Healthcare Champions honoured at House of Commons
On Wednesday 2nd November, Penny Mordaunt MP helped The National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society (NRAS) to celebrate its fifth Healthcare Champions Awards ceremony at a special reception at the Macmillan Room, House of Commons, where the awards were presented by Prime Minister and NRAS Founding Patron, The Rt Hon Theresa May MP.
Penny was there to give support the rheumatology team at the Queen Alexandra Hospital who received an award. During the event, Penny Mordaunt also spoke to NRAS Chief Executive, Ailsa Bosworth to learn about the importance of good quality care to raise greater public awareness of the chronic autoimmune disease rheumatoid arthritis, which affects nearly 700,000 people across the UK.
NRAS is the only charity in the UK solely concerned with Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) and Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (JIA) and offer support, information and advocacy for nearly 700,000 people across the UK living with RA and 12,000 children with JIA, plus their families, friends and carers.
A major priority for NRAS is to raise public awareness of RA and campaign for equal access to good care and services for all. The Healthcare Champions Awards is an important part of this work and provides the opportunity to celebrate the dedication, professionalism and excellent care given by those healthcare professionals that go ‘the extra mile’ to provide the best possible outcomes for the many people coping with RA, while also working in a challenging environment of the NHS reforms.
NRAS Members with RA, and parents of children with JIA, were asked to nominate their choices of healthcare professionals for the awards and the response was phenomenal. A wide variety of nominations was received for whole rheumatology units, consultants, specialist nurses and GPs. A special panel of judges was then convened to choose the entries that best met the following criteria:
Provides a rheumatology service that really meets patients’ needs
Treats patients holistically i.e. as individuals with individual needs and preferences
Involves their patients in decisions about their individual care
Goes that extra mile to listen, to care and to educate their patients about their disease, options and next steps in their care pathway
Fights for their patients if they need treatment for which funding has become difficult.
In spite of the significant challenges posed to offering high quality RA and JIA services in the UK, there are many examples where high quality care is being delivered and the success of the 2016 Healthcare Champions Award nominations confirmed this.
Many NRAS members told passionately of the care received, such as:
“My daughter is always made to feel like she is the only patient who matters. The team make it seem like they have been desperately looking forward to seeing her.”
“5* treatment every time without fail, I feel supported in every way.”
In front of a packed audience, the winners and attendees also heard from Ailsa Bosworth, NRAS Founder and Chief Executive, and Dr Peter Lanyon, President of the British Society for Rheumatology.
Commenting on the Awards, The Rt Hon Theresa May, Prime Minister, said:
“Once again I am enormously impressed by the dedication of our health professionals in RA and so proud that for the fourth year, we are having the opportunity to celebrate the good work of our Healthcare Champions in RA. I would like to thank all those who wrote in with their nominations and applaud our winners for their professionalism and excellence of care.”