NHS Communicate Awards 2021

16 September, online

Celebrating your hard work

In responding to the coronavirus crisis, the health sector has demonstrated extraordinary resilience in the face of unprecedented challenges. NHS communicators have been at the forefront of efforts to support and guide colleagues, patients and communities through the pandemic and we want to celebrate your hard work!

The NHS Communicate Awards, delivered by NHS Confederation and NHS Providers in association with the Centre for Health Communications Research (CHCR), are designed to recognise the achievements of communicators across the NHS and celebrate innovation in the sector.

These brand new awards celebrate teams and individuals who have delivered highly effective communications, to support delivery at a local, regional and national level.

Our organisations are passionate about the strategic contribution that NHS communicators make and want to celebrate the success of the profession. That's why we've made the awards completely free to enter and attending the awards ceremony will be free too!

Why enter the awards?

Your success celebrated - have your work showcased to the health communications as an example of communications excellence and best practice within your sector.

Judged by the best - the entries are assessed by a senior judging panel that is diverse and varied. The panel is formed of experienced communications colleagues from across the a range of sectors with a proven track record of success in their field.

Winners showcased - winning the awards provides national exposure for you, your team and your organisation. All shortlisted entries will be shared across NHS Providers, NHS Confederation and CHCR's channels, while winners will be featured in the winners showcase and will receive a coveted trophy!

Make your entry now

Who can enter?

We want to hear about communications campaigns and initiatives of all sizes and budgets.

The NHS Communicate Awards are open to colleagues from:

  • NHS trusts and foundation trusts
  • clinical commissioning groups
  • primary care networks and primary care federations
  • integrated care systems
  • communications professionals from national bodies
  • Academic health science networks
  • Voluntary sector providers of NHS-funded services
  • NHS organisations in Wales and Northern Ireland.

The entries will be assessed on their impact, creativity and innovation so whatever the scale of your initiative, we want to hear about it!

We look forward to hearing about the incredible work you’ve delivered, and celebrating with you at the awards ceremony, on 16 September 2021.

Discover more by looking at the award categories below.

How to apply

To enter the awards have a look at the categories and read rules of entry below, then fill out the form and send it back to us. The awards are free to enter and you can enter as many categories as you like!

Entrants should fill out a separate form for each category they wish to enter. No more than three supporting materials should be included per submission.

Key dates

Open for entry - 13 May
Entry submission closes - 30 June
Judging takes place 30 June – middle of July
Shortlist announced – 30 July
Awards ceremony - 16 September

Submit your entry


Rules of entry

  • The NHS Communicate Awards are open to communications teams and individuals working in NHS organisations.
  • Organisations can submit multiple entries into all categories. Teams or individuals may submit entries on behalf of themselves or others. 
  • There is no official format provided for your Award entry, allowing you to be as creative as you wish. However, entries should demonstrate:
    strategy and research, execution, creativity, originality, performance, effectiveness and result, commitment to development and diversity, innovative practices and employee engagement. For individual categories: Leadership, Initiative, Performance and contribution, colleague references.
  • Entries made into the NHS Communicate Awards must have been started after 1 March 2020. Entries do not have to relate to a specific campaign or project, but can be a component of on-going work or a combination of activities.
  • For categories recognising the performance of teams rather than individuals of campaigns, financial and other figures should relate to your most recent financial year.
  • Entries that exceed the 500 word count limit will be void
  • Entries must be submitted via the entry form.
  • Entries must be submitted online with any relevant, supporting documentation
  • Imagery can be included in the body of your entry to support your case
  • Please include information about any budget allocated for campaigns and programmes.

Supporting Documents and Video/URL Links:

  • Supporting documentation such as press cuttings and video/URL links are optional but are limited to 3 per entry. If choosing to include a video, it must not run for longer than 4 minutes.
  • All relevant information should be included in your main entry. Due to the volume of entries and demands on judges’ time, we are unable to guarantee feedback on entries. Where you would like feedback, please let us know, and if we are able to provide it, we will do so.

award Categories

Best behaviour change or public health campaign
This award recognises campaigns that have demonstrated a clear impact on behaviours or have successfully engaged on a public health issue. Entrants must include examples of the campaign and evidence of impact and evaluation.

Promoting diversity and inclusion in communications
This award recognises a communications team that is demonstrably championing diversity, inclusivity and equality. Examples can include promoting diversity through recruitment and retention and engaging and communicating with diverse audiences and being able to demonstrate an impact.

Working in partnership award
This award recognises communications teams who have successfully worked collaboratively and in partnership with other organisations e.g. social care, local authorities, charitable and voluntary sectors and private on a successful communications and engagement project or campaign.

Best use of digital communications and engagement
This category will focus on teams that have successfully utilised digital communications and social media in its communications and engagement. Entrants will have to demonstrate how they planned the content, set aims and objectives and have evaluated the outcomes. Entries can focus on a specific campaign or long term and routine use of digital comms and social media.

Use of insight and data for innovation in communications
This award recognises the effective use of data and insight to develop new and innovative approaches to communicating and engaging with patients, staff or key stakeholders. Entrants should demonstrate aims and objectives, evidence used to introduce new approaches and how the innovation has been deployed and evaluated.

Internal communications and staff engagement
This award recognises the successful and sustained use of internal communications to engage staff, drive organisational change, or change an organisation’s culture. Entries should include detail on the aims and objectives set for internal communications and how impact has been measured.

Communications team health and wellbeing award
This category recognises the contribution that communications makes to the successful implementation and delivery of health and wellbeing initiatives and programmes for staff in their organisations.

NHS regional rising star award
This award recognises outstanding performance within the organisation and celebrates individuals with growing talent and potential in NHS communications and engagement. The entry should include how the individual has performed and contributed, testimonies from colleagues and/or stakeholders and examples of specific campaigns and programmes of work they have supported or led on.

NHS board commitment to communications
This award recognises the boards of NHS organisations who have continually demonstrated and celebrated the strategic value of communications and engagement in its organisation. Entrants must demonstrate how the board provides ongoing leadership and support for communications and champions the discipline.

Outstanding contribution to NHS communications award
This award will celebrate those who have dedicated a significant part of their career to championing and furthering the development of NHS communications. Nominations will be welcomed for journalists, strategic communicators, clinicians and other NHS staff.

Enter the awards


Associate your organisation with high achieving NHS communicators. Have your brand or message visible across a variety of channels before and during the awards.

If you target the health sector for business, want to raise your profile or increase market share, then sponsorship offers an unparalleled opportunity to:

  • create new business opportunities
  • align your brand with NHS Providers, NHS Confederation and The Centre for Health Communications Research (CHCR)
  • build profile and raise awareness throughout the sector
  • demonstrate your expertise in health communications.

Find out more about how you can sponsor an award by downloading our sponsorship brochure or by contacting daniel.reynolds@nhsconfed.org

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