Dr Ruth May
Ruth is the Chief Nursing Officer for England and an Executive/National Director at NHS England and NHS Improvement. She is also the National Director responsible for infection prevention and control. Ruth was appointed following her roles as Executive Director of Nursing at NHS Improvement, which commenced in April 2016, and Director of Nursing at Monitor, the healthcare sector regulator.
Prior to joining Monitor, she was Regional Chief Nurse and Nurse Director for the Midlands and East region in NHS England, where she championed the 'Stop the Pressure' campaign, which nearly halved the number of pressure ulcers in the region, improving care for patients, as well as delivering cost savings to the NHS.
Ruth is passionate about nurturing the next generation of NHS nursing, midwifery and allied health professions (AHP) leaders, encouraging professional development opportunities and working across the health system to put in place the optimal cultural conditions for all NHS employees to thrive. This includes advocating for improved mental health awareness in the workplace, championing volunteer activity to support the frontline workforce and being a vocal supporter of the NHS Workforce Race Equality Standard agenda and increased diversity across the NHS.
A social scientist and barrister, Caroline has spent her career in the voluntary and public sectors, mostly on children and families’ issues. She has worked in a senior capacity at the children’s charity, Action For Children and at the Local Government Association.
Caroline has also been a policy adviser to Ministers and Shadow Ministers, and a senior civil servant. A former chair of the End Child Poverty campaign, Caroline’s policy interests include integrated health and care, family policy, poverty and the role of the voluntary sector.
Yvonne commenced nurse training at Central Middlesex Hospital in 1977, qualified as a general nurse in 1980 and then went on to qualify in mental health nursing and health visiting. In 1986 she secured her first NHS management job and has since held a number of operational and strategic leadership posts.
Yvonne is currently the Director – WRES Implementation in NHS England, she is a member of the equality and diversity council at the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) in the United States where she helped develop their inclusion strategy. Yvonne has delivered lectures on inclusion and diversity at Harvard University in Cambridge Massachusetts and the Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. She continues to work closely with world expert on health and race Professor D. Williams, of Harvard University School of Public Health.
In 2012 Yvonne was appointed a Magistrate to the North London bench. She has been voted by colleagues in the NHS as one of the top 50 most inspirational women, one of the top 50 most inspirational nurse leaders and one of the top 50 BME pioneers and in December 2017 she was included in the HSJ top 100 influential leaders list. Yvonne was awarded an OBE for services to healthcare in 2010 and was appointed to the position of Director for WRES implementation in June 2015. This year Yvonne has been awarded a Fellowship of the Royal College of Nursing, a CBE in the Queen’s birthday honours list, an honorary fellowship from Kings College University, honorary doctorates from The Middlesex and Buckinghamshire Universities, voted one of the top 70 most inspirational nurses in the NHS over the last 70 years and has become the Deputy President of the RCN.
Simon enjoys using the skills learned in nearly two decades at the BBC to help influence audiences and inspire change to improve health care in England.
He is passionate about the NHS and keen to ensure it is accurately represented in the media, to parliament, and with key partners. He is also determined that NHS staff get the recognition they deserve for their commitment to providing diligent care, on the basis of need and not ability to pay.
Simon leads a team providing all round communication support for NHS England - press, public affairs, publishing, parliamentary briefing, marketing, brand management, events including the annual Innovation Expo conference, bulletins, campaigns, strategic communication and Freedom of Information.
Professor Mayur Lakhani CBE
Mayur has been a practising GP in Leicestershire since 1991. He has combined an active career as a working GP with high profile leadership roles in the Royal College of General Practitioners, National Health Service (NHS) and in the wider health community. As the youngest doctor to be appointed Chairman of Council of the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) – the largest medical royal college in the UK and academy of family medicine in Europe – Professor Lakhani instituted and led the development of the document, The future direction of general practice, a roadmap which was published in 2007. This document first set out the vision of GP federations.
He graduated from the University of Dundee in 1983. He has been a GP for 26 years in the same practice in Sileby, near Loughborough. The practice has won awards for quality, including the 2014 national long-term conditions team of the year and has a long-standing PPG and is part of a federation. As CCG clinical lead, he pioneered a scheme for palliative care which is now in used by 100 practices. He was a trustee and Chairman of The National Council for Palliative Care from 2008 until 2015.
Mayur was elected President in 2017. He was also awarded a senior founding fellowship of the Faculty of Medical Leadership and Management in October 2017 (by assessment of portfolio).
