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The NHS in the North has today (Friday 18th May) revealed the ten individuals and teams it has chosen as regional champions in a prestigious competition to mark the NHS’s 70th birthday.

The champions – including Victoria’s Voice Youth Forum and Healthier Fleetwood – will now vie with other regional winners from across England for a national award to be presented at a special ceremony in the Palace of Westminster in July.

The NHS70 Parliamentary Awards, sponsored by IBM and Teva, recognise the massive contribution made by the individuals who work in and alongside the NHS.

Launched in February, it asked the region’s MPs to find and nominate those individuals or teams they thought have made the biggest improvements to health services in their constituencies across ten categories.

From 217 entries, senior experts have chosen ten outstanding nominations, which exemplify the best of what the NHS and its partners do day in, day out.

The champions are:

The Excellence in Cancer Care Award: York Against Cancer

The Excellence in Mental Health Care Award, sponsored by Wesleyan: Zero Suicide Alliance

The Excellence in Urgent and Emergency Care Award: Alliance – Integrated Urgent Care Services (North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust)

The Excellence in Primary Care Award: Cumbria Health on Call (CHoC)

The Person-Centred Care Champion Award: Community Tissue Viability Services – Urban Village Medical practice

The Future NHS Award, sponsored by Health HR UK: Digital Liverpool Team

The Healthier Communities Award: Healthier Fleetwood

The Care and Compassion Award: Emma Taylor

The Patient and Public Involvement Award: Victoria’s Voice Youth Forum

The Lifetime Achievement Award: Dr Nayyar Naqvi

All of the champions will now be invited to the national awards ceremony, which will be held on July 4th, the day before the NHS’s 70th birthday. The ceremony will be hosted by Dr Sara Kayat, NHS GP & TV Doctor best known for This Morning, Celebrity Island with Bear Grylls and GPs: Behind Closed Doors.

NHS England Regional Medical Director, Dr Mike Prentice said: “Picking champions from the dozens of high quality nominations we received from local MPs was incredibly difficult, so all of those going forward to the national ceremony should be extremely proud of their achievement.”

The regional champions will now go forward to a final stage of judging by a panel including the leaders of Royal Colleges, the Unison trade union, and the Patients Association – collectively representing millions of health and care workers and patients.

NHS Improvement Regional Medical Director, Dr Vincent Connolly said: “I was impressed by the high standard of all the entries we received in the North, the ones we put forward are really the best of the best. I’m sure everyone will be rooting for our regional champions when the national winners are decided.”

For further details and local quotes from your champions, please see below:

The Excellence in Cancer Care Award

Regional champion: York Against Cancer

Nominated by: Mr Julian Sturdy MP, Ms Rachael Maskell MP, Mr Nigel Adams MP

Reason for nomination: The panel received three separate nominations for York Against Cancer in this category. All highlighted the significant work in developing responsive services, but particularly the mobile chemotherapy unit to deliver services to patients across this wide geographical area.

Patrick Crowley, Chief Executive, York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust said:

“We are delighted to be shortlisted for the National NHS70 Parliamentary Awards for The Excellence in Cancer Care Award for the mobile chemotherapy unit and hope, that as a result, patients with cancer throughout North Yorkshire will feel the benefits from receiving their treatment closer to home”.

Professor Steve Leveson, Chairman of York Against Cancer, added:

“On behalf of York Against Cancer I am delighted that we have received this recognition for the hard work of everyone in the organisation. The Mobile Chemotherapy Unit has had a significant beneficial impact on cancer care in Yorkshire”.

The Excellence in Mental Health Care Award, sponsored by Wesleyan:

Regional champion: Zero Suicide Alliance

Nominated by: Luciana Berger MP

Reason for nomination: Since its launch last November nearly 5000 people have completed the training and are better prepared to save someone’s life.

The alliance works with the police and is approaching local businesses to encourage employers to have their staff complete the training.

