Going the Extra Mile - NHS Champions Awards 2008 winners announced

A health visitor who set up evening clinics for working single parents, a manager who runs film showings with popcorn for his patients and a blind physiotherapist championing the needs of her patients with learning disabilities were among the winners of the 2008 NHS Champions awards announced yesterday at a prestigious awards ceremony at London’s Business Design Centre.

BBC news presenter George Alagiah and e-business woman and charity trustee Martha Lane Fox were among the judges presenting awards and paying tribute to the exceptional care and dedication shown by the winners.

Run by The King’s Fund in association with the Evening Standard and NHS London, the NHS Champions awards 2008 recognised staff in six categories: ambulance staff (including paramedics); nurses, midwives and health visitors; doctors and dentists; clinical support staff (including health care assistants, porters and housekeepers); allied health professionals; and managers and administrative staff. Almost 800 NHS patients and staff from across London nominated their NHS Champions.

The NHS Champions of 2008 are: Stephen Colhoun, Ambulance Operations Manager at Romford Ambulance Station; Patricia Ash, a health visitor at the Wally Foster Community Centre in Hackney; Dr Alexandra Strachan, a GP at the North Road Surgery in Kew; Donovan Harris, a housekeeper at St Pancras Hospital in Camden; Judith Argyrakis, a physiotherapist from the Learning Disability Partnership in Redbridge; and Sunil Chutto, manager at the Newham Centre for Mental Health.

One further award was presented by Martha Lane Fox to Niamh Geoghegan, a paediatric nurse at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, for showing outstanding care for children with incontinence and their families. Martha Lane Fox presented the award from the Antigone Foundation, which she set up to support charitable aims, including innovation in patient-centred health care.

Hosting the NHS Champions awards ceremony, the Chief Executive of The King's Fund Niall Dickson said:

'Today's winners are a testimony to all that is best about our national health service and they reflect the dedication of thousands of NHS staff working across London. These awards are an opportunity to say thank you to them, and to all those who were nominated, for their commitment and for the outstanding and compassionate care they provide.'

With so many nominations and so many inspiring stories, choosing the winners was an unenviable task. 18 finalists were invited to the awards ceremony and the hundreds more who were nominated each received a certificate from The King's Fund, Evening Standard and NHS London.

Notes to editors: 

  1. For further information, please contact The King’s Fund press and public affairs office on 020 7307 2603 or 020 7307 2581.
  2. The judging panel included:
  • George Alagiah OBE, BBC presenter
  • Martha Lane Fox, e-business woman and charity trustee
  • Niall Dickson, Chief Executive, The King’s Fund
  • Veronica Wadley, Editor, Evening Standard
  • Ruth Carnall CBE, Chief Executive, NHS London
  • Professor Sir Bruce Keogh, NHS Medical Director
  • Dame Jacqueline Docherty, Director of Nursing at King’s College Hospital
  • The King’s Fund seeks to understand how the health system in England can be improved. Using that insight, we help to shape policy, transform services and bring about behaviour change. Our work includes research, analysis, leadership development and service improvement. We also offer a wide range of resources to help everyone working in health to share knowledge, learning and ideas.
  • NHS London is the Strategic Health Authority for the Greater London Area. It has overall responsibility for the performance of 31 primary care trusts (PCTs), 24 acute trusts, three mental health trusts and the London Ambulance Service.