NHS call for nominations to mark Windrush 70th anniversary awards

NHS England is calling on patients, staff, medical teams and the public to nominate NHS workers who deserve special recognition for a Windrush 70 Award.

The awards are being hosted to celebrate the 1948 arrival of German cruise liner ‘Empire Windrush’ at Tilbury docks which carried 492 passengers from the West Indies on 22 June.

The 70th anniversary of Windrush takes place as the NHS as a whole marks its 70th year during 2018.

Many passengers were among the first to go and work in the newly formed National Health Service which launched just two weeks later. To date, the NHS remains the largest employer for black and minority ethnic (BME) staff, who make up a fifth of the workforce.

Windrush 70 will celebrate the contributions and diversity of BME people to the NHS, from the Windrush generation of 1948, the south Asian arrivals in the 1960s and 70s, to today’s workforce, currently represented by 202 nationalities.

Nominations are open to current or former NHS employees, who have made an exceptional contribution to the health service through roles including research and development, in nursing, as a medic or as a BME leader.

Yvonne Coghill, Director of the Workforce Race Equality Standard at NHS England, said: “I am absolutely delighted that as part of NHS at 70 we have an opportunity to mark this remarkable occasion by celebrating our diverse workforce. Over the last 70 years, many people from all over the world have come to Britain to work in and support the development of our NHS.

“It started with the Windrush in 1948 and many more have since followed. Hard-working doctors, nurses and other staff are the backbone of the NHS, and these awards are a way of saying a big thank you, to everyone working tirelessly to keep the NHS moving as we look forward to another 70 years of care.”

Nominations can be made for colleagues or medical staff, from any nationality, who have gone the extra mile in caring for you or a loved one or a health care professional who developed a breakthrough innovation which ultimately delivers better patient care.

The awards event takes place on Tuesday 12 June at Manchester Central ahead of the NHS turning 70 on 5 July 2018.

Awards categories include:

  • Clinical excellence for medics
  • Clinical excellence for nursing
  • Operational service excellence
  • Clinical excellence for allied health professionals
  • Contribution towards improving health inequalities
  • Research & policy development
  • Unsung hero
  • Rising stars innovation
  • BME inspirational leader
  • NHS lifetime achievement award
  • Top leadership

A range of achievements will be recognised alongside the often overlooked unsung heroes who play a vital role in one of the nation’s most treasured and diverse institutions.

To register votes and for further details visit

Nominations can also be issued via Twitter: @WRES_team, or email:, with Windrush 70 nomination in the subject line.

Each voter can nominate up to 50 separate individuals in one category of spread nominations over various categories.

The closing date for submitting nominations is Friday 27 April.