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NHS Awards celebrates the best of the health service

3 min read

The best of the NHS have been honoured for their work during the most challenging time in the health service’s 73 year history.

In a special hybrid event, which was streamed live for the first time, regional award winners and nominees from across the NHS and around the country mingled with the Members of Parliament who nominated them. The House magazine is the proud media partner of the Awards, which usually take place at the House of Commons but moved across the street to One Great George Street.

Among the winners was the Oxford Vaccine Group and Jenner Institute, nominated by Layla Moran, for their extraordinary work developing the coronavirus vaccine which has saved millions of lives.

New health secretary Sajid Javid paid tribute to all staff working in the service. He said: “The NHS is nothing without the extraordinary people who day by day go to great lengths to care for us.

“If there has been a ray of light for the dark times we have had with the pandemic, it has been the recognition of the amazing work that you do.”

It’s entirely fitting that a person with a background in engineering should be this year’s winner.

The lifetime award winner was Joe Sim, who has served 58 years in the NHS, starting as an engineer. He said: “I have absolutely enjoyed every day of working for the NHS. It was a job of service. As soon as I arrived, I realised it’s not just doctors and nurses, it’s the majority of people who support the doctors and nurses, and engineers pay a big part of that.”

He was nominated by Derby North MP Amanda Solloway, who told the audience how her own brother had left hospital last week after being treated for Covid-19.

Presenting his award, Sir Simon Stevens, the NHS Chief Executive, paid tribute to Sim’s dedication and hard work, saying: “It’s entirely fitting that a person with a background in engineering should be this year’s winner.”

Dave Prentis, former general secretary of Unison, called for all NHS staff to receive a “decent pay rise” as he presented the Wellbeing at Work Award to the University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic Staff Network. “They deserve it,” he said.

To close the ceremony, the audience was treated to a surprise rendition of Nessun dorma by Dr Alex Aldren, known as “Doctor Opera”.

Reflecting the extraordinary lengths NHS staff have gone to during the pandemic, MPs made a record number of nominations this year.

 A full list of winners will be published in next edition of The House.

The Awards come after Her Majesty the Queen awarded the NHS the highest civilian model of the George Cross.

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