Sarah Wollaston and Simon Stevens on the NHS Parliamentary Awards 2019
Without the skill and dedication of its staff and volunteers, our NHS would not be possible. The Parliamentary Awards are a chance for MPs to celebrate the outstanding care they offer, write Simon Stevens and Sarah Wollaston
Last year staff, patients, volunteers and all those touched by our National Health Service came together to celebrate the NHS’s 70th birthday.
Now, looking ahead to the Health Service’s 80th birthday, the NHS in England has set out a roadmap, the Long Term Plan, for how the health service will expand and improve care for patients and their families at every stage of life, supporting people to start well, live well and age well.
Constituents will see some of the improvements happen quickly. This year the NHS is introducing new genetic tests for children with cancer, more GP appointments, beginning reforms to avoid unnecessary outpatient visits and expand support for older people at home and in care homes.
Some will take more time, but many of the changes set out in the plan are already happening somewhere in the NHS. The Long Term Plan seeks to spread this work further and faster, with action on the big killers and disablers of the people of England – strokes, heart attacks, cancer, mental health problems and many others – is ramped up.
But none of these ambitions will be possible without the skill and dedication of the 1.3 million staff, an army of volunteers, carers and their colleagues in the care sector. They are fundamental to making the NHS fit for the future.
All our NHS staff, volunteers and carers deserve recognition, but there are many in constituencies across England that go above and beyond the call of duty.
That’s why we are delighted to announce the NHS Parliamentary Awards 2019.
This is an MP’s chance to celebrate the outstanding care which they and their constituents receive and for all MPs to show how much they appreciate those that power England’s treasured national institution, and those who work so hard in our much-needed care sector.
MPs will work with their local NHS and care community to find these outstanding individuals and organisations and then publicly announce which they are officially nominating for one, some or all the 12 categories of national award. Nominations close on the 26th April 2019.
The Awards will launch on 5th March in Dining Room B, House of Commons and we hope colleagues will be able to join us between 16:00 and 18:00
The Awards Ceremony announcing which nominees have won in each category - and the MP that supported them - will take place on the 10th July.
The nominations aren’t all for clinical roles or individuals. From charities who provide essential services to patients who have fought to change minds and ways, whole NHS and care organisations who have worked in different ways to save lives to volunteers, so many of the workforce inside and out of the NHS perform vital but often-unseen roles to support our health service.
Last year 252 MPs nominated an individual or organisation for a NHS Parliamentary Award. The national judging panel was simply blown away by the talent, creativity and brilliance in the NHS and health community identified by England’s MPs.
This year, we invite even more MPs to get involved and show their local NHS staff, volunteers and carers what they mean to them and the communities they serve each day.
Dr Sarah Wollaston MP is chair of the Health and Social Care Select Committee and Simon Stevens is Chief Executive of NHS England