Local NHS heroes who served the Essex community through the pandemic are to be nominated for awards in five categories.

Patients, service users, friends, family and staff are invited to nominate their local healthcare heroes for the NHS Staff Recognition Scheme.

Nominations are being sought for candidates like George, who used his day off to drive nurses to patients in rural areas when severe weather disrupted local transport.

Essex NHS chief executive Paul Scott said the scheme is an opportunity to thank those who care.

He said there have been more than 380 nominations since the scheme was launched in November 2020.

He added: “Each and every nomination is so well deserved. They are a testament to the hard work and dedication of our staff, who have continued to go above and beyond despite the challenges of the past two years.”

Heroes can be nominated for award categories including Hero, Peer to Peer Recognition, Team Recognition and Leadership.

Nominations can be made via the online form or the Essex NHS website by January 26.