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Judges face tough challenge with supplier partnership awards

Posted: 9th September 2021

The finalists have been announced for this year’s NHS in the North Excellence in Supply Awards with the 2021 event set to be the best yet. The awards celebrate inspirational examples of businesses and the NHS working together to provide great patient care, many of which have helped to combat the effects of the pandemic.

The event is hosted by the NHS Supply Chain Northern Customer Board and the Innovation Agency, and we are proud to be one of the main sponsors together with Health Innovation Manchester and North East and North Cumbria AHSN.

This year’s ceremony, which will be hosted by Dr Phil Jennings, the Chief Executive of the Innovation Agency, will be held virtually on 23 September, open to all to watch the winners announced. There will also be an opportunity for participants to talk to NHS heads of procurement in virtual meeting rooms.

Sir James Mackey, Chief Executive of Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust and Chair of the NHS Customer Board for Procurement and Supply, will be the keynote speaker.

The awards will be presented by health and care leaders from across the north.

They are:

  • Mick Guymer, Chair, NHS Northern Customer Board
  • Estephanie Dunn, Regional Director, Royal College of Nursing in the North West
  • Russell Watkins, Commercial Director, North East and North Cumbria AHSN
  • Liz Mear, Managing Director, Leeds Academic Health Partnership
  • Preeya Bailie, Director of Procurement Transformation and Commercial Delivery, NHS England and NHS Improvement
  • Richard Deed, Associate Commercial Director, Health Innovation Manchester
  • Lindsay Sharples, Associate Director Partnerships, Innovation Agency
  • Richard Stubbs, Chief Executive, Yorkshire and Humber AHSN

The awards and the finalists are:

  • Alder Hey Children’s Hospital and Liverpool Women’s Hospital/ Teladoc Health- Delivering a tele-neonatology platform during COVID-19.
  • Cheshire West & Chester and Cheshire East Adult Social Care Departments and the Cheshire CCG / Doro – Launch of a COVID-19 discharge service across Cheshire.
  • Natus UK/all NHS – Reduced contact audiology requiring fewer face to face contacts enabling audiology departments to start catching up on referral lists built up during national lockdowns.
  • Stepping Hill Hospital/ Mastercall Healthcare – A system which flagged up the conditions which could lead to hospitalisation used a digital system to record warning signs and reduce patient admission numbers.
  • Innovation Agency, Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital, Cheshire and Wirral Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust/ Rehab Guru – A digital pulmonary rehabilitation library of over 5,000 exercises with high-definition videos used to help patients overcome the effects of COVID-19 in Cheshire and Merseyside.
  • Brownlow Health and Liverpool University Hospitals/The Medication Support Company – A pharmacist-led telehealth service employed across health and social care to help patients take their medicines correctly.
  • St Helens and Knowsley Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust/System C and Graphnet Care Alliance – The creation of a digital system which has significantly reduced the reliance on paperwork linked to patient referrals and handovers.
  • NHS Cheshire CCG & Mid Cheshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust/Liaison Workforce – The digitisation of the COVID-19 vaccine rollout among NHS staff in Cheshire which saw the creation of a ‘bank’ of those who had been vaccinated.
  • Patchwork Health, Lead Employer St Helens and Knowsley Teaching Hospitals – A pioneering digital staff bank to enable over 5,500 clinicians to work shifts in 35 trusts by transforming workforce management across the region.
  • Mersey Care and St Helens and Knowsley Teaching Hospitals/Graphnet Health – A digital system introduced across Cheshire and Merseyside to offer real-time analytics and dashboards to help predict, identify and control outbreaks quickly.
  • Tees Valley CCG/ my mhealth – A virtual ward app which offers remote monitoring of patients with and without access to digital technology during the pandemic which helped patients manage the symptoms of COVID-19.
  • South Tyneside Cardiac Rehabilitation Service/ my mhealth – A digitally enhanced cardiac rehabilitation service offered to patients with cardiac conditions which continued despite of COVID-19.

  • Topknots – The Topknots wig shop remained open during the pandemic for patients who had undergone chemotherapy and other treatments.
  • Songbirds Music UK CIC – Sound Environments, led by music for health specialist musicians Dr Rosalind Hawley and Mark Fisher, provide music for the benefit of children, their families and staff at Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital’s paediatric intensive care and high dependency units. They continued to deliver the project during the pandemic via digital tablets.
  • Absolute Interpreting and Translations – The language services provider developed a patient liaison solution and a patient appointment solution that have significantly improved patient experience and reduced administration costs for GPs and hospitals during the pandemic.
  • Health Call Solutions – Health Call Solutions accelerated the rollout of technology for County Durham care homes when COVID-19 took hold.
  • Refero – Refero provided St Helens and Knowsley Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust with telehealth and video consultation services that allowed for up to 50 participants, boosting efficiency and reducing appointment administration time.
  • Iatro Partners – Improving digital access to primary care across 292 practices in West Yorkshire.
  • Radiology Management Solutions – The RMS team work to help patients to be as relaxed as possible before an MRI scan. Since establishing a feedback system at Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust in January 2021, RMS has received 68 reviews, of which 67 are five-star.

