Research teams at Oxford University and a Sussex GP are winners at this year’s NHS Parliamentary Awards

Research teams at Oxford University who joined forces to fight coronavirus by developing a covid vaccine and a Sussex GP who worked tirelessly to provide an out of hours and weekend service for local care homes during the pandemic are among the winners of this year’s NHS Parliamentary Awards.

The awards, arranged by the NHS, and supported by Fuji Film are designed to recognise, and celebrate some of the biggest achievements in health and social care.

South East MPs sent hundreds of examples of staff who have gone above and beyond the call of duty including doctors, support workers and volunteers who worked tirelessly throughout the pandemic to make a genuine difference to the people they care for.

The winners have been selected from more than 700 nominations and were judged by a national panel made up of senior leaders representing both staff and patients.

NHS staff were this week awarded the George Cross for 73 years dedicated service and the response to COVID by Her Majesty the Queen.

 Sir Simon Stevens, NHS chief executive, said: “Since the NHS first opened its doors 73 years ago, our health service has faced the biggest challenge in its history with a pandemic on a scale not seen for a century. Staff have come together as never before, saving and improving the lives of hundreds of thousands of patients at an extremely difficult time for everyone.

“All of the nominees put forward for an award this year have done incredible work, and it is a great honour to be able to award our winners with the recognition they deserve for their incredible service to us all.”

Vaughan Lewis, Regional Media Director, South East, said:  “Today’s winners are a fabulous example of collaboration between the NHS and academic staff. We should also celebrate all those who volunteered to participate in the vaccine trials. We are celebrating all sorts of contributions, because it has taken all sorts of people to support the NHS response to COVID-19, from unsung ‘heroes’ who have devoted their working lives to the NHS, to innovators who are making the world a better and healthier place.”

Dr Bruce AllenDr Bruce Allan (pictured above), who was awarded with the Excellence in Primary Care Award, was among nine other winners announced during a ceremony opened by the Prime Minister at One Great George Street, Westminster, on Wednesday afternoon. He was recognised for building up a network of GPs across Sussex to help ensure care home residents could access personalised care seven days a week.

Adam Doyle, ICS Leader Sussex Health and Care Partnership, said: “We are delighted for Dr Allan and congratulate him on this prestigious award. His passion for primary care services and forward thinking led to the introduction of a new, supportive way of working between GP practices and care homes last year in the most challenging of times. The innovative approach meant that care homes had better access to a patient’s own GP with their full medical records, which ensured that each person received the best possible, individual and appropriate care for them during the pandemic response. It was to the benefit of so many and it is brilliant that Dr Allan has been recognised in this way.”

The research teams at Oxford University (pictured below) were announced winners of the Excellence in Healthcare award and recognised for developing a covid vaccine in record time.

University of Oxford

Dr Bruno Holthof, Chief Executive Officer of Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “I am delighted that the Oxford Vaccine Group and the Jenner Institute have won this prestigious award. Their work has given hope to people around the world and many colleagues at Oxford University Hospitals can be very proud of the role they played in the vaccine trial; together we have changed the course of this pandemic.”

Layla Moran, MP, who nominated the group, said: “The Oxford Vaccine Group and the Jenner Institute have saved the lives of millions of people across the UK and the world. I hope this award will be one of many ways that we continue to show our thanks for the work that they have done. Their work is in no small part the reason why we have been able to ease lockdown rules. The vaccine has undoubtedly saved countless lives and led the way out of the pandemic.

“It was a pleasure to be able to attend the NHS Parliamentary Awards. NHS staff have done a remarkable job throughout the past year so it was lovely to spend time congratulating and thanking everyone for their ongoing work.”

Chief Midwifery Officer for England and NHS Parliamentary Awards committee chair, Jacqueline Dunkley-Bent, said: “This year has been an exceptional one, both in terms of the challenges we have faced and the calibre of entrants we received to the awards. Our shortlisting teams had an extremely difficult task to select from more than 700 nominations submitted by over half of all MPs representing English constituencies. It has been incredibly difficult to judge, but we are confident that all our winners embody the skill, professionalism and compassion of the NHS.

“I hope that these awards go some way in honouring the contribution these inspiring people and teams have made for their country.”




The Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Sajid Javid gave the closing address at the ceremony.

