Davina hosts The Who Cares Wins Awards

Sunday: The Who Cares Wins Awards with the Sun; (Channel 4, 7.30pm)

Saturday, 18th September 2021, 5:00 pm

In 1948, in the aftermath of the Second World War, a publicly funded network of healthcare systems was launched in the UK, covering England, Scotland and Wales.

It was founded by MP Aneurin Bevan on the principle of offering comprehensive, universal and free health care at the point of delivery, replacing clinical need with the ability to pay.

Nothing short of revolutionary at the time, what we know today as the National Health Service (NHS) has become a shining example of health care to other countries around the world.

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Davina McCall

Of course, that doesn’t mean that Brits have never taken their health service for granted or moaned about it. But the importance of the NHS was brought home to us again last year when the pandemic hit.

Even Prime Minister Boris Johnson needed to turn to the NHS. He was diagnosed with a mild case of Covid-19 in April 2020, but within days of being hospitalised was moved to intensive care, where nurses Jenny McGee and Luis Pitarma stayed by his bedside.

Johnson survived his brush with the virus, joining millions of people every Thursday evening to clap for the dedicated, exhausted NHS staff who were saving lives around the country and around the clock.

The doorstep applause may have stopped now and restrictions have also eased, with many people returning to something resembling normality, but that doesn’t mean that we’ve forgotten what the NHS staff sacrificed when the pandemic was at its peak.

It’s fitting then that, after a couple of years during which the nation has been inspired, uplifted and in awe of NHS staff, Davina McCall presents the first televised broadcast of The Who Cares Wins Awards, celebrating these healthcare heroes. The event was established in 2017, but now viewers will get a chance to see the star-studded red carpet and learn more about the extraordinary people who have been nominated.

The evening features a host of moving stories and music, as well as appearances from big-name stars, including David Beckham, Bill Bailey and Sir Trevor McDonald. Kate Garraway, who earlier this year brought us the documentary Finding Derek about her husband and his continuing battle with long Covid, will also be in attendance.

Categories include the Caroline Flack Mental Health Hero award, Best Nurse, Young Hero, Ultimate Lifesaver, and Groundbreaking Pioneer or Discovery.

There are also awards for Best Doctor, Best Team, Unsung Hero, Best Midwife, Best Health Charity, 999 Hero, and the Christina Newbury Memorial Award, named after a crusading health journalist who helped to pioneer the awards.

Speaking about hosting the event, McCall said: “It is a total privilege to be presenting the Who Cares Wins awards. We all owe so much to the incredible people who work tirelessly to care for us, it will be an honour to meet the winners and nominees and hear their amazing stories.”

They stand for everything Bevan was trying to build. We think he would be rightly proud.

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