Bristol and Bath’s top healthcare professionals swapped their scrubs for suits during a night of celebration on Wednesday 24 October.
The third annual Health and Care Awards took place on at the Bristol Harbour Hotel, bringing together nurses, doctors, porters and researchers from across our two cities.
The awards were a little extra special this year, with 2018 marking the 70th anniversary of the NHS. And while the night was an excuse to revel in so many incredible achievements, it was also a time to reflect on the challenges the service has faced and how the hard work of its employees has helped drive it forward through hardships.
Editor of the Bath Chronicle, Gavin Thompson, opened the night with a thank you:
“Thank you for coming of course. But more than that, just a genuine ‘thank you’ for being who you and doing what you do.
“People who chose to work in health and care industries, where your wages are paid by the NHS or Virgin or whoever, if you are out there doing your bit on the frontline, you deserve a huge amount of credit. And that’s why you are here today. So we can say a big thank you to all of you as representatives of your whole sector.”
The night was hosted by Dr Phil Hammond, who entertained with stories of his own work with patients.
Main sponsor of the evening was Emersons Green Treatment Centre, with director of the hospital, Rob Thomas, making a heartfelt speech about his work.
The first award up was Volunteer of the Year, sponsored by Brunelcare, which went to Errol Campbell.
Errol has worked tirelessly for several years, using his own time and sometimes money to hold awareness events to inform Black and Minority Ethnic men about their risks of prostate cancer. One in four BAME men are affected by the disease.
Volunteer and Community Sector Team of the Year, sponsored by Virgin Care, went to the Great Western Heart Starters.
Heart Starters is a training programme, in partnership with the Great Western Air Ambulance Charity, for school pupils. The team’s vision is to create a region of heart starters who can confidently administer CPR and use a defibrillator should they ever find themselves in a situation where it's needed.
The Healthy Lifestyle Award, sponsored by Medicat, was given to Lifeskills - Learning for Living. Lifeskills has helped around 175,000 people to live healthier, happier and more independent lives.
Aimed at primary school children, people with learning difficulties, older people and professionals working with 0-5 year olds, the service provides lifelong skills designed to increase confidence and encourage people to do more.
Bristol Robotics Laboratory scooped the Best Innovation Award, sponsored by CFH Docmail.
The lab has been synonymous with cutting-edge medical procedures for some years now but took the award for its recent development of a surgery system that enables surgeons to put joint fractures back together using a minimally invasive approach.
The Outstanding Achievement Award, sponsored by Wiltshire Farm Foods, was claimed by manager of Hillview Family Practice, Val Denton. The first of two accolades claimed by the Bristol GP surgery on the night.
It was also a double win for the Great Western Air Ambulance Charity team as they took the Healthcare Team of the Year Award, sponsored by Pilltime.
Health Campaign of the Year, sponsored by Guinness Care, went to Be Mankind - a drive for more open discussion surrounding mental health throughout the University of Bristol and beyond.
The Research Impact Award, sponsored by Bristol Health Partners, went to Emma Griffith of the University of Bath whose work has helped improve the care experience of inpatients with substance abuse and mental health issues.
The highly anticipated Healthcare Professional of the Year Award, sponsored by BMI Bath Clinic, went to Yvonne Pritchard.
The award was in recognition of Yvonne’s 15 years at the Bath NHS Foundation Trust. During this time she has made an outstanding contribution to patient care on a daily basis. Yvonne expertly leads and manages her team under immense pressure and with minimal resources yet still finds time to be hands on with delivering patient care.
The final award of the night, GP Practice of the Year - which was sponsored by Emersons Green Treatment Centre - went to Hillview Family Practice.
With the help of the aforementioned Val Denton, the surgery has turned itself around despite the odds.
Through individual flair and enabling patients in one of the most deprived practices in the UK to take more responsibility for their health, the team behind Hillview has achieved amazing results in a short space of time.
Final words went to Gavin Thompson who summed up the general feeling in the room, saying:
“It is customary at this point to tell you that you are all winners for being here but what I’d really like to say is you are all bloody amazing and we are privileged to be in the same room with you.”