A PHYSIOTHERAPIST from St George’s Hospital has scooped a top award for her work with children.

Children’s physiotherapist Hilary Rattue was named an NHS Champion on Tuesday 18 January after being nominated for the award by three London families.

The awards, which are run by The Evening Standard, the independent health charity The King’s Fund, and ITV1’s London Tonight, are voted for by members of the public and recognise the unsung heroes of the NHS in London and the South East of England.

Judges included the newsreader Katie Derham, playwright and ‘Casualty’ star Kwame Kwei-Armah, and Veronica Wadley, Editor of the Evening Standard.

Hilary received her prize plus a cheque for ?5,000 at a star-studded ceremony at the Savoy Hotel on Tuesday morning.

One of the people who nominated Hilary for the award was Sarah Collins.

Sarah’s daughter, Isobel, was born with cerebral palsy and Hilary has looked after her for three and a half years.

“I know from speaking to other families that Hilary is exceptional,” says Sarah.

“She is so dedicated to the children she cares for and always puts them first.

“My daughter was desperately unwell when she was born, and we were given very little hope of her achieving much physically.

“But Hilary came along when Isobel was six months old and has looked after her ever since.

“She has always treated Isobel as a person rather than as someone with a disability.

“Isobel would not have achieved what she has done without Hilary.”

Hilary, 49, has worked in the Child Development Centre at St George’s Hospital for nearly 14 years. She originally trained as a teacher before becoming interested in special needs education.

Most of the children she works with have neuro-developmental issues, such as cerebral palsy, or have an injury or fracture impedes their physical development.

‘I’m completely shell-shocked,’ said Hilary after receiving her award.

‘It will probably take the rest of the afternoon for the news to sink in, but I would like to say a big thank you to all the families who thought of me for the award.

‘The children I work with are so vibrant and so open to new and exciting things. It’s simply a joy to work with them.’

Congratulating Hilary on her award, the hospital’s chairman, Naaz Coker, said:

“Hilary is a true champion and a shining example to everyone who works at the hospital.

“It must be wonderful for her to know that she was nominated for the award by so many families she has helped throughout her clinical career. That in itself makes the award very special.

“On behalf of everyone who works at St George’s, I would like congratulate Hilary on our outstanding achievement.”