A DEDICATED team who support and care for the tiniest patients during the most precious time of their lives have been recognised at a special awards ceremony.

Readers of the Warrington Guardian and Runcorn and Widnes World were invited to nominate staff and volunteers at Warrington and Halton Teaching Hospitals for a prestigious accolade at the trust’s annual Thank You Awards.

And the Neonatal Unit Team were crowned winners at the event on Friday.

The team work to care for infants when they are born early or if they become unwell within the first few days of life. The team of neonatal nurses, nursery nurses, a pharmacist, ward clerk and housekeeper work tirelessly with medical staff and advanced neonatal nurse practitioners to provide support and care during what can be the most challenging times that some families face.

One reader who nominated the team said: “My baby boy was born at 27 weeks. I was reunited with him in Arrowe Park, and after spending almost a week there, we were transferred back to the neonatal unit at Warrington Hospital. I knew the support at Warrington Hospital would be exceptional. I will never forget the day we walked into the Neonatal Unit at Warrington. It was the most welcoming and safest place ever; my husband and I knew immediately that the right choice was made to come back.

“The first month at the unit was tough, emotionally draining and what no parent should have to go through. However, what made it all manageable and bearable were the doctors, sisters and nurses in the unit. They didn’t give up on him, even when I was starting to lose hope. Not only did they provide the best medical advice and always took immediate steps to care for my son, but they supported me too.

“I want to shout about the wonderful individuals who have cared for him and who have been there for me."

The Neonatal Team currently look after three intensive care cots, three high dependency cots and 12 special care cots with round the clock care.

Simon Constable, chief executive of Warrington and Halton Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Thank you to all the readers of the Warrington Guardian/Runcorn and Widnes World who submitted a nomination for our staff and volunteers who have gone the extra mile. We received more than 100 entries and are looking forward to celebrating more of our teams’ achievements next year.”