2020 Judges

More 2020 judges still to be announced!

Venkata Padala

Shortly after graduating, I joined the NHS 19 years ago. I started life here at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation as a IT Technician, progressing through various posts to my current role as the Head of Enterprise Wide Applications for the last 3 years. I am also Informatics Skills Development Network Lead for the Trust working alongside other NHS organisations to ensure we maintain best practices.


Sir Thomas Hughes Hallett

Sir Thomas is cofounder (with his friend Paul Marshall) and Chair of the Marshall Institute within the London School of Economics and Political Science, Chair of Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and Founder and Chair of Helpforce. He is a Trustee on the Board of the Westminster Abbey Foundation.
He has been appointed a professor in practice at the London School of Economics. Sir Thomas has served the Department of Health as a chair and member of a number of advisory boards. He has held senior leadership positions within investment banking and the voluntary sector, including chair of Michael Palin Centre for Stammering Children, English Churches Housing Group, chief executive of Marie Curie Cancer Care and the Institute of Global Health Innovation at Imperial College London, among others.

Sir Thomas has chaired commissions both for the government and independently on healthcare broadly, end-of-life care and philanthropy. In 2012 he was awarded a knighthood for his services to philanthropy, in 2013 a beacon fellowship for philanthropic advocacy, a US Ferrari lifetime lectureship by Houston Methodist Medical School and an honorary degree by Anglia Ruskin University. Sir Thomas is married to Juliet, the founder and chair of the charity Smart Works, and his great passions are choral music and family life.


Rt Hon Lord Hunt of Kings Heath PC, OBE

Philip Hunt has been a member of the House of Lords since 1997. His main interests are health, social care and constitutional affairs.

He is a Board Member of the General Medical Council, Treasurer of the All-Party Parliamentary Health Group and a Trustee of the Royal College of Ophthalmologists.

He was Deputy Leader of the House of Lords and Minister of State at the Department of Energy and Climate Change from 2008-2010. He was a Health Minister 1999-2003 and in 2007. He also served as a Minister in the Department of Work and Pensions, Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, and the Ministry of Justice.

From 2010-2017, he was Deputy Leader of the Opposition in the Lords. He served as an Opposition Spokesperson from 2010-2018, covering Health, Home Office, Cabinet Office and Higher Education shadow briefs.

He was the first Chief Executive of the NHS Confederation, and previously Director of the National Association of Health Authorities and Trusts from its formation in 1990. He chaired the National Patient Safety Agency 2004-2005. From 2011-2014, he chaired the Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust.

Philip Hunt was made a Privy Counsellor in 2009. He holds Honorary Doctorates from the Universities of Aston, Birmingham and Birmingham City.

Helen Barker

Helen has been the Chief Operating Officer at Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Trust for four years, her second COO post. A nurse by training Helen has spent all her qualified career in West Yorkshire and is proud to have worked in all 5 of the regions Acute Hospitals.

Helen recognises the value of teamwork and the contribution that all colleagues make to ensure patients get the best possible care. She is proud that she has always remained very patient focussed, supporting colleagues to find new ways to help us grapple with the challenges of improving the quality of the patient and staff experience. To help with this she ensures people are involved in the change work she does and she can often be seen out and about listening and talking to people to support this.

Helen Barker Admin & Clerical

Caroline Kenyon

Director of Communications and Engagement, Innovation Agency

Caroline Kenyon joined the NHS in 2011 after roles in journalism, broadcasting and PR – all with a focus on health.

At the Innovation Agency she is part of the Executive Team and responsible for engaging a wide network of stakeholders including NHS, social care, businesses, academic and voluntary sectors.

The Innovation Agency is one of 15 Academic Health Science Networks (AHSNs) set up by the NHS to spread innovations which have been demonstrated to improve health and reduce costs; and to support health systems in transformation and improvement.

In additional to her regional role, Caroline supports national communications for the collective AHSN Network, helping with national strategies and programmes as co-chair of the communications leads forum.

Before joining the Innovation Agency, she was Associate Director of Communications at The Walton Centre NHS Foundation Trust for four years, where she re-established the communications function and set up a fundraising team. This followed 20 years as a PR consultant, during which time she provided PR and marketing services for numerous NHS organisations, businesses and public sector regeneration bodies.

She has delivered media training and crisis PR support for organisations around the country. Her early career was in regional and national press; BBC local radio and Radio 4; and as an interim lecturer in post graduate broadcast journalism at the University of Central Lancashire.

Caroline holds a Diploma in Professional Marketing with the Chartered Institute of Marketing.




Carl Ramsdale

I am currently a Senior Quality and Compliance Inspector with the NHS Counter Fraud Authority. I have worked in the NHS for over 15 years in Security Management and also Risk Management. Prior to working in the NHS I served in the Royal Air Force and then the Police Service.

To win the award was a very proud and humbling moment, especially when you hear of the achievements and commitment shown by all those unsung heroes that have been nominated.


Amanda Piper

I have worked for the NHS for over 30 years and have loved every minute!

My current role is as a Housekeeper on Sally Sherman Ward in Eastham Care Centre. We care for patients who have a diagnosis of cognitive impairment and challenging behaviour.

I was thrilled to be nominated for ancillary leader of the year and winning was the cherry on top.

The care we deliver is gold standard and I support the team in many different ways, every day is varied and different.

I arrange funerals when there are no families, deliver high levels of care, shop for patients clothing and items they need, order the meals and stocks, help lead on QI’S programmes, always provide a listening ear and support in any way I can.


Aaron Oxford

My name is Aaron Oxford I am 29 and I am a learning disability and autism network manager at NHS England. I bring real life experience of having a learning disability and being autistic to the judging panel.

Events like this show the public just because someone has a learning disability, autism or both it doesn’t mean they don’t have the right to live a normal life like everyone else.


Emma Easton

Emma Easton is NHS England’s Head of Voluntary Partnerships. She leads on developing more inclusive partnerships with the Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise (VCSE) sector and on the approach to increasing high impact volunteering opportunities in health and care. Prior to joining NHS England in 2013, Emma worked for Regional Voices, a network of regional VCSE organisations, supporting the sector to be more involved in health and care policy development.

Karl Roberts

Karl Roberts, C.StJ is a senior programme lead: NHS National Leadership Academy. Karl has worked across health and social care sector; Karl is currently senior programme lead for patient, staff experience and safeguarding. Karl is passionate about leadership development, coaching, mentoring, volunteering, experience of care and enabling people to provide compassionate care and leadership. Throughout Karl’s career he has placed the experience of care of staff, patient and carers at the heart of his work. Karl is very supportive of the Unsung Hero Award and has proactively helped dozens of NHS staff become involved.

Antony Tiernan

Antony Tiernan is Director of Communications – Improvement and Development at NHS England.

He has worked in the NHS for more than 15 years and led the NHS’s 70th birthday celebrations. In 2018 he was named as one of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations’ top 70 members for his outstanding contribution to the Institute and wider PR industry. You can follow him on Twitter: @AntonyTiernan.

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