2nd July 2020
' Nominations open '
5th July 2020
' NHS's 72nd birthday '
1st September 2020
' Nominations close '
23rd November 2020
' Shortlist announced '
7th July 2021
' Awards ceremony '


2020 Categories and Criteria

The NHS Parliamentary Awards are designed to celebrate the work of all NHS staff and those who work alongside them to improve and join up care in their communities.

We are looking for outstanding nominees who have innovated, impressed and made a real difference to how the health and care system provides care for patients. Nominees could be an individual, a team, or an entire organisation.

The Excellence in Healthcare Award

From the first 1001 critical days of life, through to supporting those with the top causes of early death (heart disease and stroke, cancer, respiratory conditions, dementias, and self-harm) for the people of England, this award recognises individuals or teams who go above and beyond improving the outcomes and experiences for patients living with and beyond major health conditions or working to prevent those conditions.

This could be through:

  • supporting access to antenatal, perinatal and postnatal services;
  • establishing a new process to identify and prevent major conditions earlier;
  • developing effective ways to share and spread awareness of a major health condition; or
  • working with patients and their families to support people to stay well, emotionally and physically, and recover in their own homes, with the right support in place in their communities.

The Excellence in Mental Health Care Award

Sponsored By

To the individual or team that has worked across organisational boundaries to develop new and effective services to help people living with mental health problems in their community, including perinatal mental health care during pregnancy, birth and the postnatal period.

This could be through:

  • developing new and effective kinds of services for those experiencing or at risk of crisis;
  • working with local partners to put in place effective prevention strategies that promote better mental health or perinatal mental health care; or
  • working with their communities to address stigma and help design services for those who are hardest to reach, reducing health inequalities.

The Excellence in Urgent and Emergency Care Award

To the individual or team that has made improvements to how the NHS treats people in life or death situations.

This award seeks to celebrate the amazing work of our emergency care services across the country – whether that’s A&E doctors and nurses, ambulance service paramedics and technicians, out-of-hours GPs or the 999 and 111 teams who take calls from worried members of the public – and we are looking specifically for nominees who have made improvements to how the NHS treats people who need urgent care in their areas.

This could be through:

  • developing new protocols, including working with other agencies and/or volunteers to improve response times or increase capacity in A&E;
  • increasing the effectiveness of care; or
  • putting in place different services which are more convenient for people needing urgent treatment.

The Excellence in Primary Care Award

Sponsored By

Primary care services provide the first point of contact in the healthcare system, acting as the ‘front door’ of the NHS for the public. GPs in particular have one of the highest public satisfaction ratings of any public service, at over 85%. GPs provide over 300 million patient consultations each year, but many more patients also rely on community pharmacy, dental, and optometry services for initial and ongoing support.

As the needs of patients and the wider NHS evolves, so is the role of primary care. This award seeks to recognise primary care practitioners and teams that are working with patients to help them stay healthy and avoid long stays in hospital or being admitted in the first place.

This could be through:

  • bringing in different kinds of professionals and/or working with the voluntary and community groups to broaden the range of services in their local practice;
  • working closely with colleagues in hospitals, community teams and the third sector to plan patient care better; or
  • joining together with other practises to jointly deliver more convenient appointments for patients.

The Future NHS Award

Many important healthcare technologies - from vaccines to MRI scanners - have been nurtured by our strong science base and universities, innovative culture and leading healthcare system.

This award seeks to highlight individuals, teams and organisations that are successfully embracing the opportunities that come from advances in medical technology, data and connectivity.

This could be through:

  • developing ways of using wearable devices and apps to monitor patients or support them to manage their own conditions;
  • harnessing technology to make their services more connected, efficient and effective, freeing up staff time and resources to improve patient care; or
  • using data to provide analysis and evidence which helps professionals better target services to prevent ill health or the need for crisis care.

The Health Equalities Award

The social and economic environment in which we are born, grow up, live, work and age, as well as the decisions we make for ourselves and our families collectively have a bigger impact on our health than health care alone. We know there is more we can do to prevent or delay ill health and treat people quicker.

