Best Acute Sector Partnership with the NHS

How to enter

Entries are now closed

Despite the long-term funding settlement provided in conjunction with NHS Long Term Plan, and recent write-off of historic debt by the government, acute trusts are still delivering world class care in challenging circumstances. The Covid-19 crisis, set against a backdrop of financial pressures, a high number of staff vacancies, long elective care waiting lists and the implementation of integrated care has provided a perfect storm for these organisations, which cannot be weathered without the support of the private sector. 

This award will recognise projects and partnerships leading the way in delivering continuous improvements in patient flow, clinical performance, staff retention and wellbeing, safety and many more, or developing innovative new ways of delivering acute sector care.  

Judges will be particularly interested in those improvements and innovations that have been genuinely co-produced by the NHS and private sector. These will have involved close consultation with patients and achieved high levels of staff engagement.  


  • This award is open to any private sector organisation which works in partnership with an NHS organisation in an acute setting 
  • These can be single partnerships or joint working projects, but must demonstrate evidence from the past two years up until the awards deadline date 


  • Describe the context of the partnership and the reason that innovation or improvements were required. 
  • Provide clear evidence that the co-developed solution served the patient or service user better than the NHS was able to deliver alone. 
  • Outline the targets set to measure the effectiveness of the improvement, innovation, or new way of working and the steps put in place to achieve them. 


  • Clearly demonstrate the benefits of the partnership on patient outcomes, which could include improved patient experience, waiting time reduction, capacity increase or optimised treatment pathways. 
  • Discuss how the NHS organisation has benefited from the partnership in terms of staffing, cost, reducing inefficiencies or ability to provide services. 
  • Describe any innovative practices generated by the partnership which have created beneficial outcomes. 


  • Describe how the business has worked with the NHS to ensure best practice learning has been disseminated. 
  • Discuss to what extent the best practice elements or innovations generated by the partnership have been adopted by other NHS departments or organisations within the wider STP/ICS. 


  • Describe how the different partners worked together to co-design improvements or innovations. 
  • Show how patients and staff contributed towards and added value to the goals and outcomes of the partnership. 
  • Evidence the consultative measures taken to inform, involve and enable participation in the design of any new innovation or adaptation to existing working practices. 


  • What financial benefits have been realised by the partnership, or if partnering has cost the NHS more money than delivering the project alone, how have the non-monetary benefits outweighed the costs? 
  • How has the partnership led to material and measurable non-monetary improvements within the NHS organisation? 
  • Provide testimonial evidence of the effectiveness of the partnership from both NHS staff and patients. 

To find out more

For entry enquiries, contact James Elliot on