  • Select Medical – Successfully growing a small business and supporting NHS trusts throughout the global pandemic
    Select Medical specialises in manufacturing pressure care mattresses.
  • Pure AV – Pure AV saw significant growth during the pandemic as it supported the NHS in moving to remote meetings and consultations, working on more than 40 sites in Lancashire alone and demonstrating how technology can help adapt to change.
  • J&K Ross – The respirator suppliers took a proactive approach to supplies during the pandemic to ensure it could supply respirator filters on a continuing basis.
  • Cievert – In just three weeks during the pandemic, it developed a system to allow vaccinations to begin by building a digital platform capable of taking direct online bookings.
  • Issa Group – Since January 2020, the Issa Group has supplied more than 60,000,000 masks, more than 50,000,000 aprons and 100,000,000ml of sanitizer to health and care organisations.



  • Health Diagnostics – Health Diagnostics supported York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust’s occupational health team with innovative health and wellbeing checks for staff. Through digital adaptations, this cutting-edge service was maintained throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, despite social distancing restrictions.
  • Impact Psychology – Impact Psychology coached and supported frontline staff during the pandemic on a pro bono basis.
  • MyKitCheck – North Cumbria Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust worked with my MyKitCheck to improve the storage and checking of equipment.

  • Northern Care Alliance NHS Group – Lilian Ncube – for her contribution to the Northern Care Alliance’s procurement department.
  • NHS Lancashire Procurement Cluster – Simon Bennett for his work to improve the distribution of PPE items to three trusts.
  • St Helens and Knowsley Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust – Jackie Owen – for her tenacity and determination to get the best for both patients and staff.
  • Stockport NHS Foundation Trust – Moira Gatley for her outstanding contribution to NHS procurement.
  • NHS Lancashire Procurement Cluster – Deborah Bolton for the development of an invaluable staff induction handbook.
  • NHS Lancashire Procurement Cluster – Beata Dzivulske in recognition of establishing a value-based approach to clinical procurement during COVID-19, Brexit and numerous other challenges over the past year.
  • Cheshire and Mersey Procurement Steering Group – In recognition of outstanding contributions to ensure each of its 17 trusts could safely operate their services by working closely together and providing much-needed help, guidance, advice and moral support.
  • Liverpool University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
    Sophie Robinson – for leadership in particular understanding the intricacies of the procurement portfolio in tight timescales.

  • Wirral University Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust – Managing PPE stock during the pandemic including the creation of a ‘real time’ information flow to the trust Command Centre meaning shortages could be more easily identified.
  • NHS Lancashire Procurement Cluster – A collaborative system to prioritise workloads and minimise duplication of effort was formed to help minimise the effects of a PPE shortage.
  • University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust – A shortage of specialist filtered air hoods, worn by staff caring for the most seriously ill patients, prompted a collaboration with a defence contractor and clothing manufacturer to design and create a new version.
  • Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust – A lack of PPE in the region led to the creation of a hub which involved a local supplier stepping up production and relocating to larger premises.
  • The Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust TytoCare™ – Procurement Collaboration for NHSx virtual wards/remote monitoring programme enabled a smoother purchasing process.

  • Northern Care Alliance NHS Group – David Jago, Chief Officer/Director of Finance, the Royal Oldham Hospital.
  • St Helens and Knowsley Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust – Simon Collins, Head of Treasury and Capital at St Helens and Knowsley Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust.
  • NHS Lancashire Procurement Cluster – Tony McDonald, Executive Director of Integrated Care, Partnerships and Resilience, East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust.
  • West Yorkshire and Harrogate Health and Care Partnership – Hayley Lockwood, West Yorkshire and Harrogate ICS Digital Team

Innovation Agency Chief Executive Dr Phil Jennings who will present the awards ceremony said: “This year has been a challenge for many organisations and it is certainly heartening to hear about the level of innovation, determination and simply the ‘can do’ attitude that has emerged in the submissions we have received.

“The variety of the work undertaken is inspiring: as Sir Jim Mackey will comment in his keynote speech at the event, in some respects the pandemic has encouraged us all to think differently about how we work together to provide great care.

“The judges have had an exceptionally tough time deciding who should be named winners when each is so deserving. With my team of presenters we look forward to helping shine a spotlight on the supply chain across the north and celebrating with all our worthy winners at the NHS in the North Excellence in Supply Awards 2021.”

For further details and booking information

Follow the event on social media #EISNorth2021