Two local members of the group Consult and Challenge, and the Let’s Loop Southampton initiative, have been chosen from hundreds of applicants to represent the South in a prestigious competition to mark the NHS’s 70th birthday.
As regional champion in The Patient and Public Involvement Award category, they will now vie with other regional winners from across England for a national award to be presented at a special ceremony in the Palace of Westminster in July.
The NHS70 Parliamentary Awards, sponsored by IBM and Teva, recognise the massive contribution made by the individuals who work in and alongside the NHS.
Launched in February, it asked the region’s MPs to find and nominate those individuals or teams they thought have made the biggest improvements to health services in their constituencies across ten categories. Chris and Steve Beal of Southampton were nominated by Royston Smith MP.
From over 750 entries, senior experts have chosen four outstanding nominations in each category, which exemplify the best of what the NHS and its partners do day in, day out.
Chris and Steve Beal said: “We were both surprised and pleased to be nominated, we feel as citizens of the city we should get involved and try to change things where possible for people.
“We have loved being part of the group Consult and Challenge and also the big project of Let's Loop Southampton, where we are trying to make shops, doctors surgeries and public places aware of deafness, as this is affecting not just the elderly but younger people as well.”
These two individuals have dedicated a considerable amount of their own time to ensuring patients and the public have been actively involved in a number of health and care projects across Southampton and are being recognised for the significant amount of support they have given health and social care.
Dr Mark Kelsey, Clinical Chair of NHS Southampton City CCG said:
“I am delighted that Chris and Steve Beal have been recognised for their excellent efforts in involving the public in NHS projects around Southampton. Their work, over many years, to help and advise the CCG on our patient engagement has been invaluable. They dedicate a huge amount of time to support the NHS in the city and, in particular, improve access for deaf people through their Let’s Loop Southampton initiative.
“Without volunteers like Chris and Steve, the NHS and Southampton would be worse off. That’s why I am so delighted that in our 70th year, the NHS is recognising their amazing efforts. They would be very deserving winners of the national award”
All of the champions will now be invited to the national awards ceremony, which will be held on July 4th, the day before the NHS’s 70th birthday.
The ceremony will be hosted by Dr Sara Kayat, NHS GP & TV Doctor best known for This Morning, Celebrity Island with Bear Grylls and GPs: Behind Closed Doors.
The regional champions will now go forward to a final stage of judging by a panel including the leaders of Royal Colleges, the Unison trade union, and the Patients Association – collectively representing millions of health and care workers and patients.
The NHS marks its 70th birthday on July 5th 2018, and the NHS70 Parliamentary Awards is part of a range of activities being organised by NHS England and NHS Improvement to mark this milestone, and the achievements of the NHS and those who work for and with it.
These range from ceremonies for NHS staff in Westminster Abbey and York Minster, the special 10p NHS coin released by The Royal Mint and new resources for schools to engage children and young people to think about a career in the NHS, to local open days, exhibitions and other events being staged by hospitals and other health organisations.
People and organisations are also encouraged to take part in the NHS Big 7Tea, with tea parties happening across the country to mark the birthday, sharing their NHS stories and raising money for one of over 250 dedicated NHS charities.
Find out more about NHS70 celebrations and how to get involved at www.nhs70.nhs.uk.
Further information on the NHS70 Parliamentary Awards is available at www.nhs70awards.co.uk.