The teams who worked to develop the jab in record time were among the winners at this year’s NHS Parliamentary Awards.
The Oxford Vaccine Group and the Jenner Institute, both based at the University of Oxford, were honoured with the award for excellence in healthcare.
They were among 10 winners selected from more than 700 nominations and announced during a ceremony in London on Wednesday.
Others to be recognised included health teams who created ways for people to keep in touch with their loved ones in hospital during the pandemic and another behind “pop up” clinics to diagnose and treat Hepatitis C among homeless people in Leeds.
Speaking in a video message for the event, Prime Minister Boris Johnson paid tribute to the NHS as “the beating heart of Britain”.
Thanking health and social care workers, he said: “We cherish the extraordinary devotion of all those who serve – the army of doctors and nurses, ambulance crews, cleaners, porters, physios, radiographers pharmacists, midwives, maternity assistants and so many more – you’ve kept coming to work and kept yourselves in harm’s way to save thousands of lives throughout this pandemic.
“These awards are so important because they tell the story of that extraordinary service, 24 hours a day, every second of every hour.
“From pioneering the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine, delivering the fastest and biggest immunisation programme in our history, to comforting worried relatives unable to visit their loved ones and delivering virtual remote care for many in our communities, these awards celebrate the innovation and compassion with which you met unique challenges of this moment.”
The winners were chosen by a national panel made up of senior leaders representing both staff and patients.
NHS chief executive Sir Simon Stevens said: “All of the nominees put forward for an award this year have done incredible work, and it is a great honour to be able to award our winners with the recognition they deserve for their incredible service to us all.”
The full list of winners were:
– Oxford Vaccine Group and Jenner Institute – Excellence in Healthcare Award
– Critical Care Family Liaison Team, University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust – Care and Compassion Award
– The Life Rooms, the North West – Excellence in Mental Health Care Award
– Sussex GP Dr Bruce Allan – Excellence in Primary Care Award
– London Ambulance Service Macmillan End of Life Care Programme Team – Excellence in Urgent and Emergency Care Award
– The North Middlesex University Hospital’s Sunrise Neonatal Team – Future NHS Award
– Leeds Street Outreach Initiative for Hepatitis C – Health Equalities Award
– The University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic Staff Network – Wellbeing at Work Award
– Dr Rajiv Sethi, junior doctor in the North West of England – NHS Rising Star
– Joe Sim, an 80-year-old grandfather and engineer and energy monitor for University Hospitals of Derby and Burton NHS Foundation Trust – Lifetime Achievement Award