Excellence awards will recognise ‘above and beyond’ support to NHS

An awards event has been launched that will honour suppliers who have helped the NHS deliver great patient care.

The NHS in the North Excellence in Supply Awards 2021 will 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 NHS in the North Excellence in Supply Awards are hosted by the NHS Northern Customer Board and the Innovation Agency. They are sponsored by the Academic Health Science Network for the North East and North Cumbria, Innovation Agency, Health Innovation Manchester, and Yorkshire and Humber Academic Health Science Network.

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.

This year applications are being welcomed for categories that will showcase how businesses, universities, third sector organisations and the NHS have collaborated to improve patient care and support health and care employees.

“We’re looking forward to paying tribute to a diverse range of work that makes a difference to patients’ lives every day. The awards are just one way of marking the success that is happening across the north. I’m looking forward to seeing the range of nominations which will encourage others to get involved with the NHS at a time when collaboration is really making a difference.”

Nicola Hutchinson, Chief Executive at the Academic Health Science Network for the North East and North Cumbria


Dr Phil Jennings, Chief Executive of the Innovation Agency, said: “The ability to form practical collaborations has rarely been more important. For patient and staff welfare as well as the good of the economy, we are delighted that relationships across the North West Coast continue to flourish.”


The winners of this year’s three NHS categories will go forward to the Health Care Supplies Association awards event in November.

Categories in 2021 are:

  • Innovation Award – to recognise a company where innovation has been used to improve a product, process or service to transform or enhance patient care and improved efficiency within northern NHS trusts.
  • Patient Experience Award – whether based in a hospital or the community, recognition for a supplier who has provided goods or services that have enhanced the patient experience.
  • Small Business Award – to mark a small or medium-sized enterprise that has successfully developed a product while also making a significant contribution to the trusts they supply.
  • Support Services Award – an award aimed at companies whose work provides support to the NHS to help maintain the quality of service.
  • Sustainable Development Award – recognising initiatives that have been developed to minimise the impact on the environment. This could include reduced carbon emissions, packaging or energy.
  • NHS Procurement Outstanding Contribution – an opportunity for Heads of Procurement to nominate an individual from their team who displays ongoing and exceptional growth in contribution to their organisation.
  • NHS Champion in Support of Procurement – an opportunity to nominate a member of an NHS procurement team who has gone the extra mile to work collaboratively with procurement departments.
  • NHS Procurement Transformation Award – recognition of a procurement team who have introduced a new innovation project into their trust, resulting in significantly improved patient outcomes and supplier relationships.


The closing date for nominations is 4 June. Judging will take place over the summer with the winners announced at a virtual event to be held on Thursday 16 September.

More information and how to enter