The winners have been announced!

The NHS in the North Excellence in Supply Awards 2021 celebrate the development of inspirational collaborations between the health service and its suppliers across the North of England – many prompted by the fight against COVID-19.

The event was staged on an online platform which offered the chance for NHS buyers and suppliers to talk informally before the ceremony.

The awards were hosted by Dr Phil Jennings, Chief Executive of the Health Innovation North West Coast with 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, paying tribute to suppliers who stepped up to help the NHS during the pandemic.

Eight awards were made to suppliers and NHS staff as part of an event hosted by the Health Innovation North West Coast, 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.

See the full virtual awards and exhibition >

Watch the awards ceremony in full >

Watch Sir Jim Mackey’s keynote speech >

All three NHS award winners went through to the Health Care Supply Association annual conference and exhibition held in Harrogate in November and went on to win national recognition for their work during the pandemic . Find out more >

Watch the Winners livestream from NHS in the North Excellence in Supply awards 2020

In 2020 projects including virtual visits, a suicide prevention campaign and companies that stepped up production of vital PPE during the early days of the pandemic were among those highlighted.

Watch all livestreams from our 2020 event >

Winners and the shortlist by award category


Innovation Award

A supplier who can demonstrate how their company has used innovation to improve a product, process or service to transform or enhance patient care and improved efficiency within NHS organisation(s).

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Improving safety and efficiency through remote medicines management

The Medication Support Company

A pharmacist-led telehealth service employed across health and social care to help patients take their medicines correctly. The system offers remote access to trained pharmacists at the touch of a button who can observe remotely, offering advice when necessary.

Delivering a tele-neonatology platform during COVID-19

Teladoc Health

This collaborative initiative involved hospitals in two major cities making use of telemedicine to maintain neonatal and surgical work despite the restrictions caused by the pandemic.

As the telemedicine system allowed almost immediate contact to clinicians, shorter review times were achieved
Twitter: @TeladocHealth

Launch of COVID-19 discharge service across Cheshire


As hospitals increased capacity during the early days of the pandemic, a system of remote patient monitoring was expanded across Cheshire.

The installation of a package of telecare equipment, delivered to patients’ homes within two hours of discharge, allowed constant contact with healthcare staff.
Twitter: @Doro_Care

Reduced contact audiology

Natus UK

The use of an artificial ear meant patients faced reduced contact with clinicians during hearing healthcare and hearing aid fitting. As well as requiring fewer face to face contacts, the technology enabled audiology departments to start catching up on referral lists built up during national lockdowns.
LinkedIn: @Otometrics-UK-Ireland

Technology enhanced living service

Mastercall Healthcare

A system which flagged up the conditions which could lead to hospitalisation used a digital system to record warning signs. As a result, admission numbers were cut as patients could be monitored at home.
Twitter: @MastercallH

Evolving digital pulmonary rehabilitation to meet the needs of Cheshire and Merseyside

Rehab Guru

A library of over 5,000 exercises with high-definition videos was used to help patients overcoming the effects of COVID-19. Digitisation of this data combined with exercise metrics gathered from each exercise session allowed a deeper understanding of the patient’s condition and progress.
Twitter: @rehab_guru

Digital excellence at the heart of five-star patient care

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.

With 90% of paper previously used now removed, the Trust’s ‘Digital Maturity’ ranking has improved from 178th to 19th.
Twitter: @System_C @GraphnetHealth

Cheshire vaccination bank – digitising the COVID-19 vaccine rollout

Liaison Workforce

A system which digitised details of staff and created a ‘bank’ of those who had been vaccinated.

Within a fortnight of the system’s launch, over 1,000 clinical and administrative professionals and clinical volunteers were registered to ensure shifts were filled and the programme could be supported safely and effectively, reducing pressure on GPs.
Twitter: @Liaison_Group

Creating the North West doctors in training collaborative bank – the largest of its kind in the UK

Patchwork Health

A pioneering digital staff bank to enable over 5,500 clinicians to work shifts in 35 trusts by transforming workforce management across the region. The system means shifts can easily be filled, maintaining patient safety at a time of increased pressure on staffing resources.
Twitter: @heypatchwork

Combined intelligence for population health action

Graphnet Health

A lack of coherent and consistent data to support their actions led to the creation of a population health management tool to help the health and care system manage the coronavirus crisis and to drive its recovery. 