The ten NHS Parliamentary award winners selected by an expert panel are:

The Care and Compassion Award, sponsored by LV

Critical Care Family Liaison Team, University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust

At the height of the pandemic, critical care bed numbers quickly expanded to accommodate hundreds of patients needing intensive care across the Trust’s three sites. Coinciding with this rise in numbers of critically ill patients was a restriction on all visitors to hospitals. A group of medical students, with support from ICU consultants and other retired / returning consultants, became the critical care family liaison team and the first point of contact for worried relatives, relaying their messages to patients and gathering information about each patient’s progress and sharing with loved ones – providing support where needed.
Nominated by Jess Phillips MP, who said: “During the first wave of Coronavirus the work of this team keeping families connected with patients was vital while visits were restricted, it’s a pleasure to see their work recognised.”

Managing Director for Retail at LV= General Insurance, Heather Smith, said: “We’re delighted that the Critical Care Family Liaison team who are part of the University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust are the winners of this year’s Care and Compassion Award. The team have done incredible work to keep critically ill patients and their families connected during such a challenging year. They’ve shown care and compassion throughout, adapting to new ways of communicating with patients and families, which is what this award represents.

“We were so impressed by the high standard of entries from across the regions and I’d like to congratulate everyone. It’s fantastic to celebrate the remarkable skills and qualities of our NHS staff and LV= GI are proud to be part of it today.”

The Excellence in Healthcare Award

The research teams working on the COVID19 vaccine at the University of Oxford: Oxford Vaccine Group and Jenner Institute

The Oxford Vaccine Group and the Jenner Institute are two research teams at the University of Oxford who joined forces to fight coronavirus by developing a vaccine in record time.

Nominated by Layla Moran MP

The Excellence in Mental Health Care Award, sponsored by Lloyds Banking Group

The Life Rooms

Three Life Rooms across the North West provide a safe and welcoming place to access community resources and help people feel included in community activities. During Covid-19 the buildings were closed due to restrictions, but within two weeks of lockdown the team created ‘Life Rooms Online’ in order to continue to actively support communities at a time when they were needed most – supporting people’s mental and physical wellbeing.

Nominated by Dan Carden MP

Group Sustainable Business Director at Lloyds Banking Group, Fiona Cannon, said: “Huge congratulations to all of those involved in the Life Rooms. The services they provide are crucial to the mental health and well-being of the people in their community, especially during these difficult times.

“Lloyds Banking Group is delighted to have been able to sponsor the ‘Excellence in Mental Health’ category of the NHS Parliamentary awards, and I would like to pay tribute to everyone shortlisted. The work you do is invaluable at any time, but especially during the pandemic and is an important part of the process of helping Britain recover. We at Lloyds, working alongside our charity partner Mental Health UK, are determined to play our part and help support those who are in the front line.”

The Excellence in Primary Care Award, sponsored by Assura plc

Dr Bruce Allan

Sussex GP Dr Bruce Allan worked tirelessly to provide an out of hours and weekend service for local care homes during the pandemic. Building up a network of GPs across Sussex, he helped ensure care home residents could access personalised care seven days a week.

Nominated by Gillian Keegan MP

Assura CEO, Jonathan Murphy, said: “Dr Allan’s work is a shining example of the innovation shown by primary care and local care homes working together in such challenging circumstances last year, and the difference that made for some of the most vulnerable patients they care for. It’s been a privilege to support the awards in what was a year like no other for primary care, when the commitment of individuals and teams to the experiences patients have, and their access to health services, came to the fore.”

The Excellence in Urgent and Emergency Care Award

London Ambulance Service Macmillan End of Life Care Programme Team

The London Ambulance Service NHS Trust and Macmillan Cancer Support teamed up to create a specialist ‘end of life care’ team, which provides education, guidance, wellbeing support for London Ambulance staff. The work of this passionate team and integration with wider health services has resulted in increased staff confidence, awareness of patient’s preferences and reduced hospital admissions for end of life cancer patients.

Nominated by Bob Blackman MP, James Murray MP and Paul Scully MP.  James Murray MP said: “Over the last year, the London Ambulance Service Macmillan End of Life Care Programme Team have provided crucial support and training to paramedics, under extremely challenging circumstances, to ensure patients receive the best end of life care. This recognition of their difficult and important work is very well deserved.