Joe Rafferty, Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust’s Chief Executive and one of the founder members of the Zero Suicide Alliance, said: “It’s fantastic news that the Zero Suicide Alliance (ZSA) is getting national recognition by being shortlisted as a regional champion for the NHS 70 Parliamentary Awards.

“Seventy years since the NHS was formed, suicide is the most significant safety issue for mental health NHS trusts and for society in general. We think the ZSA can play a crucial role in uniting all parts of the system to better identify the risks and factors that influence the identification of someone with suicidal thoughts.

“We want the system to work better together by using the best prevention evidence to immediately reduce the number of suicides as soon as possible. We want to bring the ambition of dramatic prevention into reality. We want to bring science based evidence into everyday use, including our free training, which allows basic information to be available to all.”

The Excellence in Urgent and Emergency Care Award:

Regional champion: Alliance – Integrated Urgent Care Services (North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust)

Nominated by: Alex Cunningham MP, Mike Hill MP, Paul Williams MP

Reason for nomination: This innovative urgent care service is available to patients 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. It brings together GP out-of-hour’s service and minor injuries. The integration of the work of the Accident and Emergency Department and the minor injuries unit has improved patient flow and overall had a positive impact on patients.

A spokesperson for North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust said: “We are delighted to have been recognised for such a prestigious award.

“We are extremely proud of the high quality care we provide as part of our integrated urgent care service. The innovative alliance model we have with the regional ambulance service and the local GP federation has proved to be a huge success.

“Over the last year we have consistently been one of the top performing health trusts in the country for emergency care. This is in no small part down to the success of our urgent care service. Patients are being cared for in the right place at the right time, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

“There is so much truly fantastic work going on across our trust as well as across the whole NHS – we are proud to have been highlighted.”

The Excellence in Primary Care Award:

Regional champion: Cumbria Health on Call (CHoC)

Nominated by: Rory Stewart MP, Tim Farron MP, John Stevenson MP, Sue Hayman MP

Reason for nomination: Cumbria Health on Call (CHOC) is an extremely valued service in Cumbria. In 2017 CHOC was rated outstanding by the CQC and was the first out of hours primary care doctors service in the country to receive an outstanding rating. It clearly demonstrates that it meets the needs of a largely rural population and involves the local community and partner organisations when developing services.

Susan Blakemore, Chief Executive of Cumbria Health on Call (CHoC) team said:

“We are delighted to have been chosen as the north regional champion in the Excellence in Primary Care category. This nomination is recognition of the dedication and diligence of the whole CHoC team who work tirelessly to provide outstanding care to the people of Cumbria.

“The NHS70 Parliamentary Awards are a fantastic opportunity to recognise some of the incredible work which goes on across the whole of the NHS system, and to be named as the north regional champion in this category is a great honour. We offer our best wishes to the other nominees.”

The Person-Centred Care Champion Award:

Regional champion: Community Tissue Viability Services – Urban Village Medical practice

Nominated by: Lucy Powell MP

Reason for nomination: The Urban Village Medical practice is a mainstream General Medical Practice with enhanced services for the homeless population. The practice is located on the outskirts of Manchester City centre and has approximately 650 patients who are registered homeless. The practice holds a drop-in clinic on a Wednesday afternoon where clients can access general medical care (General Practitioner / Practice Nurses / Advanced Nurse Practitioner), drug, alcohol and mental health workers.

Clair Priestley, Lead Tissue Viability Nurse at The Northern Care Alliance which manages North Manchester Care Organisation community services said:

“I feel very honoured to be nominated for this award. I have the privilege to lead a team of dedicated, caring and professional nurses who deliver high quality care to the homeless population of Manchester. I know the people who use the service greatly appreciate the care and dedication of the nurses, and they in their turn, through their engagement with the service, make the clinic a pleasure to work in.”

