Health and care heroes to represent Midlands and East of England in NHS 70 birthday awards

The NHS in the Midlands and East area has today (Friday 18 May) revealed that Professor Barbara Wilson OBE from Cambridgeshire Community Services NHS Trust is one of 10 it has chosen as regional champions in a prestigious competition to mark the NHS’s 70th birthday.

As a resident of Bury St Edmunds, Barbara Wilson was nominated by Jo Churchill MP in the Lifetime Achievement Award category for dedicating over 40 years of her life to brain injury rehabilitation.

Barbara is esteemed for her care for patients, building bridges between practice and theory, and team work between psychologists, occupational therapists, physiotherapists and brain injured people.

She is founder of the Oliver Zangwill Centre for Neuro-psychological Rehabilitation in Ely; founder and editor of an international journal Neuropsychological Rehabilitation; author of 26 books and several instruments for testing patients, including a memory test translated into sixteen languages. She is loved by students who appreciate her devotion and encouragement.

Now retired, Professor Wilson continues to influence present and future staff in the NHS and further afield promoting the core ideas of a holistic approach to neuropsychological rehabilitation.

Professor Wilson said: “I am delighted to be shortlisted for the Lifetime Achievement Award category of the NHS70 Parliamentary Awards. Should I be successful in winning the award, it would be due recognition of neuropsychologists and all other professions working in brain injury rehabilitation for their essential work in assisting survivors of brain injury to lead purposeful lives.

“Being good at saving lives is admirable but we need to ensure the lives led by those saved are worthwhile and fulfilling. Such an outcome can also reduce the financial burden on statutory clinical services provided by the NHS, and lessen the stress on the lives of carers.”

Professor Wilson is representing the Midlands and East region of England as they 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 10 categories.

From almost 160 entries in the region, senior experts have chosen 10 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: Inspire Health Team – Sarah Minns & Jyoti Shah
  • The Excellence in Mental Health Care Award, sponsored by Wesleyan: Diabetes and Mental Health Team
  • The Excellence in Urgent and Emergency Care Award: Heartlands Elderly Care, Trauma and Ongoing Recovery project (HECTOR)
  • The Care and Compassion Award: Butterfly volunteers
  • The Excellence in Primary Care Award: Medical School, University of Nottingham
  • The Person-Centred Care Champion Award: Norfolk Just One Number initiative for children and young people
  • The Future NHS Award, sponsored by Health HR UK: Renal telemedicine team
  • The Healthier Communities Award: Alex Cotton and the ‘It Takes Balls to Talk’ Team
  • The Patient and Public Involvement Award: My WiSH Charity
  • The Lifetime Achievement Award: Professor Barbara Wilson OBE

All of the champions will now be invited to the national awards ceremony, which will be held on 4 July 2018, 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 Midlands and East (East) Director of Nursing, Vivienne Stimpson 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.

Vivienne added: “I’m sure everyone will be rooting for our regional champions when the national winners are decided, and I’m confident that as a team they’ll be bringing a number of awards back with them from Westminster in July.”