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Projects to reduce stillbirth rates, avoid unnecessary surgery for cancer patients, and improve care for vulnerable people in residential homes, scooped top prizes at The BMJ Awards 2015 tonight.
Over 600 doctors and leading health figures gathered in London to recognise and celebrate excellence in healthcare across the UK, including ground-breaking research, inspirational leaders and innovations to improve patient care.
The BMJ Lifetime Achievement Award 2015 was also presented for outstanding contribution to improving health.
The glittering ceremony, held in association with medical insurer MDDUS, took place at the Westminster Park Plaza Hotel and was hosted by comedian, actor and satirist Marcus Brigstocke.
Dr Fiona Godlee, The BMJ’s Editor-in-Chief said: “The health service is stuffed full of dedicated teams doing jaw-droppingly great work for the benefit of patients. In these awards we salute you.”
Winners included the Centre of Maternal and Newborn Health, Liverpool who won Women’s Health Team of the Year for helping to save the lives of countless women and babies in 11 countries across sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia.
Professor Jason Gardosi and his team at the Perinatal Institute Birmingham took home Clinical Leadership Team of the Year for their work to reduce stillbirths. The programme has been rolled out nationally and in 2013 there were 500 fewer stillbirths in England compared with the average for the previous 10 years.
Also from Birmingham, a team at South Asian Health Foundation won Diabetes Team of the Year for improving awareness of diabetes among the South Asian community. The judges said their innovative project was “breaking down cultural barriers.”
Several teams from the capital took home prizes, including Professor Gina Brown and her team at the Royal Marsden Hospital who won Imaging Team of the Year for their work to improve cancer imaging and reduce unnecessary surgery.
Other London winners were University College London and UCLH NHS Foundation Trust who won Innovation Team of the Year for their work with prostate cancer patients. The judges said the novel approach “impacted men’s lives in a positive way, negating the need for an undignified and painful process in many cases.”
Mental Health Team of the Year went to Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust for their work with patients who have medically unexplained symptoms or complex personality difficulties across East London, while Primary Care Team of the Year went to Dr Anna Down and her team at The Argyle Surgery in Ealing for improving primary care in nursing homes across West London.
The National Heart and Lung Institute, Imperial College London won Research Paper of the Year for investigating discrepancies in bone marrow stem cell trials of patients with heart disease. The judges said the study was “a novel approach to detecting underlying issues in scientific reporting.”
With patient safety never far from the headlines, Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust took home Patient Safety Team of the Year for their work to improve the quality and consistency of care for patients after a broken hip.
Cardiff and Vale Health Board won Gastroenterology Team of the Year for their work with patients who need intravenous feeding at home - and who previously had to be sent to England for training.
Dementia Team of the Year went to Devon Partnership NHS Trust for improving the quality of care in residential homes and reducing emergency admissions, while Bradford, Airedale, Wharfdale and Craven Palliative Care Managed Clinical Network won Palliative Care Team of the Year for their ‘Last Year of Life Project’ which the judges said “brought about an impressive amount of change and positive improvement in end of life care for people in this region.”
Finally, The BMJ Lifetime Achievement Award 2015 went to Professor Doug Altman, founding director of the Centre for Statistics in Medicine in Oxford, for his outstanding contribution to improving reporting of health research.
Dr Fiona Godlee, Editor-in-chief of the The BMJ, said Professor Altman “has done more than anyone else to encourage researchers to fully report what they actually did, warts and all, rather than letting the best be the enemy of the good or, worse, pretending that research is perfect.”
Presenting the award on behalf of the sponsors, GSK’s Global Head of Epidemiology Dr Andrew Roddam said Professor Altman “has been instrumental in the development of truly robust guidelines for the reporting of clinical trials and wider clinical research studies. My colleagues and I are delighted that he has received this award and the recognition he truly deserves.”