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Award for Sarah Hemington-Gorse

Surgeon Sarah wins award


Doctors and dentists across Wales - including a Swansea Bay consultant - have been recognised for their invaluable commitment to educating the next generation of healthcare professionals.

The dedication of medical and dental trainers ensures NHS Wales is equipped to deliver excellent patient care now and in the future.

Health Education and Improvement Wales (HEIW) has recently awarded five winners, along with three runners up, in the BEST Awards 2018.

Julie Rogers, Deputy Chief Executive and Director of Workforce & Organisational Development at HEIW, said: “The BEST Awards recognise those doctors and dentists at the forefront of delivering medical and dental education across Wales. It’s fantastic to celebrate those who have been nominated by trainee doctors and dentists for their enthusiasm and commitment to their role as trainers and the support they provide.”

Miss Sarah Hemington-Gorse has been awarded the BEST Trainer Award in secondary care, while Dr Jennifer Boyce and Dr Sara Bodey have been announced as joint winners in the primary care category.

Miss Hemington-Gorse is a consultant in burns and plastic surgery and a training programme director for surgical trainees. Her trainees describe her as a role model for women in surgery in Wales and this award recognises her exceptional dedication to teaching.  

Sarah Hemington-Gorse is pictured with Dr Tom Lawson, HEIW Interim Post Graduate Deputy Dean (left) and Dr Chris Jones, HEIW Chairman.

Miss Hemington-Gorse said; “I am really surprised and absolutely thrilled to have won a BEST Award. For me, training is built into everything I do as a consultant.

“It has always been my aim to inspire young surgeons to love what they do and make the most of their opportunities. The fact that this has been recognised by my own trainees by way of a nomination for this award is hugely flattering.”

As a GP trainer in Pembrokeshire, Dr Boyce has shown professionalism and empathy while also bringing enthusiasm to the role of the GP in a rural area.

Dr Boyce said: “I feel very humbled to have jointly won a BEST Award this year.  It is a huge privilege to be involved in healthcare education in Wales. 

“I look forward to continuing to work and support those in training, and those that have finished training, to continue to develop the primary care team to provide excellent healthcare for patients.”

Dr Bodey’s approach to training focuses on trainees’ individual strengths helping them to overcome challenges, for example the linguistic and cultural barriers some trainees face.

The winners in the staff and associate specialist (SAS) doctors and dentists categories are Dr Madhan Natarajan for ‘Innovation in Education’ and Mr Kyaw Aye for ‘Clinical Innovation’.

Dr Natarajan is an associate specialist and lecturer at Cardiff University School of Dentistry. He has been awarded for his unending commitment to his dental students and for showing great compassion and patience in his work.

Mr Kyaw Aye, a SAS doctor in ophthalmology, has been awarded for his clinical leadership and dedication to nurturing the skills of trainee doctors.

The BEST Awards, now in their 11th year, are part of the BMA/BMJ Clinical Teacher of the Year Awards (a collaboration between Cardiff Medical School, Swansea Medical School and Health Education and Improvement Wales). The awards ceremony this year took place on 2 April.

The full list of winners and finalists of the BEST Trainer Awards 2018 are:

Secondary care:

  • Winner – Miss Sarah Hemington-Gorse (Swansea Bay University Health Board)
  • Finalist – Professor Puthucode Haray (Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board)

Primary care:

  • Joint winner – Dr Jennifer Boyce (Hywel Dda University Health Board)
  • Joint winner – Dr Sara Bodey (Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board)

Staff and associate specialist (SAS):

‘Innovation in Education’

  • Winner – Dr Madhan Natarajan (Cardiff and Vale University Health Board)
  • Finalist – Dr Myo Kyaw (Aneurin Bevan University Health Board)

‘Clinical Service Innovation’

  • Winner – Mr Kyaw Aye (Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board)
  • Finalist – Dr Amer Jafar (Aneurin Bevan University Health Board)

Health Education and Improvement Wales (HEIW) was established on 1st October 2018. It is a special health authority within NHS Wales created by bringing together three key organisations for health - the Wales Deanery, NHS Wales’ Workforce Education and Development Services (WEDS), and the Wales Centre for Pharmacy Professional Education (WCPPE).     

Sitting alongside health boards and trusts, HEIW has a leading role in the education, training, development and shaping of the healthcare workforce in Wales. Its key functions include education and training, workforce development and modernisation, leadership development, strategic workforce planning, workforce intelligence, careers, and widening access. 

Further information can be found at  

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