This award is for an individual or organisation that helps the NHS to do its bit by bringing together different groups and organisations to reduce health inequalities and prevent ill health in their community.

This could be through:

  • developing new services for groups that traditionally struggle to access the NHS;
  • working with partners to plan services across an area to improve the health and wellbeing of those who suffer poorer outcomes – rather than on picking up the pieces afterwards;
  • finding new ways to identify and tackle unwarranted variation; or
  • implementing new ways to cut emissions, energy use or waste to create a greener, healthier community.

The Care and Compassion Award

The very best experiences of the NHS do not come simply in being able to perform the latest cutting-edge interventions. They also come from putting patients at the heart of care, engaging with patients and families, listening to their views, and ensuring people are treated with care and compassion.

As the International Year of the Nurse and Midwife, 2020 is a time to reflect on the impact NHS staff have on the lives of so many, thorough their commitment, and expert clinical care which they provide every day.

This award is for any Nurse, Midwife, Allied Health Professional or care staff member of any discipline and in any setting, that has used their skills to ensure that patients experience care and compassion

This could be through:

  • changing how healthcare staff communicate with patients and their families;
  • driving improvements to care environments to make them dementia-friendly or generally more pleasant places for patients and their loved ones; or
  • ensuring that patients and their families are well-informed and empowered to play an active role in deciding what type of care they receive.

The Wellbeing at Work Award

For the NHS Long Term Plan to succeed, we need to ensure we have enough people, in the right place with the right skills and experience, so that staff have the time they need to effectively care for patients. This award is for the person or team that has successfully trialled and implemented change(s) that have made the NHS a better place to work.

This could be through:

  • designing new approaches to improve recruitment and retention of staff;
  • developing safe, confidential non-stigmatising services for staff to turn to when they are struggling and need help;
  • finding new ways for staff to progress in within their roles;
  • implementing new ways for the NHS to cut emissions, energy use or waste to create a greener NHS; or
  • leading the charge in efforts to address discrimination, violence, bullying and harassment.

The NHS Rising Star (New for 2020)

Sponsored By

This award looks to celebrate younger members of staff, volunteers or members of the public who give up their time, lend their experiences and deliver better services for themselves and others in their area.

We are looking for members of staff, members of local groups, such as local Healthwatches, Maternity Voices Partnerships or lay/patient representatives on NHS boards, who are under 30 years old and who have worked hand in hand with local services to ensure they better meet the needs of those they serve. This award is also open to any one of the thousands of student midwives, nurses and medical students who started their careers early to support the NHS’ response to coronavirus.  

This could be through:

  • providing critical but constructive feedback on performance;
  • donating their time and expertise to the NHS;
  • augmenting the NHS’ ability to reach out to different communities; or
  • fundraising for new or improved facilities or treatment options.

Questions to be answered when nominating:

  • Outline this person’s career/relationship with, or supporting, the NHS
  • How have they made the NHS better for patients?
  • How have they made the NHS better for past, present and future staff?

The Lifetime Achievement Award

For an individual who has worked within a health or care setting for 40 years or more and has left a truly impactful legacy.

This award seeks to honour those who have dedicated their lives to working in the NHS and have left it – whether just in their area or nationally – a better service for patients and/or a better place to work for those who will follow them. We are looking for someone who has worked or volunteered within or in support of a health or care setting for 40 years or more and has very much left their mark. This award is also open to any one of the thousands former NHS workers across the country who have come out of retirement to tackle the coronavirus outbreak.

This could be through:

  • championing diversity and inclusion at work and in how the NHS treats patients;
  • leading improvements in care or working conditions in challenging circumstances; or
  • simply bringing a smile to patients’ faces day in and day out.

Questions to be answered when nominating:

  • Outline this person’s career/relationship with, or supporting, the NHS
  • How have they made the NHS better for patients?
  • How have they made the NHS better for past, present and future staff?

NB – 40 years’ service does not need to be continuous, for the same organisation, or entirely in a paid capacity.