News and events

Pictured: Innovation Champion of the Year winners for The Pop-up Hospital

Creative healthcare stars here at Newcastle Hospitals honoured at the Bright Ideas in Health Awards


Now in its 15th year, the awards shine the spotlight on people working to improve healthcare services through innovative problem-solving across the North East and North Cumbria.

Around 400 healthcare professionals gathered at the prestigious ceremony to celebrate the cutting-edge work of individuals and teams within the NHS, academia and industry.

The winning ‘ideas’ covering five categories included a peer-led alternative to traditional mental health services, a Blood Borne Virus (BBV) Test, a ‘pop-up hospital’, a collaborative approach to reducing pressure sores through training and education, and ground-breaking endoscopy research.

The Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust picked up the award for Innovation Champion of the Year for The Pop-up Hospital, which was developed by the team at the Great North Children’s Hospital (GNCH).

The Pop-Up Hospital was a recreated hospital ward forming part of the Great Exhibition of the North, which provided children and the general public with the opportunity to experience what it is like to be a patient at the GNCH.

It was designed by children and staff and allowed visitors to have a fun, educational experience, so that if they had to visit the GNCH in the future, it might be less frightening and more positive. Children could take part in activities such as trying out crutches, dressing up as doctors, investigating a 3D virtual body, and even building their own airways from toilet rolls.

The entire Pop-Up Hospital was set up and delivered without any extra funding, being based simply upon goodwill and belief, as well as the support and enthusiasm of staff at the GNCH and a team of forty volunteers, all of whom gave up their spare time to run it.

Dr Emma Lim, Consultant General Paediatrician at Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said:“The Pop-up Hospital team were thrilled to win the Innovation Champion of the Year prize. This prize recognises the huge contribution of volunteers and dedication and commitment of our staff and shows what we can achieve together.

“We are passionate about providing the best for our patients at the Great North Children’s Hospital. Children and young people inspired us to create the Pop-up Hospital, they told us ‘if your first experience of hospital is positive, it can change your attitude to accessing healthcare for the rest of your life’.

“I’d like to say a huge thank you to Julie Anderson who couldn’t be with us at the awards and who was the powerhouse behind the Pop-up Hospital. Most importantly, in 2019 the Pop-up Hospital will be opening on selected dates at the Centre of Life and in summer 2020 at the Great North Museum.”

Organisers, the Academic Health Science Network for the North East and North Cumbria (AHSN NENC), offer specialist expert support to all the winners, as well as a cash prize, to develop the ideas the further.

Dr Nicola Wesley, Chief Operations Officer at the AHSN NENC, said: “The Bright Ideas in Health Awards never fail to amaze and inspire. The North East and North Cumbria is a hotbed of innovative thinkers and problem-solvers and these awards provide the ideal platform to celebrate the achievements of the healthcare professionals that are making a real difference across a wide range of healthcare settings.

“At a time when our health service is under immense pressure, it’s never been more important for us to search for solutions to address everyday healthcare challenges. We have been overwhelmed by the quality of projects taking place across our region and I would like to personally say well done to all the winners and the finalists. I’m sure they will act as inspiration for others to think outside the box and develop ideas that could ultimately help lessen the pressures on frontline NHS staff and improve patient care.”

The winners in each category were:  

Service Improvement
ReCoCo (The Recovery College Collective)
Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust

Development of an Innovative Device or Technology
Blood Borne Virus (BBV) Test
South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Innovation Champion of the Year
The Pop-up Hospital - Team from the Great North Children’s Hospital
Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Demonstrating an Impact of Patient Safety
Pressure Area Care - spreading the knowledge  
North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust  

Research Impact: Improving patient care
Leading Collaborations to Deliver Practice Changing Research
South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust

The 15th Bright Ideas in Health Awards, held at the Newcastle Gateshead Hilton Hotel on 29 November, were hosted by TV presenter and journalist Kim Inglis. Speakers at the event included Dame Jackie Daniel, Chief Executive of the Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, and Adam Kay, author of ‘This is Going to Hurt – Secret Diaries of a Junior Doctor’.  

Find out more here
This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website.