Celebrating the work of our incredible doctors and nurses is vital as we mark 75 years of the NHS
The NHS is one of our nation’s proudest achievements and this year marks the service reaching its 75th birthday.
Since its inception in 1948, there has been no shortage of remarkable stories about the incredible care delivered by NHS doctors, nurses, therapists, paramedics, porters, cleaners, and receptionists. The NHS Parliamentary Awards are an excellent way for parliamentarians to mark this milestone anniversary and express our thanks for the tireless work of NHS staff by nominating local heroes for an award.
As chair of the Health and Social Care Committee, I am constantly reminded of the excellent work NHS staff deliver day in, day out. Despite one of the most challenging winters on record - tackling the twindemic of Covid and flu – we saw a significant reduction in cancer and elective care backlogs thanks to the hard work of staff. Latest figures show that the number of people waiting over 18 months for elective treatment fell from 123,969 in September 2021 to 20,101 as of March 2023.
One area of particular interest for me, which suitably ties into the theme of this edition of the House magazine, is mental health. I have repeatedly spoken about the importance of improving mental health services for young people. Innovations like mental health support teams in schools are a real source of encouragement. These now provide support to over 2.4 million children a year, and we need to make sure we continue to build on this.
Mental health is an area the NHS Parliamentary Awards always recognises. Not only is there an Excellence in Mental Health Category, but many mental health practitioners have won plaudits in other categories too. In the Rising Star Category for example, Alice Hendy was celebrated for her work on a digital tool to provide mental health support for internet users who search for harmful content, known as ‘Ripple’. The Mersey Care NHS Trust were also awarded the Excellence in Urgent and Emergency Care Award for their innovative programme to run a triage car team that rapidly responds when someone is at the point of crisis by providing specialist assessment, treatment and pathway support.
These examples show why the NHS Parliamentary Awards are so important. They recognise amazing work in each of our constituencies. That is why I am urging all parliamentarians to get in touch with their local NHS teams to hear and share more of these stories and nominate local heroes. All MPs representing constituencies in England can nominate individuals or teams serving your constituency for awards in 10 categories. The awards ceremony will take place on 5th July, the day of the NHS’s 75th anniversary, at the Queen Elizabeth II Centre in Westminster. I hope to see you there and look forward to hearing about the work done by local NHS heroes in your constituency.
Nominations close 12pm on 2 May. If you need further information, please email NHSAwards@dodsgroup.com
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