It’s a special year, as we all know. 70 year-iversary, for our NHS. And at the FabNHS awards, we even had one of the fabulous acts who called herself Nigella Bevan (Nye, of course) just for the occasion!
You should have been there. You could have been there! An astonishingly powerful evocation of all that is good about our NHS. Moving stories. And it really was all about sharing. It really isn’t worth trying to hide good ideas. They need to be stolen politely, then put into action. That for me is what The Academy of Fab NHS concept is all about.
It was a session that felt, to my mind, all about feelings. If we can’t have seriously deep feelings within the NHS, where can we expect the joy of emotion to rear its head? Because emotion and passion and engagement and commitment and vocation are central to what everyone does. Including, those like me, who are not employees, but users and helpers in the service.
I sat next to someone who I’d never met, like you always do at these events. And she was so passionate about a lot of things. Let me share.
Firstly, we chatted about the gender pay gap. And a bloke (not me) said how difficult it was to say anything at all about the subject or his views, without it becoming or at least sounding, a bit condescending. I totally agreed. As did my neighbour. And she went on to say how there wasn’t a pay gap based on gender in the NHS. The system and procedures meant there were pay scales for the level of job you were doing. Regardless of sex. Yes, historically more men (currently) were in some of the higher paid jobs. But this was consistently being diluted over time.
She was a Physio. Never wanted to be a nurse, even though that was the way you were pushed at school. No one seems to know that there are about 400 different job roles and career pathways within the NHS. Regardless of sex. Fascinating insights. And as always happens at emotionally powerful events, we got seriously into deep and meaningful conversations. Fab stuff.
It just got better and better. The stage acts were fabulously evocative of the theme for the event – 1948 and rationing (corned beef sarnie for our lunch.,!). What with a stunningly mad hula-hooper, who called herself Annie Bevan, daughter of Nye, just for the day. To the gentleman juggler, to the off the wall magician (who I assume was paid the same as the male performers)!
And superb, evocative singers…The Femmes.
And in between we had the awards – and as ever, all who had been nominated, or even entered, were totally the winners too.
Let me just give you the background story behind how each of the awards got their title.
Rosa Parks – For a team brave enough to reject modern conformity
Four Candles – For people who have listened and responded to feedback – not like Ronnie Corbett!
5127 – As fiercely determined and just refusing to compromise as James Dyson did with 5127 prototypes
TNT – for Tiny, Noticeable things – a touch, a smile – a small act of caring having an explosive effect
Mary Poppins – Chosen by children and young people
Hartley Larkin – Just getting done what needs to be done (Like Hartley did to get the launching gate widened the night before the HMS Victory was launched, off his own bat)
Penguin Award – Not jut one person – The teamwork and team-ship award
Fab Change 70: Individual, and Organisation. – especially for the anniversary. The awards were for energy, leadership and vision. Ideas into Action
Picalilley Award – Every week Roy Lilley and Terri Porrett chose an idea that particularly resonates with them. This award was for their overall favourite of the year.
We also had two special additional awards from Roy Lilley himself, for people who had specifically oiled the wheels for him and the Fab NHS team.
The great and good were there to join in the thanks. Simon Stephens, Dr Phil Hammond, Ed Smith, Professor Jane Cummings. And that was just the people I came across – there were probably many more…
Here’s the link to see who were the category winners. But let’s keep this very simple. Everyone there felt like they’d won. Whether they were a nominee or not.
My sister has a wonderful expression for how I felt at various times during the proceedings. “It’s a happy-hankie moment”. Thanks sis. You are absolutely spot on.
You can’t bottle it. But you can imbibe the atmosphere. And just draw on the positivity and absolute love in the room.
If you couldn’t be there, well at least know how amazing it was. 80% of the attendees and awards winners were female.
It was lovely and powerful and smiley and solidly positive. No, it will never get on the news. It’s not negative enough.
But get this. When all around you may feel like it’s falling apart, these awards really made you realise that they aren’t.
We still have each other. And we still have our NHS.
(And I haven’t even mentioned Dr Phil Hammond’s linking of men’s facial features and the appearance of their scrotum…you had to be there…)
Thanks to Roy Lilley, Terri Porrett and Jon Wilks as well as all the sponsors. None of this can happen without you. And certainly none of it would need to happen without the amazing number of truly fabulous ideas being put into action every day in and around the NHS.