Staff and volunteers representing the NHS in the North have been honoured in parliament as a part of a special, one-off competition to mark the NHS’s 70th birthday.
The NHS70 Parliamentary Awards, sponsored by IBM and Teva, were launched in February to recognise the massive contribution made by the individuals who work in and alongside the NHS.
MPs in England were asked to nominate individuals and teams serving their constituents across ten categories. Regional champions were selected in May, with the national winners chosen by a panel of senior leaders representing staff and patients.
Among those scooping awards at the ceremony, held in Parliament’s Terrace Pavilion, was Cumbria Health On Call in the Excellence in Primary Care category. They were nominated by Tim Farron MP, John Stevenson MP, Trudy Harrison MP, Rory Stewart MP, and Sue Hayman MP for their work in developing new and effective ways of providing care – something which has received national recognition. Their pioneering work, including telehealth and hospital avoidance schemes, aims to ensure that patients consistently receive the right response, from the right clinician, at the right time.
Susan Blakemore, Chief Executive at Cumbria Health on Call (CHoC), said: “We are delighted to receive Parliamentary Award for Excellence in Primary Care, it is an amazing achievement which recognises the hard work and dedication of the whole CHoC team who provide outstanding and responsive care to the population of Cumbria.
“This is a fantastic accolade to the NHS here in Cumbria, both within CHoC and all of our partner organisations. We recognise that everyone matters, both those who use our services and those who are part of delivering them.”
Victoria’s Voice Youth Forum at Blackpool Teaching Hospitals Foundation NHS Trust, nominated by Paul Maynard MP, also took home the Patient and Public Involvement Award. They were commended for making real changes to continuously improve healthcare for children and young people both locally and nationally.
Wendy Swift, Chief executive of Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “This is a wonderful achievement for the group and the Trust and we would like to thank Paul Maynard for nominating them.
“The work Victoria’s Voice does to engage young people to improve the care we give to their peers is outstanding and we would like to thank every member of the group for their fantastic input.’’
Simon Stevens, NHS England chief executive, said: “As we celebrate the 70th birthday of the NHS, it’s an opportune moment to recognise the extraordinarily dedicated and selfless health service staff, and those who work or volunteer alongside them, who make the NHS what it is today: the institution that our fellow citizens say makes them proudest to be British.”
Ian Dalton, NHS Improvement chief executive, said: “Today’s winners encapsulate the amazing work of NHS staff and volunteers. We are celebrating all sorts of contributions, because it takes all sorts of people to make the NHS run, from heroes in unsung roles who have devoted their lives to the NHS, to innovators who are changing the way the NHS works.”
They were among the ten winners – selected from more than 750 nominations submitted by over 250 MPs – to receive their awards at a ceremony on the Palace of Westminster’s Terrace Pavilion, hosted by Dr Sara Kayat, NHS GP & TV Doctor. Health Select Committee Chair Dr Sarah Wollaston MP, Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt MP, and the panel of judges collectively representing millions of NHS staff and patients were also on hand to pay tribute to the winners and all those shortlisted.
Wider celebrations to mark the NHS’s big birthday will include thousands of NHS Big 7Tea parties to raise money for NHS charities, whilst dozens of landmark buildings will light up blue, including York Minster, the Blackpool Tower, the Gateshead Millennium Bridge, the London Eye and Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. The BT Tower will also run a special birthday message on its iconic infoband.
Find out more about NHS70 celebrations and how to get involved at www.nhs70.nhs.uk.
Further information on the NHS70 Parliamentary Awards is available at www.nhs70awards.co.uk.