The Future NHS Award, sponsored by Health HR UK:  

Regional champion: Digital Liverpool Team

Nominated by: Louise Ellman MP

Reason for nomination: Over the last 2 years, there has been a transition from 100% paper to 100% electronic records which has transformed how care is delivered across the city of Liverpool. The changes have significantly improved the quality of care and saved people’s lives, with doctors and nurses transforming care through digital transformation.

Aidan Kehoe, Chief Executive Officer, Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen NHS Hospitals Trust said: We are delighted that the Digital Liverpool Team have been nominated to go forward for the national NHS 70 Parliamentary Awards. I am incredibly proud of the work that has been delivered by our talented staff and the outcomes that we are seeing in improvements in patient care. Being shortlisted for the Future NHS Award is testament to the breadth and depth of the ambition of Digital Liverpool and our commitment to developing the future of patient care in Liverpool.

The Healthier Communities Award:

Regional champion: Healthier Fleetwood

Nominated by: Cat Smith MP

Reason for nomination: This programme sets out to tackle improving the health and wellbeing of Fleetwood residents. It’s a positive message “get involved” rather than “avoid or stop this”. Residents committees have been formed and a group of residents has come to the fore passionate about making a difference to their community.

A spokesperson for Healthier Fleetwood said: “We are absolutely delighted to have been shortlisted for such a prestigious award. Healthier Fleetwood is all about local residents taking control of their own lives and their own health. Being nationally recognised through these awards is testament to them and can hopefully be replicated in other communities across the nation.”

The Care and Compassion Award:

Regional champion: Emma Taylor

Nominated by: Alison McGovern MP

Reason for nomination: Emma voluntarily took the lead within Wirral Community Trust around dementia. She listens to what matters most to people. Emma has introduced forget-me-not stickers on the inside of front doors to identify people with dementia for visiting health and social care staff. She has worked across multiple agencies including fire and the police to improve dementia awareness.

She works with carers support groups to improve the care for all local dementia sufferers.

Mrs Emma Taylor, Nurse Practitioner for Older People, Wirral Community NHS Foundation Trust said:

“I am very proud and surprised to have become a Regional Champion for the Care and Compassion award, particularly as there is so much good work happening across the Region.  I have a real passion for the care of people with dementia and due to the increasing number of people living with dementia I felt that Dementia awareness and care provision within the Community needed to improve. Following patient and carer engagement and collaborative working with Health and Social Care, Merseyside Fire Service, NWAS, Merseyside Police and voluntary sectors, I introduced the use of a ‘forget me not’ sticker. The sticker is placed on the inside of a person’s front door if they have a diagnosis of dementia and is an alert to professionals who are visiting the property and potentially assessing the patient to ultimately improve dementia awareness. I am currently reviewing dementia education and memory assessments within the Community Trust and continue to network with health, social and voluntary sectors. I am glad to be part of a Community Trust that has supported me to drive this improvement forward”.

The Patient and Public Involvement Award:

Regional champion: Victoria’s Voice Youth Forum

Nominated by: Paul Maynard MP

Reason for nomination: Victoria’s Voice youth forum are a group of proactive young patients aged 11-18 who are passionate about supporting the Blackpool Teaching Hospitals Foundation NHS Trust to improve care for others like them.

A spokesperson for Victoria’s Voice Youth Forum said: “We are absolutely delighted to have been shortlisted for this award. The ongoing achievements of Victoria’s Voice youth forum make a huge impact on the way we care for children and young people at Blackpool Hospital and beyond. We are very proud of every member in the group and are thrilled they have received this recognition for all that they do.”

The Lifetime Achievement Award:

Regional champion: Dr Nayyar Naqvi

Nominated by: Lisa Nandy MP

Reason for nomination: As a junior doctor Dr Naqvi came across the term “Wigan Heart Syndrome” which was applied to any heart with end-stage heart failure. He decided to make it his life’s mission to improve the lives of patients with cardiac problems.

Dr Nayyar Naqvi, Consultant Cardiologist said: “It has been the guiding principles of my life to serve my fellow human beings. This is a tremendous accolade and I am overwhelmed and very proud.”

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