Ruth" Weldon and SSN Claire Mason.

John Sykes Foundation Trustee, Annabelle Sykes, said: "At one time or another, most likely we will all rely on the dedicated A&E department of our local hospital, whether for ourselves or a loved one.

"These dedicated individuals work at the front line, dealing with situations on a daily basis that most of us could not begin to imagine.

"We are delighted to be involved with these monthly recognition awards for the staff at one of the hospital's busiest departments, and are proud to support the work they do."

The John Sykes Foundation is there for people of Reading when no one else can help.