“The NHS isn’t run by people - the NHS is people.” – Health Secretary Matt Hancock speaks at the 2019 NHS Parliamentary Awards

Posted On: 
11th July 2019

Health Secretary Matt Hancock, Health Select Committee Chair Sarah Wollaston, and Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell joined parliamentarians in celebrating NHS staff at the annual NHS Parliamentary Awards. 

“For everyone who works across the NHS it is one big team," says Matt Hancock.
PA Images

TV personality Dr Sara Kayat opened the 2019 annual NHS Parliamentary Awards with warm words for the attendees and MPs present at the packed event. “The idea behind the NHS Parliamentary Awards was to find and celebrate the many, many examples of innovative and excellent practice at work and being delivered around the country, both by those in the NHS and those who work alongside or support it.”

The event, held on the House of Commons Terrace Pavilion, was attended by healthcare heavy hitters, including Health Secretary Matt Hancock. Addressing the packed room the Secretary of State gave an emotive speech.

Creating a healthier society by tackling the root causes of ill health - Health Foundation

“The NHS isn’t run by people - the NHS is people. That is what delivers the care that all of our citizens rely on. People like you make it what it is”

“For everyone who works across the NHS it is one big team… It is every single person in the NHS who helps to improve the lives of the nation and to save the lives of people in this country, everybody plays their part. Everybody should be thanked form the bottom of our hearts for everything that [they] do.”

“On behalf of all the citizens of this country, thank you,” said Mr. Hancock.

Chair of the Health and Social Care Select Committee Dr. Sarah Wollaston MP hosted the event. Dr. Wollaston’s speech stated the awards were a fantastic opportunity for back-bench MPs to recognise the work that was going on in their constituency. Dr. Wollaston said the “closest thing the UK had to a religion” was the NHS and the event rightfully celebrated those who made it work.

“This award is for the unsung heroes and the innovators. It celebrates the sheer scale and depth of what teams do throughout England, because that is the bit that is often not recognised. It is not just nurses and doctors,” said the Select Committee Chair.

Also in attendance was Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer John McDonnell, who had nominated two local NHS workers and his constituency outpatient referral programme for an award. Speaking to PoliticsHome Mr. McDonnell said NHS workers were not recognised enough for their work saying, “They have a tough job but at the same time they are rising to the challenge”. He added he had “nothing but admiration” for NHS workers.

Simon Stevens, Chief Executive of NHS England, presented the Lifetime Achievement Award commending the recipients for showing that  there was “no such thing as hard to reach patients” – instead there were “hard to access services”.

The NHS Parliamentary Awards was organised by NHS England, NHS Improvement and Dods Events; in association with FUJIFILM. See a full list of supporters here.