BMJ UK BMJ Americas BMJ Brazil BMJ China BMJ India

Tackling racist abuse and reducing emissions from anaesthetic gases scoop prizes at The BMJ Awards 2021

  • BMJ
  • /
  • Newsroom
  • /
  • Newsroom
  • /
  • Tackling racist abuse and reducing emissions from anaesthetic gases scoop prizes at The BMJ Awards 2021

Tackling racist abuse and reducing emissions from anaesthetic gases scoop prizes at The BMJ Awards 2021

A plan to deal with racist abuse of hospital staff by patients, a campaign to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from anaesthetic gases, and a talking therapy project inspired by a popular Peanuts cartoon character, were among the winners announced at The BMJ Awards 2021 tonight.

Awards across 16 team categories, plus two new awards recognising people who have risen to the challenges presented by covid-19, were announced at a virtual ceremony to celebrate the incredible work of healthcare teams across the country.

The BMJ Awards reflect BMJ’s mission to improve healthcare and research, help doctors make better decisions, promote partnership with patients, and build a healthier world.

Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust won Anaesthesia and Perioperative Medicine Team of the Year for their Medical Emergency Response Incident Team who resuscitate and stabilise the sickest patients with covid-19. These specialised skilled teams cared for between 90 and 100 critically ill patients in both the first and second waves of the pandemic.

Cancer Care Team of the Year went to the Royal College of Radiologists for its work on standardising radiology consent forms to provide patients with clear information about the side effects of radiotherapy. Feedback from clinicians and patients has been extremely positive and many hospitals are now using the new consent forms routinely.

Leeds Community Healthcare Trust and Leeds Teaching Hospitals won Clinical Leadership Team of the Year for their pioneering long covid rehab service. The community-based rehabilitation pathway provides specialist, holistic care. 

The judges felt two teams deserved to be awarded Critical Care Team of the Year. These were NHS England South West for their Retrieve Adult Critical Care Transfer Service, a dedicated service for transporting critically ill patients between hospitals, and Imperial College London for REMAP-CAP, an internationally important trial that has delivered some of the most important treatments for covid-19. 

Dermatology Team of the Year went to Hereford Wye Valley NHS Trust for their whole system response to the covid-19 pandemic. A teledermatology service was set up from scratch, clinical nurse specialists were upskilled and associate specialists took on increasing clinical responsibilities.

The British Society of Thoracic Imaging won Diagnostics Team of the Year for developing new guidance and an internationally adopted “imaging decision support tool” as part of its national, coordinated response to the covid pandemic.

Digital Innovation Team of the Year went to the Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust with #CallMe - a project to ensure patients were addressed by their preferred name. This helped avoid any confusion over identity and build more trusting relationships with staff.

Diversity and Inclusion Team of the Year went to East London Foundation NHS Trust's inpatient forensic mental health ward caring for people with personality disorders. It introduced a racism action plan to deal with racist abuse of staff by patients and the number of serious incidents has declined.

GASP - the Greener Anaesthesia and Sustainability Project won Environmental Sustainability and Climate Action Team of the Year for implementing a range of carbon reduction projects in the UK. Its aims include reducing emissions from anaesthetic gases, reducing energy use and drug waste. 

Mental Health Team of the Year went to The Lucy Project at Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children. This initiative gave patients almost instant access to someone to talk to and access mental health services without lengthy referrals processes. The concept was inspired by the popular Peanuts cartoon character Lucy.

Primary Care Team of the Year went to the Elliott Hall Medical Centre and Patients Association. Marshalling of volunteers helped many vulnerable patients access services and medications following the first lockdown last year, and later on supported vaccinations. It left a “legacy of pride” among medical centre staff and the wider community.

Quality Improvement Team of the Year went to The PreciSSion collaborative. A collaborative of seven hospitals in the West of England achieved reductions in surgical site infection (SSI) after elective colorectal surgery with the introduction of a locally developed, evidence-based care bundle. 

West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust won Respiratory Team of the Year for rapidly delivering a plan to reduce inpatient numbers and provide expert care as covid-19 infections increased. It included a novel covid-19 “virtual hospital”, helping to avoid the trust being overwhelmed by the high demand for admissions.

Stroke and Cardiovascular Team of the Year went to the Bart’s Heart Attack Centre, which designed and implemented a new early hospital discharge pathway aimed at reducing the length of hospital stays and freeing up hospital resources during the pandemic.

Women’s Health Team of the Year went to the British Pregnancy Advisory Service who delivered early medical abortion via telemedicine when women’s access to abortion services was restricted in the pandemic, achieving high client satisfaction.

Workforce and Wellbeing Team of the Year went to The Midlands’ Charter Collaborative, developed by Health Education England, NHS England & NHS Improvement and the General Medical Council. This collaboration developed 14 quality standards for doctors’ training, education and wellbeing, which are now being adopted by NHS trusts, and created a network of wellbeing ambassadors. 

Four special recognition awards were also presented. The winners for these awards are chosen by The BMJ’s editors.  

UK Research Paper of the Year went to the RECOVERY Collaborative Group for their landmark trial showing a protective effect of dexamethasone in patients with severe covid-19 receiving respiratory support - findings that have had a profound impact on the outcomes of covid-19 patients across the range of clinical and socioeconomic settings around the world.

Devi Sridhar, Professor of Global Public Health at the University of Edinburgh, won a special recognition award for communicating evidence on policy during the covid 19 pandemic. As well as advising governments and explaining the scientific issues to the public via the media throughout the pandemic, Devi is now part of the "100 days mission" which aims to reduce the impact of future pandemics by making diagnostics, therapeutics and vaccines available within 100 days.

Christina Pagel, Director of the Clinical Operational Research Unit at University College London, won a special recognition award for public engagement in science during the covid 19 pandemic. One of Christina’s goals has been to look at how best the evidence around covid-19 can be explained to the majority, especially given the general lack of understanding of science and statistics throughout each wave of covid-19. 

Finally, Sir Michael Marmot, one of the world’s leading experts on health inequalities, received the Outstanding Contribution to Health award. A professor of epidemiology and public health, Sir Michael is president of the UCL Institute of Health Equity and the author of landmark reviews that have sought to make action on social injustices a priority for public policy around the world.

Last year, his Build Back Fairer report noted that inequalities in health - now including a social gradient in covid 19 mortality and ethnic inequalities - were amplified by the coronavirus pandemic. But he contends that health inequalities are not inevitable and can be significantly reduced. They stem from avoidable inequalities in society which governments can and must address if they are serious about “levelling up.”



Notes for Editors:

This year’s sponsors of The BMJ Awards 2019 are: Alliance Medical, British Cardiovascular Society, BSI, Faculty of Sexual & Reproductive Healthcare, Leo Pharma, MDDUS (Medical and Dental Defence Union of Scotland), Pascoe Healthcare, Royal College of Anaesthetists, University College London

For more details on all the winners go to:

Follow us on Twitter: #thebmjawards

BMJ Expert Media Panel

If you are a journalist needing to speak to an expert, please click here.

Browse our Expert Media Panel


Latest coverage of BMJ in the national and international media



If you are a journalist who would like to receive our press releases, please provide your details.



Email the UK media relations team for more information.