Entries have been pouring in thick and fast for the Swindon and Wiltshire Health & Social Care Awards, and there’s still plenty of time to make your nominations.

From intensive care doctors tackling Covid-19 head-on to volunteers making sure no-one, especially the most isolated, falls through the net during lockdown, we want to hear the untold stories of ordinary people responding to this unprecedented crisis in extraordinary ways.

Those judged the best will walk away with one of our awards, which we're running in partnership with Wasdell Group.

Samantha Backway nominated Neptune Ward at the Great Western Hospital in Swindon for the Health Care Team Award. She said: “The ward was reconfigured into a larger ward with two high care areas looking after patients who require CPAP. These patients needed high levels of expertise. The nurses had to wear level 3 PPE even in the hot weather. I was redeployed there and I’ve never seen such commitment, compassion and resilience Hard working and never once did I hear them moan.”

Samantha herself was nominated too, by Phil Backway, from Old Town in Swindon, who thought she deserved the Good Nurse Award.

He said: “Despite Sam running the Sleep Service and being away from the wards for more than a decade, as soon as Covid hit, she redeployed to the Covid wards as her previous experience in respiratory nursing would be useful. Separated from her children for the first three months to protect them, she gave herself whole heartily to looking after patients suffering from Covid...As the weeks turned into months and the stress mounted, Sam never once complained and was a rock to so many.”

In Devizes, Carol Glenister would like to see the Care Home Worker Award go to Emily Webb from Voyage Care.

Carol, whose daughter lives in supported living, said: “Our daughter has had Covid and we honestly thought she would not make it, because of previous hospital admissions with pneumonia. Emily bent over backwards, getting extra care, and coming back in herself (out of her normal hours) to keep our daughter at home and not admitted to hospital. She also told us to ring her day or night, seven days a week. Our daughter has recovered after six weeks of exceptional care. Emily has also arranged for her to receive her Covid injection. We could not have got through this without her. She is our living angel.”

Finalists will be chosen by a panel of judges and the winners will be announced at a virtual awards ceremony broadcast live on Facebook on May 27. The jury will also present one exceptional finalist, be they an individual or a team, with the coveted Outstanding Contribution to Health & Social Care Award.

Healthcare services, charities and patient-advocacy groups across the board have thrown their weight behind the awards. Among them is Healthwatch Swindon.

“The past year has been challenging for everyone, in and out of health and social care,” said a spokesperson. “Healthwatch Swindon believe it is important to recognise the efforts of each individual and the collective effort that has been made to ensure consistent patient care and keep services running.

“There are always some stand out individuals to be nominated but we would like to take this opportunity to thank the public, our volunteers, staff, and partners in health and social care for everything they’ve done in the last year. We believe the reward comes when we all work together to create change and improve services for the better, because in these circumstances, there are no losers, only winners.”