Staff representing the NHS from across the South have today (Wednesday 4th July) been honoured in parliament as a part of a special, one-off competition to mark the NHS’s 70th birthday.
The NHS70 Parliamentary Awards, sponsored by IBM and Teva, were launched in February to recognise the massive contribution made by the individuals who work in and alongside the NHS.
MPs in England were asked to nominate individuals and teams serving their constituents across ten categories. Regional champions were selected in May, with the national winners chosen by a panel of senior leaders representing staff and patients.
Among those scooping awards at the ceremony, held in Parliament’s Terrace Pavilion, was Rose Bennett at Solent NHS Trust nominated by Stephen Morgan MP in the Lifetime Achievement Award category.
Rose Bennett started working for the NHS in Portsmouth in 1971 and joined her Mother and Aunt who had already been working as Domestic Assistants for a number of years. Her two daughters have also worked for 29 years both in the NHS, one as a Chef and the other as a Business Manager. Solent NHS Trust has been a major part of her family and they are proud to continue contributing in so many ways.
Simon Stevens, Chief Executive of NHS England, said: “Rose is one of the many ‘unsung heroes’ who are the backbone of the NHS. She has always gone the extra mile for patients at their time of need. In a very tough field all the judges agreed she is an incredibly deserving winner, and it was a pleasure to be able to present her with this award today.”
Sue Harriman, Chief Executive of Solent NHS Trust, said: “We are incredibly proud of Rose. She is an amazing individual and we are so pleased to be able to celebrate her dedication to the NHS, her colleagues and local people.
“Rose is an asset to our team and has so many stories to tell about her time within the NHS, and the changes she has experienced during her 46 year career.
“Many people enter the NHS as a vocation and are incredibly humble, Rose is one of those people. It is fantastic that we have been able to recognise the outstanding contribution of one of our ‘unsung heroes’ in this way. Well done Rose and thank you for dedicating your working life to the service.”
Sian Dennison nominated by Jonny Mercer, Gary Streeter and Luke Pollard MP also took home the Excellence in Cancer Care award.
Sian has been a cancer nurse for over 30 years and has been nominated for her positive, caring approach and enabling a progressive culture within her team. She currently works as Head of Nursing for Cancer/End of Life and Trust Cancer Manager in University Hospitals Plymouth. Achievements include implementing survivorship projects, establishment of patient cancer groups, refurbishment of end of life rooms, development of cancer training roles and education to support train and succession plan for the future
After presenting the award to Sian Dennison Andreas Haimböck-Tichy, Director of Health(care) and Life Sciences at IBM, said: “Sian has dedicated her career to supporting people with cancer, and is a great example of the huge difference that nurses can make for patients – not just in how they care for individuals, but also in leading and implementing changes which improve countless people’s experience of care for years to come. She’s a real asset to the NHS, and a very worthy winner of this award.”
The Dorset Armed Forces Community Health and Wellbeing Project at Dorset HealthCare University NHS Foundation Trust nominated by Tobias Ellwood MP and Michael Tomlinson MP also took home the Excellence in Mental Health Care Award.
The Armed Forces Community Health and Wellbeing team led by Andy Gritt aims to reduce health inequalities for veterans and families of both retired and serving personnel. Working with local partners as well as veterans themselves they have co-produced and implemented a veterans’ care pathway. In their first year they assessed 55 people through their Wellbeing Gateway and demand continues to be high. Outcomes include improved access to physical and mental health services and support in preparing for employment.
Presenting the award Dave Prentis, General Secretary of Unison, said: “This is a ground-breaking project that looks at all aspects of the health and social care needs of armed forces personnel and their families. The results so far, and its ambitious and impressive plans for the future, make it a very deserving winner of this award.”
Simon Stevens, NHS England chief executive, said: “As we celebrate the 70th birthday of the NHS, it’s an opportune moment to recognise the extraordinarily dedicated and selfless health service staff, and those who work or volunteer alongside them, who make the NHS what it is today: the institution that our fellow citizens say makes them proudest to be British.”
Ian Dalton, NHS Improvement chief executive, said: “Today’s winners encapsulate the amazing work of NHS staff and volunteers. We are celebrating all sorts of contributions, because it takes all sorts of people to make the NHS run, from heroes in unsung roles who have devoted their lives to the NHS, to innovators who are changing the way the NHS works.”
They were among the ten winners – selected from more than 750 nominations submitted by over 250 MPs – to receive their awards at a ceremony on the Palace of Westminster’s Terrace Pavilion, hosted by Dr Sara Kayat, NHS GP & TV Doctor. Health Select Committee Chair Dr Sarah Wollaston MP, Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt MP, and the panel of judges collectively representing millions of NHS staff and patients were also on hand to pay tribute to the winners and all those shortlisted.
Wider celebrations to mark the NHS’s big birthday will include thousands of NHS Big 7Tea parties to raise money for NHS charities, whilst dozens of landmark buildings will light up blue, including York Minster, the Blackpool Tower, the Gateshead Millennium Bridge, the London Eye and Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. The BT Tower will also run a special birthday message on its iconic infoband.
Find out more about NHS70 celebrations and how to get involved at www.nhs70.nhs.uk.
Further information on the NHS70 Parliamentary Awards is available at www.nhs70awards.co.uk.