Introduced across Cheshire and Merseyside, the system offers real-time analytics and dashboards to help predict, identify and control outbreaks quickly.
Twitter: @GraphnetHealth

COVID-19 virtual ward – remote patient management

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.
Twitter: @mymhealthltd

Digitally enhanced cardiac rehabilitation – continuation of service delivery in spite of COVID-19

my mhealth

The adoption of the myHeart app offered support to patients with cardiac conditions and the clinical teams looking after their care. The app is intelligent and offers content relevant to a patient’s diagnosis.
Twitter: @mymhealthltd

Patient Experience Award

A supplier who has provided goods or services that have enhanced the patient experience. This could be in a hospital, out in the community or in a mental health setting.

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Digital Care Homes

Health Call Solutions

Health Call Solutions was involved in a digital technology adoption project for County Durham care homes when COVID-19 took hold. It accelerated the rollout of the technology and delivered it almost a year sooner than originally planned.
Twitter: @NHShealthcall

Customer care during COVID-19


Topknots wig shop remained open during the pandemic for patients who had undergone chemotherapy and other treatments. Topknots offered WhatsApp appointments for patients who had to shield, delivered wigs to their homes and also offered a fitting service in their shop to ensure a good fit and colour match. This was very beneficial to patients’ mental health.

Sound environments project in paediatric critical care

Songbirds Music UK CIC

Sound Environments is led by music for health specialist musicians Dr Rosalind Hawley and Mark Fisher, who 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.
Twitter: @MusicSongbirds

Excellence in patient experience

Absolute Interpreting and Translations

The language services provider has recently 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.
Twitter: @AbsoluteIntTran

Digital adoption with Refero’s multi-party video consultation service


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.

Improving digital access to primary care across 292 practices in West Yorkshire

Iatro Partners

Iatro worked with seven Yorkshire CCGs to provide website accessibility audits, support and new website development for GP practices, supporting patients with a disability, impairment or sensory loss to have better digital access to their local surgery.
LinkedIn: @IatroPartners

Five-star feedback demonstrates outstanding patient experience with RMS

Radiology Management Solutions

The RMS team work hard to help patients to be as relaxed as possible before an MRI scan, which many individuals dread. The team takes time to explain the procedure and takes care in its implementation.  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.
Twitter: @rmsscanning

Small Business Award

A small or medium-sized enterprise that has maintained consistent growth and strong financial performance while making a significant contribution to the NHS organisation(s) they supply.

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Vaccess: a vaccination system opening opportunities for Cievert in primary care


Cievert is a digital health company providing innovative solutions to improve clinical pathways. 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.

Successfully growing a small business and supporting NHS trusts throughout the global pandemic

Select Medical

Select Medical specialises in manufacturing pressure care mattresses. In the past year, the company has made significant contributions to more than 100 NHS organisations nationwide while not compromising its C3 philosophy, embracing the needs of care providers, carers and the cared for.
Twitter: @selectmedicalc3

Technology for a new world

Pure AV

Pure AV is a successful integrator of audio-visual and communications technology. It has seen 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 us adapt to change.
Twitter: @Pure_AV

J&K Ross – supplier of P3 respirators during the pandemic

J&K Ross

A family firm, J&K Ross supplies Force 8 P3 respirators and took a proactive approach to supplies during the pandemic. The company ensured, for example, it could supply respirator filters on a continuing basis rather than simply accepting an order. Its level of care and communication ensured staff remained protected.

Made in Lancashire, distributed nationwide

Issa Group

Since January 2020, the Issa Group has supplied more than 60,000,000 Type IIR masks (imported at first and locally produced since October 2020), more than 50,000,000 aprons and 100,000,000ml of sanitizer to health and care organisations. The company also launched a local manufacturing facility for civilian and surgical face masks.

