NHS England wins Best Event of the Year at the British Media Awards

Health care professionals and patients working together is recognised with prestigious prize.

When doctors Anna Moore and Ed Mitchell approached Dr Martin McShane, NHS England’s Director for Long-Term Conditions, asking if he would support them to set up the Future of Health conference, little did they imagine that 18 months later they would scoop a top prize for event of the year in the face of stiff competition from Cosmopolitan magazine, Mumsnet and the Nursing Times.

The Future of Health conference won Event of the Year at British Media Awards 2014, held in London. The award was presented by Jeremy Vine.

The conference, which was set-up in partnership with UCLPartners, and Dods, was a two-day event engaging with people with long-term conditions to empower them to manage their conditions themselves.

The aim of the conference was to debate a new way of working across health, social care and the third sector; taking an holistic, person-centred approach, delivering parity for mental and physical health and reducing inequalities.

NHS England worked with National Voices and Experts by Experience at the conference, with both bodies acting as critical friends on an innovative people’s panel which judged the ideas put forward. The judges were particularly impressed by the disruptive nature of the people’s panel, where patients with long-term conditions held speakers to account.

Dr Martin McShane, NHS England’s Director for Long-Term Conditions said: “I did not appreciate how radical the conference would be until we actually delivered it. It had a big social media impact and at one point was trending on Twitter. I sense that it raised awareness of the massive asset the NHS has at its disposal in the people we serve, who are experts by experience.”

Brett Alderton, Events Director at Dods, said: “It was an honour to work on Future of Health, something truly ground breaking that is helping to fundamentally change the health care discourse.”

Judge, Matthew Robinson, Events Director at Mergermarket Group, said: “We were really impressed with the innovative concept from NHS, UCLP and Dods that addressed a relevant need for the care ecosystem in the UK. The people’s panel was a powerful way for the patient voice to progress the debate around the issues affecting their daily lives. The sustainability of the financial model should ensure the continued success of this event in the future – and acts as a model for different groups in society who need to work together to deliver change for the better.”