And among the winners were Elizabeth Archer, a dietitian with Nottinghamshire Mental Health Services for Older People, won the Unsung Hero Award (Clinical) and Dr Ola Junaid, a consultant psychiatrist with Nottinghamshire Mental Health Services for Older People, who was presented with the lifetime achievement award.
Elizabeth won her award for outstanding clinical practices across Millbrook Hospital, Bassetlaw Hospital and Highbury Hospital, where she covered the Covid isolation ward and made a major breakthrough in treating Covid patients.
She said: “It was amazing to win, I was gobsmacked and I’m not usually short of a word to say, but I was completely blown away when I found out I’d won.
"There were 72 very talented and capable nominated so to win in a year when lifting our knowledge and capability in a year like no other was very special.”
Elizabeth made a key discovery in noticing severe weight loss in patients who had Covid but were not necessarily showing symptoms – giving doctors vital early warnings that a patient that had Covid.
She continued: “I started a quite revolutionary process where we gave patients high dosage amino acids at Covid diagnosis or where we found a weight loss.
"I treated every patient and while some did sadly pass away, we were able to see a much better outcome for many others.
"Our team leader, who is a physiotherapist, saw in other older patients something called sarcopenia, which is a loss of muscle mass and muscle function, which led to them developing long covid.
"But because of the early intervention of the amino acids in my patients, we were able to prevent this happening.
"It doesn’t mean we’ve proved anything, but for us it just seemed to work and for that, she put me in for this award.
Meanwhile, Dr Junaid was one of the NHS heroes who returned to work last year, having previously retired, to help in the fight against Coivd.
He said: “I was pleasantly surprised to receive this award.
"It has been a privilege to work with some great colleagues to make a positive difference to so many people.
"Although I ‘retired’ last summer, I returned back to work and am happy that I can continue to make a positive difference for a while longer.”
John Brewin, trust chief executive, commented: “This last year has been one of the most challenging in the history of the health service and we have been very proud of how our staff have responded.”
Elizabeth echoed that and said that the last year had proved what a special organisation the NHS is.
She said: “We were all there because we are the NHS and we’re there because we’re committed to it and when everything else falls apart.
"I’m so proud of all my colleagues, we all deserved an award.
"It is just so beautiful that we have this gift, the NHS, to give to our grandchildren.
"In the NHS, everything is free at the point of care for everyone, whether you’re on the streets or the Prime Minister, you are all treated the same and I think that’s just so special.”