Support Services Award

Companies that provide support to the NHS to help maintain the quality of service. Previous finalists have included interpreter services, IT consulting/support services and consultant psychologists.

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Innovating change using digital tools


North Cumbria Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust approached MyKitCheck after a CQC inspection resulted in a ‘must do’ action concerning the storage and checking of equipment. The trust, working with MyKitCheck, went from a baseline compliance of 33 per cent to an average of 95 per cent daily compliance within six months.
Twitter: @mykitcheck

Health checks for NHS staff: driving health outcomes and innovating to sustain provision throughout COVID-19

Health Diagnostics

Health Diagnostics have 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.

Developing future system leaders for integrated health and care

Impact Psychology

Impact Psychology have been at the forefront of developing values-based leadership for health and care organisation, supporting those who are striving to reduce health inequalities and increase diversity. They have coached and supported frontline staff during the pandemic on a pro bono basis.
Twitter: @workwithimpact

NHS Procurement Outstanding Contribution

Individuals nominated by Heads of Procurement who display ongoing and exceptional growth in contribution to their trust. This individual should demonstrate increased levels of accountability, innovative thinking and potential leadership qualities.

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Simon Bennett: Innovation - PPE and Scan4Safety

NHS Lancashire Procurement Cluster

Simon Bennett was a key leadership figure in the pandemic response. His hard work and dedication led to improved patient safety in implementing Scan4Safety principles in theatres, and he helped redesign PPE distribution systems that supplied 14 million items across three trusts.
Twitter: @LancsCluster

Lilian Ncube: Capital programme delivery star

Northern Care Alliance NHS Group

Lilian Ncube has made an extremely valuable contribution to the Northern Care Alliance’s procurement department. She is an incredibly kind colleague whose hard work and agility have seen her go above and beyond the call of duty in her role as category buyer, showing exceptional understanding of the procurement function.
Twitter: @NCAlliance_NHS

Jackie Owen: The Special One

St Helens and Knowsley Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust

Jackie Owen is Clinical Procurement Specialist for the trust who combines tenacity and determination to get the best for both patients and staff. Jackie will accept nothing but the best and her positive energy makes her well respected in the procurement team, as well as regionally and nationally.
Twitter: @sthknhs

Moira Gatley: For her outstanding contribution to NHS procurement

Stockport NHS Foundation Trust

Moira’s commitment during the pandemic in supporting urgent requirements for supplies has been second to none. She has given a great deal of support and guidance to stakeholders and colleagues and always shows a can-do attitude.
Twitter: @StockportNHS

Deborah Bolton: Staff induction handbook

NHS Lancashire Procurement Cluster

Clinical Procurement Specialist Deborah Bolton took the initiative to plug a gap in the recruitment process to draft the content of an ideal new starter handbook. The handbook has already proved invaluable and doubles as a go-to resource for briefing customers about the roles and responsibilities of the cluster.
Twitter: @LancsCluster

Beata Dzivulske: Value-based clinical procurement

NHS Lancashire Procurement Cluster

Senior Procurement Manager Beata Dzivulske has established a value-based approach to clinical procurement underpinned by a robust stakeholder engagement approach in order to navigate the cluster through COVID-19, Brexit and numerous other challenges to customer organisations over the past year.
Twitter: @LancsCluster

Collaboration in action

Cheshire and Mersey Procurement Steering Group

During 2020 the group made outstanding contributions to ensure each of the its 17 trusts could safely operate their services by working closely together and providing much-needed help, guidance, advice and moral support when times were tough.

Sophie Robinson: Leadership - new hospital development

Liverpool University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Sophie Robinson was recently been promoted to Senior Procurement Manager. She has had to learn quickly the mechanics of the new hospital development and the political background, understanding the intricacies of the procurement portfolio in tight timescales.
Twitter: @LivHospitals

NHS Champion in Support of Procurement

NHS procurement teams nominate a member of staff/team within their trust who has gone the extra mile to work collaboratively with procurement departments.

