Dr Bruce Allan, who was awarded with the Excellence in Primary Care Award, was among nine other winners announced during a ceremony opened by the Prime Minister at One Great George Street, Westminster, on Wednesday afternoon. He was recognised for building up a network of GPs across Sussex to help ensure care home residents could access personalised care seven days a week.

The awards, arranged by the NHS, and supported by Fuji Film are designed to recognise, and celebrate some of the biggest achievements in health and social care.

South East MPs sent hundreds of examples of staff who have gone above and beyond the call of duty including doctors, support workers and volunteers who worked tirelessly throughout the pandemic to make a genuine difference to the people they care for.

The winners have been selected from more than 700 nominations and were judged by a national panel made up of senior leaders representing both staff and patients.

NHS staff were this week awarded the George Cross for 73 years dedicated service and the response to COVID by Her Majesty the Queen.

Sir Simon Stevens, NHS chief executive, said:

“Since the NHS first opened its doors 73 years ago, our health service has faced the biggest challenge in its history with a pandemic on a scale not seen for a century. Staff have come together as never before, saving and improving the lives of hundreds of thousands of patients at an extremely difficult time for everyone.

“All of the nominees put forward for an award this year have done incredible work, and it is a great honour to be able to award our winners with the recognition they deserve for their incredible service to us all.”

Vaughan Lewis, Regional Media Director, South East, said:

“Today’s winners are a fabulous example of collaboration between the NHS and academic staff. We should also celebrate all those who volunteered to participate in the vaccine trials. We are celebrating all sorts of contributions, because it has taken all sorts of people to support the NHS response to COVID-19, from unsung ‘heroes’ who have devoted their working lives to the NHS, to innovators who are making the world a better and healthier place.”

Adam Doyle, ICS Leader Sussex Health and Care Partnership, said:

“We are delighted for Dr Allan and congratulate him on this prestigious award. His passion for primary care services and forward thinking led to the introduction of a new, supportive way of working between GP practices and care homes last year in the most challenging of times. The innovative approach meant that care homes had better access to a patient’s own GP with their full medical records, which ensured that each person received the best possible, individual and appropriate care for them during the pandemic response. It was to the benefit of so many and it is brilliant that Dr Allan has been recognised in this way.”

Chief Midwifery Officer for England and NHS Parliamentary Awards committee chair, Jacqueline Dunkley-Bent, said:

“This year has been an exceptional one, both in terms of the challenges we have faced and the calibre of entrants we received to the awards. Our shortlisting teams had an extremely difficult task to select from more than 700 nominations submitted by over half of all MPs representing English constituencies. It has been incredibly difficult to judge, but we are confident that all our winners embody the skill, professionalism and compassion of the NHS.

“I hope that these awards go some way in honouring the contribution these inspiring people and teams have made for their country.”