NHS in the North Excellence In Supply award winners helped to overcome pandemic pressures

Dr Phil Jennings, Chief Executive of the Innovation Agency, speaking at the awards ceremony.

Inspiring collaborations across the North which have helped patients and NHS staff cope with the pressures of the COVID-19 pandemic have been recognised in the NHS in the North Excellence in Supply Awards 2021, sponsored by Health Innovation Manchester.

The event was staged on an online platform which offered the chance for NHS buyers and suppliers to talk informally before the ceremony. The winner of the Small Business category award, Cievert, worked closely with Health Innovation Manchester during last year’s the flu campaign to help develop a digital platform capable of taking bookings from patients directly online. It also automatically checked their eligibility as well as monitored vaccine stock levels and managed logistics.

In total eight awards were made to suppliers and NHS staff as part of an event hosted by the Innovation Agency, the Academic Health Science Network (AHSN) for the North West Coast and NHS Northern Customer Board; sponsored by Health Innovation Manchester, Yorkshire and Humber AHSN and North East and North Cumbria AHSN.

The awards were hosted by Dr Phil Jennings, Chief Executive of the Innovation Agency, who said the event represented an ideal way of celebrating innovation and collaboration: “It was an honour to present the 11th Excellence in Supply Awards. Many of those nominated were fantastic examples of overcoming hurdles despite the challenges of the past year. We, and our AHSN colleagues who have kindly supported the event, are ideally placed to support our partners in the NHS and industry. As our keynote speaker Sir Jim Mackey commented, innovative solutions that can be quickly adopted will be increasingly vital as we aim to spread benefits to patients and within our regional economies.”

Keynote speaker Sir Jim Mackey, the Chief Executive of Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, Chairman of the NHS Customer Board for Procurement and Supply and a former head of NHS Improvement, paid tribute to suppliers who stepped up to help the NHS during the pandemic. He said: “We really do need to try and maintain the freedom of mind and a desire to innovate and collaborate.”

The winners of each award on the night were:

The company created a pharmacist-led telehealth service employed across health and social care to help patients take their medicines correctly.

When COVID-19 took hold the rollout of the digital technology adoption project for County Durham’s care homes was delivered almost a year sooner than originally planned.

In just three weeks during the pandemic Cievert developed a system to allow vaccinations to begin by building a digital platform capable of taking direct online bookings.

North Cumbria Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust worked with MyKitCheck to drastically improve the recording of storage and checking of equipment.

Congratulations to Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust.

Congratulations, Health Call Solutions.

Richard Deed, Associate Commercial Director – Industry at Health Innovation Manchester, said: “The awards this year once again highlighted the strength and resolve of our health and social care system, in progressing innovation, providing expert care and wider support throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. It was clear to see those innovators, businesses and our NHS providers have come together during unprecedented times to action real change and progression, and it was great to celebrate this during the awards ceremony.

“Congratulations to those nominated, and again to the winners on the evening. Each category was as strong as it has ever been, which made for another excellent awards event.”

Mick Guymer, Chair of the NHS Northern Customer Board, said: “This year all of us in the NHS have worked to combat the effects of the pandemic and it’s heartening to see these awards recognise inspirational examples of businesses, third sector organisations and the NHS working together. I send my congratulations to the winners but everyone involved really deserves recognition for their sterling work in often adverse situations.

“These awards are my final act as Chair of the Northern Procurement Customer Board as my eight-year term has come to an end. My best wishes to all involved in the EIS Awards and to the incoming Chair Jonathan Wood.”

To view the full virtual awards exhibition – click here.

All three NHS award winners will go through to the Health Care Supply Association annual conference and exhibition to be held in Harrogate in November – click here for more information.

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