Byline: Lesley Griffiths
I RECENTLY had the pleasure of joining the First Minister in honouring some outstanding accomplishments in the field of health and social care.
The Recognising Achievement awards are exactly that. People are nominated as shining lights in a particular field and we thank them for their hard work and dedication. The theme this year was health innovation, including integrated health and social care. Those honoured were people who have demonstrated exactly that and whose innovation is delivering lasting results and which has brought distinction to Wales on the local, national or international stage, or have given exceptional service, above what might normally be expected.
In these times of increasingly tight budgets and hard financial decisions, it was a delight to acknowledge these exceptional examples of the dedicated and professional staff we have working in the public sector.
The receptions, in North and South Wales, made me very proud to be the Welsh Health Minister. I found myself humbled by the modest way in which they accepted these accolades.
In most cases, they didn't know what the fuss was about - they felt they were simply doing their job.
There are too many to mention them all, but among them was Julie Parry, chair of Wrexham Voice Forum, who has worked tirelessly representing the views of hearing-impaired adults in Wrexham.
She has also organised many social events, which have led to older people with hearing loss being less isolated and having a better quality of life.
Elizabeth Aylett, from Conwy, the head of arts therapies and lead for the arts in health programme at Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board, has created a thriving department, which has a unique and important role.
Bethan Myfanwy Hughes was noted for her work as a healing harpist. She uses music to help patients in hospitals and hospices with pain management, and has been employed by Velindre Cancer Centre.
Wendy Hooson, …