Two healthcare employees who play an integral part ensuring hospital facilities run smoothly have been shortlisted for national awards.

Rachael Hutchinson and Sue Robason have been selected in different categories of the first ever National MyCleaning Awards.

They will travel down to London on Wednesday, February 22, to find out if they have scooped the top titles.

Both work for City Hospitals Sunderland Independent Commercial Enterprises Ltd (CHoICE), a subsidiary owned by South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust, and are based at Sunderland Royal Hospital.

Sue, Acting Domestic and Linen Manager, was nominated by Rachael in the Lifetime Achievement Award category.

Meanwhile, Claire Dodds, Hotel Services Manager, secretly put Deputy Head of Facilities Rachael forward for the Leadership of the Year Award.

Wayne Carr, CHoICE’s Director of Estates and Facilities, said: “We are exceptionally proud of Rachael and Sue.

“The work they do alongside our teams make a difference every single day to our colleagues, patients and the loved ones of those we care for.

“Both have such a positive approach to their roles and we are delighted those shortlisting for these awards have recognised what we see week in, week out.

“We can’t wait to head to the award ceremony to celebrate this and also the wider, often unseen work, which goes into keeping our NHS ready to help those in need.”

Sue’s nomination said she shows “exemplary leadership” and is a “tireless advocate” for her domestic teams as they help keep the wards clean and tidy. She also ensures they get the credit they deserve for their hard work.

The nomination highlights the good relationships she has with staff across CHoICE and the Trust and adds: “She also cares deeply about our patients and puts them at the forefront of all she does.”

It added: “She is motivated and positively engaged, serving as a true inspiration to all who come into contact with her.”

Sue, who began working for the NHS 27 years ago as a ward hostess, said: “I feel really humbled and this came out of the blue. I’m excited and nervous for the awards.

“What I love about my job is the satisfaction, knowing you’re helping patients and making their time with us a good one.

“I’ve had family members who have been cared for here, I had my three children here and it’s a part of my community.”

Rachael, who joined the Trust 25 years ago as a deputy catering officer, has served in a series of roles and took on her current job in 2020.

Her nomination highlights how she “leads by example” as a natural leader and genuinely cares about each of her colleagues.

She continues to muck in and pulls on an apron to help out in the restaurant when it gets busy and has a “limitless and unbounded passion and energy for the job and those who support her in delivering a successful service.”

She has set up a programme to help bring on the next generation of CHoICE leaders and has set up a system to help the service meet standards and helped other Trusts to do the same.

Rachael said: “I’m not one for the limelight, the nomination still hasn’t quite sunk in yet, but I’m really proud about what we do.

“Sometimes we have a really difficult job and for me, it’s about making that as easy as possible for people as we can. We’re in facilities – it’s our role to get things done.”

The awards celebrate the work of healthcare cleaners, domestic teams and auditors for all the work they do to help keep patients safe by ensuring infections are kept to a minimum.

The awards are run by GV Healthcare, which creates systems to help facility teams manage their tasks, with 2023 their inaugural year.

More details about the MyCleaning Awards can be found via