Welcome to a quick blog from carer matthew mckenzie. Just last night I went to the excellent (Health Service Journal) HSJ Awards 2021.
Taken from the HSJ website – The 41st HSJ Awards culminated in a ceremony shining a light on healthcare excellence at Evolution London. From senior leaders to front-line staff, all finalists have been a source of life-changing and much needed work sharing best practice, improving patient outcomes, and being innovators of better service.
As we all know due to the pandemic and a few other things, the NHS is under immense pressure and whatever pressure the NHS and social care suffers from, it does not take long before unpaid carers take on that added strain. Many patients and unpaid carer’s are often forgetten and although awards are necessary, it is so important to award the work done to identify, support and keep track of the many millions of unpaid carers across the country.
The entries for 2021 were very impressive and numerous as many healthcare systems took up the challenge. For those who managed to get their projects to be judged, I can say there are all winners, but unfortunately there can only be one HSJ winner.
As one of the judges for the entries I felt I learned a lot on the system led carer category. I found out how dedicated the healthcare professionals were in pairing up with stakeholders and those who support unpaid carers.
The judging process was led by Jennifer Kenward who is the senior NHS England lead for experience of care, which is a much needed role for increasing the identity of carers all around the country. You can read her blog in the link below.
Going back to the Annual HSJ Awards, it was held at the Evolution London. A massive venue which is just right for the fabulous event.
I was a bit late arriving to the event due to fighting with my bow tie, but the venue was easy to get to from pimico underground station. I was worried about the covid situation of such a large ceremony, but the way the event was run, everything was strictly monitored.
As a judge we were placed on the front tables to get an excellent view of the awards hosted by the brilliant Sue Perkins who is a great British icon and is passionate about the NHS. The food was excellent and HSJ staff looked after us very well.
I managed to greet friends and partners from Carers UK, Carers Trust and NHS England as well as fellow judges. Obviously I gave them a signed copy of my book (I never miss a trick).
The winner for our category ” System-Led Support for Carers” was “Care for the Carers” on their Intensive Support to Carers in Hastings.
The highly commended award went to West Yorkshire and Harrogate Unpaid Carers Programme, Covid-19 Vaccination Programme for Unpaid Carers.
You can find out more about Care For the Carers off their website below.
All in all, I felt very previllaged to be included as a judge for the HSJ System-Led Support for Carers category for 2021. A very challenging year for the NHS and also challenging for unpaid carers, but entries for such awards set the standard for others to follow. I urge those across the country to take up that challenge and care for the carers.
Well done Care for the Carers, your HSJ award is historic.