Staff honoured for COVID response in NHS parliamentary awards

MPs are nominating health service staff for their response to the COVID pandemic as part of the annual NHS Parliamentary Awards.

The category recognising efforts during the pandemic, has been included in the annual event for the first time, after another extraordinary 12 months which has seen NHS staff and volunteers go the extra mile for patients and their families.

Hospitals have treated more than 100,000 COVID patients since the Omicron wave began, while the NHS – backed by thousands of volunteers and supported by other key workers – has rolled out a world-leading boosters vaccination programme that has prevented another 100,000 needing hospital treatment.

And staff have pulled out all the stops to innovate and improve care while addressing the COVID backlogs that have built up over the pandemic, which has seen hospitals treat more than 600,000 patients with the virus.

The new award is just one of 10 categories in the NHS Parliamentary Awards for staff and volunteers in the health service and care sector as the country adapts to living with COVID.

MPs can nominate outstanding individuals, teams or organisations from their constituency for the awards, which were launched in Parliament by NHS Chief Executive Amanda Pritchard.

Amanda Pritchard, NHS Chief Executive said: “COVID has been the greatest challenge in the NHS’s history and our staff, supported by volunteers and partners in the care sector and wider public, have responded magnificently.

“The NHS Parliamentary Awards are here to recognise the dedication, innovation and can-do spirit staff have shown, not just in the face of this once in a generation pandemic.

“This is a chance for MPs to put a spotlight on nurses, doctors, therapists, porters, cleaners, cooks or other health and care staff who have gone above and beyond to deliver for patients and their families.

“It has been inspiring to witness the courage and innovation shown by staff across the country, as they worked together to innovate and adapt to the constantly changing demands posed by COVID and are now putting the same energy and commitment into recovery from the pandemic”.

Health and Social Care Secretary, Sajid Javid said: “I am hugely grateful to all NHS and social care staff who go above and beyond every day and have shown immense commitment during the pandemic.

“As we recover and reform, our staff will continue to be vital to the delivery of world-class care.

“I encourage my fellow MPs to take this opportunity to pay tribute to outstanding health and care professionals in their area for working tirelessly to look after us and our loved ones”.

This year there are 10 award categories, including the Lifetime Achievement Award, the Rising Star Award and, as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, the COVID Response Award.

The shortlist of regional winners will be announced on 13 June ahead of the winners ceremony in July.

The Parliamentary Awards 2022 launched on 2 March 2022, and all those who make the national shortlist will be invited to an award ceremony in Westminster to celebrate their fantastic achievements.

Since the awards began in 2018 over 450 Members of Parliament nominated an individual or organisation for an award. Last year, the NHS received over 500 nominations from MPs.

Dr Rajiv Sethi, previous winner of the rising star award said: “This is a great initiative championing and highlighting brilliant work by health and care colleagues across the country.

“We were delighted to be recognised for supporting the current and future NHS and global workforce at Health Careers Live, Becoming a Doctor and ICGRx. Supporting those that care for others has never been more important”.

Darren Farmer, Director of Operations (East) at London Ambulance Service who attended the launch of the awards, said: “It’s been a challenging couple of years for staff and volunteers at the London Ambulance Service and across the wider NHS and we are proud of their awe-inspiring commitment and dedication to our patients.

“As winners of the Excellence in Urgent and Emergency Care Award last year, I cannot emphasise enough how important the NHS Parliamentary Awards are as a way to recognise this brilliance across the NHS and to showcase how our clinicians are working above and beyond to enhance patient care across the country”.

This year’s award ceremony features the following categories:

  • The Excellence in Healthcare: This award recognises individuals or teams who go above and beyond to improve outcomes and experiences for patients living with and beyond major health conditions or work to prevent them.
  • The Excellence in Mental Health Care Award: To the individual or team that has worked across organisational boundaries to develop new and effective services to help people living with mental health problems in their community.
  • The COVID Response Award: The brand new COVID Response Award is for any individual or team who have met the challenges of the pandemic with creativity and innovation to provide the best care possible for their patients.
  • The Excellence in Urgent and Emergency Care Award: To the individual or team that has made improvements to how the NHS treats people in life or death situations.
  • The Excellence in Primary Care and Community Care Award: As the needs of patients and the wider NHS evolves, so does the role of these professionals, and this award seeks to recognise practitioners and teams in primary or community care that are working with patients to help them stay healthy and avoid long stays in hospital or being admitted in the first place.
  • The Future NHS Award: This award seeks to highlight individuals, teams and organisations that are successfully embracing the opportunities that come from advances in medical technology, data, and connectivity.
  • The Health Equalities Award: This award is for an individual or organisation that has helped the NHS to do its bit by bringing together different groups and organisations to reduce health inequalities and prevent ill health in different communities.
  • The Nursing and Midwifery Award: This award is for any nurse or midwife, that has used their skills to ensure that patients experience care and compassion. This award is also open to any one of the thousands of student midwives, nurses, AHPs and medical students who started their careers early to support the NHS’ response to coronavirus.
  • The NHS Rising Star Award: This award looks to celebrate younger members of staff, volunteers or members of the public who give up their time, lend their experiences and deliver better services for themselves and others in their area.
  • The Lifetime Achievement Award: This award is for an individual who has worked within a health or care setting for 40 years or more who has left a legacy.

Nominations are made via MPs who nominate members of their constituency, who are staff, for awards in any or all of the ten categories for the NHS Parliamentary Awards.

MPs will be encouraged to reach out to their local health and care organisations, as well as members of the public, to seek nominations.

Steve Treloar, Chief Executive Officer, sponsors LV General Insurance said: “We’re extremely proud to be sponsoring this year’s NHS Parliamentary Awards. Since its foundation in 1948, the NHS has always worked incredibly hard to look after and protect the millions of us who need their help each and every year.

At the heart of the NHS is its people and we are therefore delighted to be able to celebrate the rising stars of the NHS – those who among younger members of staff and volunteers are helping to shape the NHS for generations to come”.

Fiona Cannon OBE, Group Sustainable Business Director, sponsors Lloyds Banking Group said: “We launched our partnership with Mental Health UK in January 2017, with the aim of raising £4 million over two years. Colleagues and customers quickly exceeded expectations, raising an astonishing £8.6 million in that time, and smashing our original ambition.

Total funds now exceed £15 million as the partnership continues. We are proud to be working with Mental Health UK to promote awareness of mental health, and to support the Excellence in Mental Health Care Award 2022. Tackling this issue will not only make a big difference to the productivity and prosperity of the country, but most importantly, to people’s lives and well-being”.

Jonathan Murphy, CEO, sponsors Assura plc said: “We’re inspired every day by the professionals and teams we support in primary care all over the country, so we’re really looking forward to this year’s nominations and stories of innovation and commitment to the experiences patients have, and their access to health services.”