NHS70: Portsmouth NHS ‘Health Hero’ wins national award

Rose Bennett, nominated by Stephen Morgan MP, has gone on to triumph at House of Commons awards

Rose Bennett, a domestic assistant in the NHS who has dedicated her life and career to her role at St James’ Hospital in Milton has today won the national NHS ‘Health Heroes’ award for Lifetime Achievement.

Rose, who has worked at the hospital for 46 years was nominated by Stephen Morgan, MP for Portsmouth South, for her tireless work in facilities services at the hospital which, over the past years, has had a huge positive impact on the experience of tens of thousands of patients.

She started working for the NHS in Portsmouth in 1971 and joined her mother and aunt who had already been working as domestic assistants for a number of years.

Her two daughters have also worked in the NHS, both for 29 years, one as a chef and the other as a business manager. Solent NHS Trust has been a major part of her family for generations.

Rose was announced as the winner at a special awards ceremony at the Houses of Parliament on 4 July where she was presented the award by Sir Simon Stevens, Chief Executive of NHS England, alongside her two daughters.

Stephen Morgan MP said:  

“I’m immensely proud that Rose has won today. She is truly an unsung hero and, as the son of a hospital cleaner, I know what a difference facilities staff like Rose make to our health service. Her dedication and talent for improving the lives of fellow NHS workers and patients is outstanding. 

Rose faced stiff competition but she has consistently gone above and beyond the call of duty to help people in our city and her victory is very much deserved. 

Rose has quite rightly been described as a one woman recruitment and retention machine and her daughters have also spent over 25 years in the NHS, so today is very much a family affair.

I’m delighted for them all and want to thank them again for their collective century of service.” 

In a further celebration of the NHS’s 70th year, Mr Morgan will be joined by members of the Portsmouth Labour Party at a special NHS70 celebration stall in Palmerston road this Saturday morning (7 July).

There will be postcards available where members of the public can write their messages of thanks to those who have made a difference to them in the NHS.

The messages will then be handed to staff and NHS representatives later this month at a reception held at Mr Morgan’s constituency office in Albert Road.