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North East and Yorkshire video consultation procurement: Hayley Lockwood, West Yorkshire and Harrogate ICS Digital Team

West Yorkshire and Harrogate Health and Care Partnership

Hayley led a procurement exercise to extend two contracts for video consultation software across the four ICS regions in the North East and Yorkshire region.  Her professional approach ensured the process, which benefitted all primary, community, mental health and acute organisations, was effective despite the pressures of COVID-19.

David Jago, Chief Officer/Director of Finance, The Royal Oldham Hospital

Northern Care Alliance NHS Group

Nominated for his encouragement for collaborative ways of working, David works with procurement colleagues across organisational and divisional boundaries to deliver benefits and efficiencies. At the start of the pandemic David volunteered to take up the role of Finance Senior Responsible Officer and Director of Finance link to the Greater Manchester ICS Procurement Board.
Twitter: @NCAlliance_NHS

Little treasure in capital: Simon Collins, Head of Treasury and Capital

St Helens and Knowsley Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust

Praised for ensuring a cheery and positive perspective, even when the challenges were seemingly insurmountable, Simon was integral to the procurement team’s ability to deliver a challenging capital programme and obtain equipment in the midst of the pandemic. Teams were able to manage stakeholder expectations successfully in what was an extremely pressured capital programme.
Twitter: @sthknhs

Championing procurement in a time of adversity: Tony McDonald, Executive Director of Integrated Care, Partnerships and Resilience, East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust

NHS Lancashire Procurement Cluster

Tony was instrumental in helping foster a constructive working environment between the Lancashire Procurement Cluster and trust staff. This collaboration meant many urgent challenges were addressed and resolved in a structured and supportive environment.
Twitter: @ELHT_NHS

NHS Procurement Transformation Award

This award recognises a procurement team who has introduced a new innovation project into their trust, resulting in significant improved patient outcomes and supplier relationships. The team must demonstrate how they have transformed business value through efficiencies and cost savings.

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Northumbria Healthcare Manufacturing and Innovation Hub

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.

As well as two million isolation gowns, new products including scrubs, theatre hoods, masks, theatre hats and pillows have now been produced.
Twitter: @NorthumbriaNHS

Managing PPE stock during the pandemic

Wirral University Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

The transfer of the recording of deliveries of PPE from spreadsheet to a virtual store meant managers were able to more easily view how stocks were being managed. The ability to create a ‘real time’ information flow to the trust Command Centre meant shortages could be more easily identified.
Twitter: @wuthnhs

Supply Chain Resilience Programme 2020/21

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. The governance structure was used to support the wider reconfiguration of hospitals wards and departments across Lancashire.
Twitter: @LancsCluster

Community business partners deliver an outstanding result for Morecambe Bay

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. The new hood can be easily worn by all staff and is made in Lancaster.
Twitter: @UHMBT

TytoCare™ Procurement Collaboration for NHSx virtual wards/remote monitoring programme

The Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust

As part of the implementation of the NHSx Joined Up Care Programme, a system to smooth the purchasing process was introduced. This regional programme enabled the trust to protect vulnerable patients through digital innovation, virtual wards and remote monitoring.
Twitter: @LeedsHospitals

Supplier Of The Year

A supplier who has provided goods or services that have enhanced the patient experience. This could be in a hospital, out in the community or in a mental health setting.

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Digital Care Homes

Health Call Solutions

Health Call Solutions was involved in a digital technology adoption project for County Durham care homes when COVID-19 took hold. It accelerated the rollout of the technology and delivered it almost a year sooner than originally planned.
Twitter: @NHShealthcall



Hosted by:


Co-sponsored by:


The NHS in the North Excellence in Supply Awards are hosted by the NHS Northern Customer Board and the Health Innovation North West Coast. They are sponsored by the Health Innovation North West Coast, Health Innovation Manchester, Yorkshire and Humber Academic Health Science Network and the Academic Health Science Network North East and North Cumbria.

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