Appointed CBE in the 2007 Queen’s Birthday Honours list “for playing a fundamental role in raising the profile of general practice,” Professor Lakhani has been included in the Top 50 most influential people in the UK health service by Health Service Journal in 2006 and 2007. In addition, Professor Lakhani has served on a number of advisory groups including the Chief Medical Officer’s Advisory Group on Medical Regulation and Assurance and Chaired the Secretary of State’s Inquiry into primary care access for BAME patients.
Ethan McLaughlin, is a 24 year old originally from Birmingham currently living in London. Since being diagnosed with Testicular Cancer, age 21 he has worked to try and improve the experience of other young men like himself when being diagnosed with Cancer get back on their feet. He is an Ambassador for CLIC Sargent, and for the last two years has been a member of the NHS Youth Forum working to advise NHS England on Youth Health Policy Generally. He has also appeared in pieces related to his story in the BBC and the Guardian. During the day Ethan is a civil servant working for the Department for International Development on European Union Policy.
Rachel joined the Patients Association at such a critical time for everyone who needs, or will need, health and social care. With an ageing population, the challenges of Brexit, an unsustainable funding settlement and the pressing need for a thorough transformation of how we deliver health and social care, the need to ensure the voices of patients and services users are heard loud and clear has never been greater.
With twenty years’ directorial experience working in palliative care, Rachel looks forward to continuing the Association’s strong history of a willingness to speak up on behalf of patients and service users when necessary.
Helen joined Carers UK in December 2018, from the national volunteering charity TimeBank where she was chief executive for 10 years.
She has worked in the voluntary sector for 18 years. Her extensive leadership experience and sector knowledge saw her create a well-respected and successful brand at TimeBank, leaving the charity on a secure financial footing.
Originally from the Isle of Man, Helen studied for a degree and M.Phil at the London School of Economics. Her experience as a trustee of a small charity funding a school for deaf children in Tanzania inspired her to join the sector.
While at TimeBank Helen worked in partnership with Carers UK to launch the first volunteer led online mentoring project for carers which opened her eyes to the significant challenge faced by thousands of carers every day.
On leading the search for the country’s top health and care staff, Ruth May, chief nursing officer for England, said:
“I am delighted to be a part of this year’s panel and am looking forward to hearing stories of excellence that happen all day and every day, right across our NHS as we deliver our Long Term Plan for the health service.
“Nurses, midwives and carers are among the millions of staff who make the NHS what it is today, so if you haven’t already done so I would encourage anyone who has seen or received outstanding care to put forward nominations to their MP, and give our local NHS staff the national recognition they deserve.”
Ethan McLaughlin, youth cancer advocate, said:
"I am really honoured to be part of the panel. As a patient, I am extremely grateful to be able give back to the amazing people – within the NHS and more widely - who make amazing and inspiring actions every day to help to get people like me back on their feet, or help us get through the days at our time of greatest need. I look forward to hearing what I am sure to be the inspirational nominations that we receive from MP's from across the country."
Helen Walker, Chief Executive at Carers UK, the UK's only national membership charity for unpaid carers, said:
“Health and care workers play an essential role supporting the NHS and the UK’s 6.5 million unpaid carers looking after loved ones who are older, disabled or seriously ill.
“The NHS Parliamentary Awards is an important opportunity to highlight the brilliant work staff and volunteers do day in, day out, to support families and friends. I hope to see nominations for individuals and teams going above and beyond to improve the health and wellbeing of carers as well as patients.”
Rachel Power, Chief Executive of the Patients Association, the country’s foremost voice for people who use health and care services, said:
“The NHS Parliamentary Awards are a chance to celebrate the NHS staff, carers and volunteers who go above and beyond the call of duty to deliver the very best for patients - as chief executive of the patients association I am committed to championing initiatives that help people get the health and care they need and ensuring patients voices are heard in how they are delivered.
“So, I am excited to see this year’s entries and would urge everyone who has seen, received or delivered outstanding care first hand, to send nominations to their MP and give our local staff the national recognition they deserve.”
Caroline Abrahams, Charity Director at Age UK, said:
"This is a great opportunity for MPs to find out more about health and care in their areas and to connect with some of the wonderful people who deliver it to their constituents and make such a positive difference to their lives. The awards are really wide-ranging, reflecting the diversity of professions and organisations that contribute across the system, and I really am looking forward to seeing the nominations and to meeting the eventual winners in a few months’ time."