A mother and daughter who have dedicated their working lives to the NHS are amongst the black and minority ethnic NHS staff who have been honoured as part of NHS England’s Windrush awards.
Winners of the prestigious awards include retired nurse Beatrice Akyeampong, who was recognised alongside her daughter, Dr Vanessa Apea, a sexual health consultant, for their tireless work to improve health inequalities. Dr Sanjeev Nayak, a consultant interventional neuro-radiologist and Dennis Singson, a community mental health nurse, were also given awards for their outstanding contributions to the NHS.
More than 11,000 members of the public, patients and staff nominated NHS staff for the NHS Windrush 70 Awards which mark the 70th anniversary of the arrival of Empire Windrush and also the 70th birthday of the NHS.
In a recorded message played at the awards ceremony, Prime Minister Theresa May paid tribute to the award winners saying: “Without you, there is no NHS and we treasure you every bit as much as the NHS itself.”
Yvonne Coghill, Director of the Workforce Race Equality Standard at NHS England, said: “The contributions of black and minority ethnic staff to the NHS over the past seven decades cannot be overstated. The inspirational winners of the NHS 70 Windrush Awards exemplify the very best of the NHS and all it stands for.”
Simon Stevens, Chief Executive, NHS England, said: “Since its founding in 1948, people from black and ethnic minority backgrounds have played a huge part in shaping the health service and remain a crucial part of our NHS.”
A special recognition award was presented to 92 year-old Alford Gardner, who travelled as a passenger on Empire Windrush on June 22 1948, by Lord Victor Adebowale.
The ceremony also recognised the significant contribution to race equality in the NHS of three health service representatives, with Yvonne Coghill, head of the Workforce Race Equality Standard, Lord Victor Adebowale and Jane Cummings, Chief Nurse for the NHS all given special recognition honours.
Rising stars innovation award – sponsored by NHS Digital: Ghazala Yasin: cardiology nurse consultant and nurse angiographer, Buckinghamshire healthcare NHS trust
Operational service excellence award – sponsored by UNISON: Evelyn Beckley: Patients’ Affairs Officer, South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust
Clinical excellence award for medics –sponsored by British Medical Association: Dr Sanjeev Nayak: Consultant Interventional Neuro-radiologist, University Hospitals of North
Clinical excellence award for nursing –sponsored by Royal college of Nursing: Dennis Singson: Community Mental Health Nurse and Nurse Prescriber, Crisis Resolution and Home Treatment (CRHT) Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust
Clinical Excellence Award for allied health professionals –sponsored by Care Quality Commission:Kashmira Sangle: Physiotherapist and Clinical Lead, Berkshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust
Top leadership award – sponsored by NHS Leadership Academy: Doreen Black: Matron for Oncology and Haematology, Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust
Research & policy development award –sponsored by Health Education England: Dr Amos Burke: Associate Director, National Institute for Health Research Cancer Research Network for Children’s Cancer and Leukaemia, Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
BME inspirational leader award – sponsored by NHS Improvement: Dr Bijay Sinha: Consultant Physician, Barts Health NHS Trust
Contributing towards improving health inequalities award – sponsored by Public Health England: Beatrice Akyeampong: Retired Nurse, Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust and Dr.Vanessa Apea: Sexual Health Consultant, Barts Health NHS Trust
Unsung hero award – sponsored by The Guardian: Judith Fairweather: Mental Health Nurse and Deputy Director of contracting North and East London Commissioning Support Unit
NHS lifetime achievement award – sponsored by NHS England: Comfort Offorjindu: Retired Nurse, Whittington Health NHS Foundation Trust