The annual Communicating Health Awards are an established event in the AHC's calendar.

In 2004, award entries were not only high in numbers but also of an incredibly high standard. We were looking for evidence of evaluation to show effectiveness in clinical and non-clinical areas.

We asked entrants to demonstrate a strategic approach, to state their objectives clearly and to outline an evaluation of their work. The best entries not only demonstrated the reach and penetration of communication messages, but also highlighted real changes seen as a result.

The winners of each category were:

Staff Communication Winner: John Kerr, Tees & North East Yorkshire NHS Trust for 'Making PR Work for you.' Highly Commended: Jonathan Cross, Nottingham City PCT for 'Modern Healthcare in a Modern City.

Patient and Public Involvement Winner: Linda Ashettino, Cambridge & Peterborough Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust for 'Anything to Say' campaign. Highly Commended: Caroline Parnell, Tees & North East Yorkshire NHS Trust.

Access and Capacity Winner: Mark Brandreth, Central North & South Liverpool PCTs for 'Communications for All'. Highly Commended: Margie Lindsay, Hillingdon PCT for 'Excellence and Innovation'.

Quality Winner: Caroline Hastie, Blackpool, Fylde & Wyre Hospitals for 'Improving the Quality of Patient Information'. Highly Commended: Linda Aschettino, Cambridge & Peterborough Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust and Christina Martin, Down Lisburn Trust for 'Gastroscopy Incident Handling'.

Service Specific Communication Winner: Chris Birdsall, Swindon & Marlborough NHS Trust for 'The Brunel NHS Treatment Centre'. Highly Commended: June Gibney, North and West Belfast NHS Trust for 'Heads Away Just Say', and Sue Turner, Wolverhampton City PCT for 'Round Two with Lil'.

Inequalities and Public Health Winners: Lisa Cohen, West of Scotland Cancer Awareness Project for 'Spreading the Word about Mouth Cancer', and John Kerr, Tees & North East Yorkshire NHS Trust for 'Suicide Prevention Charter'. Highly Commended: Elaine Wilson, Tyne & Wear Health Action Zone for 'Idle Eric - it's never too late', and Margie Lindsay, Hillingdon PCT for 'Partnership Crime, Linking Health and Crime'.

Award of Excellence Winner: Chris Birdsall, Communications Manager, Swindon & Marlborough NHS Trust.

Communicator of the Year Winner: Lee Squire, Press and Communications Manager, Selby and York Primary Care Trust.

Outstanding Commitment Awards Winners: Claire Austin, Head of Communications, University Hospital Birmingham and Gerry Carson, Previous Director of Corporate Affairs, Royal Hospital Belfast.


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