Intended for healthcare professionals


Promoting hand washing, stroke prevention, and tobacco control are recognised at BMJ Group award ceremony

BMJ 2009; 338 doi: (Published 03 April 2009) Cite this as: BMJ 2009;338:b1428
  1. Nigel Hawkes
  1. 1London

    The best in medicine and health care was celebrated in London on 2 April, when 10 exceptional individuals and teams won BMJ Group awards in the inaugural year of the competition to reward excellence.

    Identifying best practice—a familiar subject to BMJ readers—was the theme of the evening, which was cosponsored by the Health Foundation, an independent charity that works to improve the quality of health care in the United Kingdom and beyond. Fiona Godlee, editor of the BMJ, said it had been heartening to receive so many impressive nominations and to learn that so much was happening to promote excellence in health care.

    Martin Marshall, the Health Foundation’s director of clinical quality, said that he saw the awards as an opportunity to “inspire, motivate, and support people in health care to achieve the highest possible quality.” The foundation was proud to sponsor the awards, said Professor Marshall. “They are a great opportunity to celebrate the expertise and commitment of those who work so hard in the health service to deliver high quality care for patients.”

    The comedian, writer, and presenter Sandi Toksvig, who chaired proceedings at the Marriott Hotel in Grosvenor Square, Mayfair, made no such bold claims. She admitted to no expert knowledge of health care but said she had been reading the BMJ to get herself in the right mood. “Boy, is that a scary publication,” she said. “I read one article about the risks of oesophageal cancer from drinking tea in northern Iran. That’s very specific indeed. I’ve decided I’m not drinking tea there again.”

    Ten awards were given, culminating in the Lifetime Achievement award, given to Judith Mackay, a leader in the battle to control tobacco and a woman once described by the tobacco industry as “one of the three most dangerous people in the …

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