STAR readers have helped crown medics from the rheumatology department of Whiston and St Helens hospitals with this year’s People’s Choice Award.

The devoted team collected the honour at the hospitals’ annual staff awards presentation evening in Liverpool.

Former Brookside actor Philip Olivier was on hand to deliver the prize.

The St Helens Star People’s Choice Award gives readers the opportunity to reward the hard work of local hospital staff by nominating the individual or team who went the extra mile with treatment or service.

The rheumatology team was nominated by readers for providing first class care for patients with acute and chronic long term conditions – standards that have earned this team of experts international recognition.

Highly commended in the category was Helen Thornton, a diabetic nurse specialist, whose passion, innovation and dedication earned praise.

She was joined by the Lilac Centre team, who often go above and beyond the call of duty to ensure patients being treated for cancer are given as much care and support as possible.

Also on the evening, one lucky member of staff, porter Joseph O’Flaherty, walked away with the keys to a new Ford Fiesta, generously donated by Polar Ford St Helens, Runcorn, and Warrington.

The hospital expressed thanks to all the readers who took the time to nominate their local health heroes.