Personnel Today Awards 2020 winners: NHS praised for Covid response

The NHS team celebrate winning the first of three awards, including overall winner.

NHS England and Improvement has been crowned the overall winner at this year’s Personnel Today Awards.

In a year in which thousands clapped for the NHS on doorsteps, the organisation was the clear winner for the “best of the best” prize after it also won awards for both HR Impact and Health and Wellbeing.

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NHS England and Improvement set up a dedicated “workforce cell” to look after the physical, emotional and practical needs of staff as they were exposed to the increasing demands of the pandemic.

It worked in partnership with Public Health England and Health Education England to capture data and received more than 3,000 calls to its helpline, 1,400 text conversations and 120,000 downloads of its app. The initiative supported HR and OD teams across the country right at the height of the pandemic, with one claiming it was “like a pair of arms being put around me”.

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16 November 2021
Grosvenor House Hotel, London

Dr Sonya Wallbank, head of culture transformation and health and wellbeing Covid-19 clinical lead for NHS England and Improvement, said: “This is fantastic. We’ve definitely seen the significant role that HR has had to play during the crisis.

“From supporting people who are shielding, to keeping people well and at work during a hugely pressured time. Our teams have had the benefit of working with a range of HR professionals across the system, and to be recognised for our work is humbling – thank you.”

The 2020 Personnel Today Awards took place in a virtual ceremony due to the restrictions of the pandemic, with winners sharing their excitement over video.

Personnel Today’s editorial director, Rob Moss, said that Covid-19 had not stopped HR teams from submitting impressive examples of their work this year.

“Many of this year’s entries focused on the amazing work done by HR in response to the challenges of the pandemic in their organisations,” he said. “2020 has raised the profile of the profession and the high calibre of this year’s awards shortlists and winners is evidence of that.”

David Blackburn, chief people officer of the Financial Services Compensation Scheme, won the coveted HR Director of the Year award. He led an extensive reorganisation of the FSCS, overhauling policies and processes so that employees could serve customers better.

On receiving the award, Blackburn said: “To be personally recognised as HR Director of the Year in these prestigious awards is a huge personal honour.”

HR Team of the Year went to Great Western Railway, which also underwent a significant change programme involving recruitment, working with unions and transforming its culture.

Civil Service HR at the Cabinet Office was the winner of the first Family Friendly Employer of the Year after expanding the support it offered to carers across central government.

Other new categories this year celebrated the important role of third-party suppliers to the HR profession. YuLife claimed the prize for HR Tech Provider of the Year, Resourcing Supplier of the Year went to HealthSectorTalent and L&D Supplier of the Year to Learnerbly.

This year Personnel Today also introduced the Editors’ Choice award, which recognises the efforts of one of the shortlisted organisations that have caught Personnel Today’s editors’ eye.

Watch the 2020 Personnel Today Awards on-demand now

 

PERSONNEL TODAY AWARDS 2020 WINNERS

Apprenticeship Employer of the Year
MTR Elizabeth line

Change Management Award
Lloyds Banking Group

Diversity & Inclusion Award
Horwich Farrelly

Employee Experience Award
London Stock Exchange Group

Employer Branding Award
GVC

Employment Law Firm of the Year
Trowers and Hamlins

Excellence in Public Service HR Award
Now Teach

Family Friendly Employer of the Year
Civil Service HR, Cabinet Office

Graduate Scheme of the Year
Energus – nucleargraduates

Health & Wellbeing Award
NHS England and Improvement

HR Consultancy of the Year
The TCM Group

XpertHRHR Director of the Year
David Blackburn, Financial Services Compensation Scheme

HR Impact Award
NHS England and Improvement

HR Team of the Year
Great Western Railway

HR Tech Provider of the Year
YuLife

HR Technology Award
EMCOR UK

Innovation in Recruitment Award
Bupa

Resourcing Supplier of the Year 
HealthSectorTalent

L&D Supplier of the Year
Learnerbly

Learning & Development Award
GSK

Talent Management Award
HRA Pharma with DBLX

Editors’ Choice Award
EY

Overall Winner
NHS England and Improvement

 


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