Peter Dowd MP is calling for nominees to enter into a special awards programme being organised to mark the 70th birthday of the NHS.


The NHS70 Parliamentary Awards, sponsored by IBM, launched in Parliament this week (Feb 7th). It is part of a range of activities being organised by NHS England and NHS Improvement, working with a wide range of partners, to celebrate the achievements of the NHS and those who work for and with it.

MPs in England are searching for outstanding nominees who have innovated, impressed and made a real difference to how the health and care system provides care for patients. There are ten categories, including a Lifetime Achievement award to honour those who have devoted their lives or careers to making the NHS better, both for patients and those who work within it.

Peter Dowd MP said: “The NHS is one of the nation’s most loved institutions, and it is right that we take the opportunity of its 70th birthday to recognise and thank the extraordinary people – the everyday ‘health and care heroes’ – who are there to guide, support and care for us, day in, day out.

“I know that there are many examples of excellent care and practice benefiting local people, and I would urge those working with and for health and care organisations in my constituency to send me further examples they think deserve national recognition.”

The launch of the NHS70 Parliamentary Awards was attended by Ethel Armstrong MBE, who was working as a nurse cadet on the 5th of July 1948 – the day the NHS came into being. She worked for more than four decades at various hospitals around the country, mainly in radiography and nursing, and since then for two charities that support current and retired NHS staff.

Ethel said: “The NHS has changed a great deal since Nye Bevan launched in back in 1948, but one thing has stayed the same: the dedication, skill and compassion of those who work in it and support it in other ways. The 70th anniversary is an important opportunity to honour those people, past and present, so I welcome Peter Dowd’s support for these awards.”

Peter Dowd is calling for potential nominations in the following categories:

  • The Excellence in Cancer Care Award: an individual or team which is going above and beyond to improve outcomes and experience for patients living with and beyond cancer.
  • The Excellence in Mental Health Care Award: an individual or team which has developed new and effective services to help people living with mental health problems in the community.
  • The Excellence in Urgent and Emergency Care Award: an individual or team which has made improvements to how the NHS treats people in life or death situations.
  • The Excellence in Primary Care Award: a primary care practitioner or team which is working with patients to help them stay healthy in their own homes.
  • The Person-Centred Care Champion Award: an individual or team which has gone furthest towards bringing together services to ensure patients with long-term and multiple conditions get the right care in the right place for them.
  • The Future NHS Award: an individual or team that has successfully trialled and embedded innovative change(s) to empower and improve care for patients.
  • The Healthier Communities Award: an individual or team which has brought different groups together to improve public health in their areas.
  • The Care and Compassion Award: any nurse, midwife or care staff member of any discipline and in any setting who has used their skills to ensure that patients experience care and compassion.
  • The Patient and Public Involvement Award: to celebrate volunteers who help shape and deliver better services in their area.
  • The Lifetime Achievement Award: for an individual who has worked within a health or care setting for 40 years or more who has left a lasting legacy.

MPs have until March 23rd to submit their nominations. MPs will choose one nomination per category; these will then be judged by senior local and regional NHS experts to find a regional champion in each category, to be announced on May 21st.

These regional champions will then be judged by a high-level panel, with the winners announced at a special awards ceremony in Parliament on July 4th – the day before the NHS’s 70th birthday.

Further information on the Parliamentary Awards, including how to nominate and the criteria for each category, is available at

Information on the other ways in which the NHS’s 70th birthday is being marked is available at

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