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Feature BMJ Group Awards

A winning night

BMJ 2011; 342 doi: (Published 20 May 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;342:d3183
  1. Nigel Hawkes, freelance journalist
  1. 1London, UK

The BMJ Group Awards ceremony on 18 May celebrated the best of healthcare and research, reports Nigel Hawkes

Success, professional recognition, and even a scattering of Hollywood glitter made the third annual BMJ Group Awards at the Hilton on Park Lane a night to remember for winners and guests alike.

This year 13 awards were presented for excellence in research, practice, innovation, sustainability, communication, and—a new category—for the best medical team in a crisis zone. Richard Peto, the leading British epidemiologist, won the Lifetime Achievement award, while the prize for Health Communicator of the Year went to the doughty and much-loved general practitioner, Ann McPherson, who set up the website Health TalkOnline.

Dr McPherson, who has pancreatic cancer, was too ill to attend the ceremony but the actor Hugh Grant, whom she had persuaded to back her venture, stepped up to accept it alongside her husband Klim McPherson. Mr Grant described Anne as “part doctor, part campaigner, part stalker” for her subtle, persistent, and ultimately successful pursuit of his support, and said it was “a massive honour” for him to help pick up her award.

The awards, said Fiona Godlee, editor of the BMJ, were a showcase for all that is best in healthcare and research, and she had been delighted by the more than 650 entries. Gordon Dickson, chief executive of headline sponsors MDDUS (the Medical and Dental Defence Union of Scotland),said his company was delighted to be sponsoring once again awards that recognised the dedication of healthcare professionals throughout the world.

Gavin Esler, the BBC TV broadcaster who co-hosted the event with Dr Godlee, said that in the toils of the NHS reform in England we should all be inspired by Hugh Clegg, a former editor of the BMJ, who wrote: “A subject that needs reform …

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