The Future NHS Award

Sunrise Neonatal Team

The North Middlesex University Hospital’s Sunrise Neonatal Team were able to keep premature babies and their families connected during the start of Covid-19 pandemic by creating a 24/7 video calling service for parents and families to see their babies at a time when visiting was severely restricted due to Covid-19.

Nominated by Bambos Charalambous MP

The Health Equalities Award

Leeds Street Outreach Initiative for Hepatitis C

The Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust and West Yorkshire Hepatitis C Virus Operational Delivery Network worked to create a project during the first national lockdown to engage the hard-to-reach vulnerable adult rough sleepers in the community who were placed in hotels around the city. Teams worked to engage, test and treat this group for hepatitis C as well as looking after their general health and wellbeing.

Nominated by Rt Hon Hilary Benn MP

 The Wellbeing at Work Award

The University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic Staff Network

The BAME Network Leads at Morecambe Bay are a diverse team of volunteers dedicated to supporting Black, Asian and minority ethnic colleagues. The team go beyond their NHS day jobs to support and advocate for BAME colleagues and raise these themes to influence policy and procedure. This year Covid-19 has impacted BAME communities significantly and disproportionately, and the team has risen to the challenge to protect BAME colleagues’ physical and psychological wellbeing as best possible through a stressful and worrying time.

Nominated by Simon Fell, MP, Tim Farron MP, David Morris MP and Cat Smith MP

The NHS Rising Star Award, sponsored by Fujifilm UK

Dr Rajiv Sethi

Rajiv began his career with the NHS by volunteering at Trafford General Hospital aged 16. Now 28, he has become a junior doctor in the North West of England, Clinical Entrepreneur Fellow at NHS England and Honorary Research Fellow at Heath Education England. Alongside his clinical training he has led widening participation and diversity efforts to develop the health workforce nationally since 2017. He has also established the UKs largest widening participation programme supporting over 4,500 aspiring and current healthcare professionals. During the pandemic, Rajiv and his team supported healthcare students and professionals virtually through a series of virtual events bringing together 2,500 people from 74 countries to learn more about career opportunities in the NHS. He established the first national discussion between the General Medical Council and medical students in the UK at the start of the pandemic, which trended on UK Twitter at no.4 and reached 1.6 million globally. This helped develop awareness of the new roles for students during the pandemic and the interim junior doctor positions that were created.

Nominated by Sir Graham Brady MP

Managing Director of Fujifilm UK, Yoshitaka Nakamura, said: “It has been an honour to play a part in celebrating the work of our healthcare heroes, who together showcase an incredible level of care and compassion – in particular, our inspiring NHS Rising Star Award winner, Dr Rajiv Sethi, who has demonstrated remarkable innovation in widening diversity initiatives within the NHS, all while completing his clinical training. Congratulations to Rajiv and to all nominees at this year’s Awards.”

The Lifetime Achievement Award

Joe Sim

80-year-old grandfather Joe Sim is an engineer and Energy Monitor for University Hospitals of Derby and Burton NHS Foundation Trust. Having held a number of roles at the Trust since his first job as Assistant Engineer at Pastures Hospital in 1962, Joe now continues to advise the Trust as Energy Monitor – despite being ‘retired’ for 10 years. Joe played an instrumental role in moving acute services from Derbyshire Royal Infirmary to the now Royal Derby Hospital, working with colleagues to outline the benefits of the move, knowing that he could help to build a bigger and better hospital which was easier to access for patients.

In his spare time, Joe also volunteers for the hospital’s League of Friends, delivering newspapers to patients on the wards. Joe has been making a difference in hospitals throughout Derbyshire for 58 years.

Nominated by Amanda Solloway MP, who said: “Joe is an incredibly inspirational man who has made the NHS his life for nearly 60 years. His dedication knows no limits and he is truly worthy of this award.”


Facts and Stats

  • This year (2020) we received 700 nominations from 266 MPs this is an increase compared to our 590 nominations from 218 MPs last year.
  • We also beat the numbers from NHS70 with respect to the number of MPs that nominated (252).
  • Each and every region saw an increase in nominations from last 2019.

Regional breakdown:

  • Midlands: 147 Nominations
  • North East and Yorkshire: 115 Nominations
  • London: 115 Nominations
  • South East: 107 Nominations
  • North West: 77 Nominations
  • East of England: 69 Nominations
  • South West: 70  Nominations

2019 numbers:

  East of England London North East North West South East South West
Nominations by Region 70 91 69 110 88 44