ECHO - Connecting the Children's Heart Community

ECHO Excellence Awards

ECHO is working in partnership with the Cardiology team across the Evelina London and its network hospitals to celebrate the hard work of cardiac staff through the monthly ECHO Excellence Awards. We are delighted to celebrate all our awardees for going above and beyond to provide care and support for ECHO heart families.

Do you want to nominate someone?

Any member of cardiac staff within Evelina London and any of its network hospitals can be nominated, by both families and colleagues. This could be an administrator, porter, physiologist, therapist, nurse or doctor – any member of staff who has gone above and beyond to support heart families. 

All you need to do is let us know why you are nominating them, and ECHO and the senior cardiology staff will select 4 winners each round who will each receive their own ECHO Excellence Award enamel pin for their lanyard, a certificate and a gift voucher, plus celebrations on social media and in our e-newsletter

Previous winners - nominated by you!

Safa Rehmen

Medical Secretary

As a Medical Secretary, I support the Paediatric Cardiology Consultants and interact with our consultants and patients over the phone and email. I love my job and enjoy working with families and colleagues. I am honoured to be part of a committed and passionate team especially during the last two years together. This award was an unexpected and very treasured surprise! Thank you to those who nominated me, I am really happy!

Ilin Hayter

CHD Network Administrator (Paediatrics)

I have worked with the network PECs since I started at Evelina London almost 8 years ago now. This includes liaising with them, collating and sharing information, supporting network meetings and being the point of contact for the team.

Dr James Wong


I’ve just finished a ward week at Evelina so it’s really nice to see a message from a family I look after and to know that the work I do helps both an unwell child and also provides support to their family. I aim to be honest and approachable so families feel confident that we are working together as partners to get the best for their child.

Jon Searle

Paediatric Cardiology Specialist Registrar

I’m one of a team of junior doctors who help diagnose, treat and support young people with a wide variety of different heart conditions. It has been a pleasure to participate in the high-quality, compassionate care that the Evelina offers, and work in an environment full of so many dedicated people.

Kirsty Stewart

Kirsty Stewart, Paediatric Cardiology Registrar

Kirsty is very kind and caring and meticulous. She pays close attention to caring for the whole family not just the patient, and goes above and beyond. She is often working late to make sure everything is complete and supports the SHOs well too.

Sevim Hussain

 Sevim Hussain, Nurse Assistant, Savannah ward

During our stay in the Evelina when my daughter was undergoing surgery, Sevim was so so kind and went above and beyond to make sure we were comfortable and looked after. Even when she wasn’t assigned us to care for she came to see how we were doing… She helped me feel confident in feeding my daughter through her NG (Nasogastric Tube) which was something I wasn’t prepared for at all and chatted to me and took my mind of things for a bit. Forever grateful for her.”

Alice Hurn

Alice Hurn, Clinician Nurse Specialist

“Alice is very helpful in helping you with care plans etc and making sure you see it before it goes to school/nursery. Without this person, it be harder. She is friendly and helpful.”

Dr Aaron Bell

Dr Aaron Bell, Consultant Paediatric Cardiology, Head of Service

Dr Aaron Bell has been my child’s cardiologist since they were born. He has been on the journey with us and has always shown such care and compassion, not just towards my child, but to the whole family.  He has the best bedside manner, always takes the time to explain everything, and we honestly could not wish for a better person to be our child’s cardiologist.

Claire Perrett

Cardiology Senior Heath Play Specialist, Evelina London

Claire deserves recognition as she is a person who loves her job and goes above and beyond to help wherever she is needed in my daughter hour of need, truly deserves to be recognised. My daughter adores Claire as she knows Claire does all the fun stuff!

From Claire: “I have been working at the Evelina London for 11 years, I love my job it’s the best job the best job in the world. It’s such a honour to get this award, thank you very much. I get to support through play, prep and distraction the most amazing babies children and teens – they are my heart heroes.”

