Joe Sim, Energy Monitor, at Royal Derby Hospital, has been chosen as the National Winner for the NHS Parliamentary Awards 2021 in the category of Lifetime Achievement.
Sadly, due to the ongoing pandemic, Joe was unable to make the official awards ceremony being held in London on Wednesday, 7 July, so instead, received a special surprise call from Sir Simon Stevens, Chief Executive of the NHS, who virtually congratulated Joe on his achievement.
Sir Simon Stevens said, “I wanted to take this opportunity to let you know, that with huge support from across the health service, you are this year’s NHS Lifetime Achievement Award winner. Congratulations and thank you for everything you have done for the NHS for over 58 years and counting.
“One thing the last 15 months has shown throughout the whole pandemic is actually the importance of hospital facilities and engineering departments – it’s a big reminder than the working in the NHS is a huge team sport, over 350 different jobs, and so I think that it is entirely fitting that somebody with a background in hospital engineering , such as yourself Joe, should be this year’s Lifetime Achievement Award Winner.”
Joe started his career in the NHS on 5 November 1962 and has had many different jobs throughout hospitals in Derbyshire over the years, which means he has seen many changes, both big and small.
He said, “I have absolutely enjoyed every day working for the NHS. I joined the NHS 58 years ago, and it has just been such a wonderful experience.
“I’m absolutely amazed that I have been awarded The Lifetime Achievement Award. I can’t believe I have been rewarded for something that I have thoroughly enjoyed doing for the whole of my life – I see my job as a hobby – I get up and I enjoy it every day and the people that I get to work with, they’re fantastic.
“I have my wife to thank for getting me a job in the NHS! I met my wife when she was working as a Theatre Nurse at the DRI. I used to go and wait for her after work, but being a theatre nurse, there were many occasions when the operations would over run, and she’d be late off shift. I kept myself entertained by taking a stroll around the site – this is when I got talking to different members of staff. One day I got speaking to the boilerman who worked there – he made me realise the hospital wasn’t just built up with Doctors and Nurses, and I believe that’s when my interest in engineering in the NHS began!
“I am currently shielding at home because of the pandemic and I’m very much missing the positive buzz of the Royal Derby Hospital corridors and the warm, friendly faces.”
Amanda Solloway, MP for Derby North, who nominated Joe, said: “When we think of NHS heroes we automatically think of the nurses, doctors and surgeons who make us better, but there is a whole team behind the scenes, including the engineers like Joe, without whom the service would grind to a halt.
“It’s incredible to think that when Joe could be enjoying a restful retirement at home, 21 years after he officially left he is still, at the grand age of 81, going to work every day to carry out his duties as an energy monitor. He is an incredibly inspirational man who has made the NHS his life for nearly 60 years.
“At a time when we all owe all NHS staff our utmost gratitude, it’s my pleasure to have nominated Joe for this award and I’m delighted that he has been recognised for his many years of hard work and commitment.
“His dedication knows no limits and he is truly worthy of this award.”
Congratulations Joe – Team UHDB are incredibly proud of everything you have achieved!