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Unsung Hero Award

The Second Unsung Hero: Susan Buckley

Sue Buckley is a hard-working receptionist in the audiology department at the Alexandra Hospital in Redditch.

Sue hadn’t heard of the Unsung Heroes awards and was even unaware that she had been nominated until the person who nominated her told her that she’d won. As such, when she found out, Sue said that “you could have knocked me down with a feather!”

Hard-working (because you have to be with such long hours) and dedicated to her job, Sue genuinely loves what she does on reception. Her nomination was for a moment of heroism, so could not be more eligible for the awards themselves.

Sue was working on the reception of the audiology department during a busy period when a man rang up and cancelled his appointment because he felt unwell and actually thought he might be having a heart attack. Sue rang him back and tried to get hold of his GP a number of times but with no success, so made the decision to send an ambulance round to his house.

Her main concern was that she didn’t want him to be at home suffering from a heart attack alone and without anyone there to reassure and help him. Sue was incredibly modest about the event saying “I know it sounds a lot, but anyone else given the same set of circumstances would do the exact same thing.”

Having worked in the private sector previously, she values her job in the NHS for its job stability and opportunity for progression. Sue saw the job advertised in the paper and thought that because it was something completely different from what she’d done before she would push herself to see if she could do it. 10 years later, Sue’s caring nature shines through the work that she’s done over her career in the NHS.

On a day to day basis, because Sue works on reception, there is a lot of answering the telephone and booking appointments for people, in addition to sorting the doctor’s schedule. Sue is the first face that people see in the department so there’s a lot of meeting and greeting. One of Sue’s strongest assets is her memory, she can greet nearly all of her patients by name which she says "makes them feel a bit more special.”

The best part of Sue’s administrative position is being part of a team because she really feels that they all work together in the department. For Sue “there is no better feeling than when a patient leaves the department able to hear, smiling just in awe of the fact that they can suddenly hear again.”

Whether people are coming in for a broken hearing aid or Sue is simply rescheduling an appointment so that they can bring along their friends or family for support, everyday someone will say thank you.

A highlight for Sue was when a patient rang to say thank you for his hearing aid because it meant he could finally hear the birds singing, “by the end of the conversation he was in tears because he was so grateful and so was I.”

For anyone thinking of joining the NHS, Sue would definitely recommend it as you can make a real difference to someone else’s life.

Sue commented, “we all contribute to the smooth running of the NHS, even though there are lots of jobs and everyone does something different, we are all cogs of a big machine and it couldn’t function without everyone being there.”

Who is your Unsung Hero 2016?

Nominations are now open for the Unsung Hero awards 2016 - this is your chance to say thank you to a special non-medical or non-clinical NHS worker and give them the recognition they deserve. Find out how to nominate your hero.


Susan Buckley

Susan Buckley

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