Farzana Shaikh

Service Manager, Paediatric Cardiac Services, Fetal Cardiology & PICU, Evelina London.

Farzana has been integral to the management and coordination of the service, splitting her time between numerous projects and service pressures, ensuring that the service is always reacting as quickly as possible to the needs of the patients and staff.

Kuberan Pushparajah

Paediatric cardiologist, Evelina London

Kuberan always goes the extra mile for all his patients.

Ellie Cooper

PICU Nurse

Ellie went over and above every day nursing our daughter following her urgent theatre and early open heart surgery. Her compassion, humour and positivity got us through even the darkest moments.

Rosaline Homawoo

Patient Access Coordinator, Evelina London

Rosaline is a real asset to the department and should be acknowledged for all of her hard work with booking clinics. She has been pivotal in getting the outpatient clinics up and running again. More than that, she deals with all the obstacles in a cheerful and helpful way.

From Rosaline: “As a patient accesses coordinator it is my job to book the cardiology outpatient appointments at the hospital as well as deal with any patient queries regarding appointments and forward any clinical queries to the appropriate member of staff. I also help to manage the waiting list and referrals. I am really happy that the part I play in the trust has a positive impact on the care and journey of the patients.”

Will Regan

Paediatric Cardiology Registrar specialising in Electrophysiology, Evelina London

Will works tirelessly with all the EP patients.He knows them well and during COVID-19 has been keeping the clinics running. He is meticulous and extremely knowledgeable and very well liked by patients and colleagues alike.

Lucy McFarland

Staff Nurse

Lucy made me feel human again while my baby was very poorly in PICU. Nothing was too much hassle, she is compassionate and empathetic. So professional and kind. She made the whole experience for us a lot more easier to deal with. My heart can’t thank her enough.

Conal Austin

Adult and Paediatric Cardiothoracic Surgeon, Evelina London

Dr Austin performed life saving surgery on my daughter when she was only a week old. I will never forget how he reassured us by telling us about a boy he performed the same operation on, and is now doing very well. That eased my mind and has stayed with me to this day…This simple gesture meant so much to us as parents at the time.

Maya Asir

Highly Specialist Speech and Language Therapist, Evelina London

Where do I start? Maya has been an absolutely incredible support to me and my family. She goes above and beyond to help me and my daughter even with issues that aren’t relating to her area of expertise. She is an amazing person and an absolute credit to the Evelina – Parent

From Maya: “As a speech and language therapist I have the privilege of working with families to support their baby / child’s oral feeding, at any point along their cardiac journey. I love my job and enjoy working with families and colleagues to maximise children’s potential. This award was an unexpected and very appreciated surprise! Thank you ECHO Community.”

Sophie Shephard

Senior Staff Nurse, Evelina London

Sophie is such a great leader and always supports us whether she is nurse in charge on the shift or not. She is always willing to teach and support you if you need help and overall boosts staff moral by checking up on us throughout the day. She is very knowledgeable and such an asset to the team. – Colleague

From Sophie: “I am proud to work amongst an incredible team of hard working and caring nurses and doctors on Sky Cardiology Ward, where we care for acutely unwell children. I am honoured to receive this award it’s a lovely surprise!”

Hannah Bellsham Revell

“Hannah is amazing! She makes us feel relaxed at my daughter’s appointments and if we have any questions, even if we’re at home, Hannah goes out of her way to reassure us. Just an amazing woman.” – Parent

From Hannah: “I am one of the cardiology consultants at Evelina and run the Home Monitoring Programme for some of our most fragile patients. I am really honoured to have this award, as helping all families out and following through their journey, whatever it brings is very rewarding and there is always something to learn.”

Trish Kenney

In March 2021, we sent a special farewell and good luck to outreach nurse Patricia Kenney as she looked forward to her retirement.

Trish has supported so many ECHO heart families throughout her 43 working in the NHS, 38 of which was spent at the Evelina London. She has been instrumental in developing the role of Cardiac Nurse Specialist (CNS) and in particular she helped to develop the Rapid Access Service which is hugely successful. We want to thank Trish for her hard work, care and the difference she has made to the lives of children, young people and their families.

We wish her all the best in her retirement, she will be dearly missed but not forgotten by her colleagues and those she has cared for. Thank you!

Marian Moorcroft

PA to Dr Bell, Paediatric Cardiology

Marian is meticulous in her work on all levels.  She goes out of her way to reassure families that the children are safe and in the best possible hands and never forgotten about. She is good at pulling the team together. – Colleague

From Marian: “In my role as Medical Secretary I support three of the paediatric cardiologists and have lots of interaction with all their patients on the phone and via email which I love. I am very proud to be part of such a dedicated, hard-working team, and never more so than this past year.   Thank you to those who nominated me, I am really chuffed.”

Christine Bartholomew

Paediatric Secretary, Queen Elizabeth Hospital Woolwich

Chris is a fantastic secretary with a very clear and accurate overview of the Woolwich outreach clinic.  During COVID this has been even more important to ensure the right patients are seen at the right time, and that no patients are lost. She is always available for queries which makes planning the clinic very easy.  We often forget the people ‘behind the scenes’ in outreach clinics which make things tick. – Colleague

Catie Chou

Cardiac Liaison Sister

Knowing that Catie is at the end of an email has massively helped me keep on top of the worry that comes with living with a child with HLHS. I think without Catie, I would have found it more difficult to get on with life and give my son as normal and happy an upbringing as possible. – Parent

From Catie: “Working as part of the paediatric cardiology CNS team is wonderful and our work day to day varies. I have been privileged to be a part of the lives of so many children and their parents. I have worked paediatric cardiology for the past 30 years and seen how the innovations in this field have changed the lives of so many children. Remembering the children that I have helped have helped brings a smile to my face.”

This award is wonderful and I thank all of the ECHO family.

I hope that I continue to provide the support and help that the families require for many years to come.

Harriet Hoare

PICU (Paediatric Intensive Care Unit) Nurse

Harriet looked after my 6 week old daughter after her open heart surgery when she went into cardiac arrest for 50 minutes. Harriet is a brilliant nurse and a lovely lady and I am so thankful for her quick reactions and calmness in what was an extremely scary situation. She really saved our baby! – Parent

Desmarie Adams

Health Care Assistant, Paediatric Cardiology 

Desmarie has worked tirelessly to support the ward during COVID, particularly when many nursing staff were re-deployed to other areas. She is about to embark on her nursing training which is a massive credit to her motivation and abilities. – Colleague

From Desmarie: “Thank you for the recognition it is very much appreciated.”

Emily Ellis

Advanced Nurse Practitioner, Paediatric Cardiology

Emily is an unsung hero in cardiology. She will listen to you like it is the first time you have spoken to her about a subject even if you have spoken about it a million times already. She helped us so much during our time in hospital. – Parent

From Emily: “My day to day job is varied but focuses on the acutely unwell inpatients and pre-operative outpatients. I really appreciate being nominated for this award, it is a real privilege and very unexpected. Thank you.”

Dr Vita Zidere

Consultant in Paediatric and Fetal Cardiology

Dr Zidire couldn’t have been more supportive and helpful. I was so impressed with her efficiency. I want to reiterate how much I appreciated the care of Dr Zidere, she really reassured me. – Parent

From Dr Vita Zidere: “Working as a fetal and paediatric cardiologist allows me to follow up my patients from the very beginning of their life until they are transitioned into the adulthood.  This brings enormous responsibility as well as lots of pleasure and work satisfaction. The ECHO excellence award came as big but very pleasant surprise and I am very grateful to my patients who nominate me for this award.”

Marcia Sealy

Ward Clerk, Cardiothoracic Services

Marcia always brightens up your day with her smile and positive attitude. She always makes me laugh and supports nurses considerably by answering the phones and passing on messages. – Colleague