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ITV To Mark NHS 70th Anniversary With Brand New Special Shows

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ITV has announced a diverse line up of special programmes this spring to mark the 70th anniversary of the NHS. In association with NHS England and partners these unique programmes will celebrate this landmark moment and offer a vivid insight into the incredible, life-changing and life-saving work done by its staff across the UK.


In a brand new major television event, The NHS Heroes Awards brought to you by ITV and the Mirror, hosted by Paul O’ Grady, will recognise the extraordinary achievements of NHS staff who work tirelessly to improve the lives of others. These real life heroes will be honoured at a glittering red carpet event for the vital service they provide everyday to help people across Britain.


The NHS Heroes Awards will be announced on Monday 14th May during a star-studded ceremony at London’s Hilton Park Lane and the event will be screened as a prime time special on ITV.


Paul O’Grady said: "We've all experienced the NHS at some stage, myself included. I'm thrilled and delighted to be hosting the new NHS Heroes Awards as this wonderful institution celebrates its 70th year. We will be honouring the incredible medical staff and also the dedicated work of porters, cleaners and of course the army of volunteers without whom the NHS could not function."


With over 20 million patients a year, hospital Accident and Emergency departments are the beating heart of the NHS. Now, in a television first, new series A&E Live will tell the story of emergency medicine as it happens across one of Britain’s major cities.  Davina McCall will be embedded in the emergency department including the busy trauma unit at Leeds General Infirmary, which is the birthplace of emergency medicine. 


This innovative live documentary will follow the frontline staff as they tackle emergencies from the initial 999 call, in the ambulance and through to treatment in A&E.  A&E Live will focus on Yorkshire's finest - NHS doctors, nurses and paramedics - as we follow stories from call to cure.  We will witness what they see as they see it, never knowing who or what is coming through the emergency room doors next. 


Davina McCall said: "We all owe a great debt to the incredible NHS teams whose skill and commitment each and every day is focused on helping us whenever we’re in need. They never know exactly what they’re going to face, but they’re always prepared to do their best and it’s going to be fascinating to see them up close doing their vital work.  This will be one of the toughest jobs of my career and I’m honoured and humbled to be joining them for this special week."


Love Your Garden: NHS Special sees Alan Titchmarsh and his team turn their attention to the hugely deserving cause of the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital.  The largest single-site children’s hospital in the country does not have a designated garden, which is a hugely important and appreciated facility at any hospital, particularly one serving hundreds of thousands of children each year. After last year's bomb attack at Manchester arena, many of the young casualties were brought to the hospital with some still being treated there. 


The Royal Manchester is a busy hospital run by a dedicated, inspiring team of nurses and doctors committed around the clock to making children’s lives better. Now, Alan will set out to transform the hospital’s outdoors area into a wonderful, state of the art, multi-functional garden that can provide a much-needed escape for the hardworking staff and young patients and their visiting families as well as assist with their treatment and healing.


Alan Titchmarsh said: “It’s been a privilege to meet the amazing staff and brave children and parents at the hospital. Every child, no matter what their circumstances, deserves an outdoor space where they can play and feel safe. My team and I hope this garden brings joy to everyone who uses it for many years to come." 


Sue Murphy, ITV Head of Factual Entertainment, said: "We're thrilled to be working with NHS England and some of ITV's biggest stars to celebrate the NHS on its 70th Anniversary. These unique programmes, from Paul O'Grady's star-studded gala to Davina's live documentary and Alan's amazing transformative show will honour the men and women who make a real difference in the service of one of Britain's greatest institutions and hopefully make us all think a little bit less about what our NHS can do for us and a little more about what we can do to help our NHS.”


The NHS Heroes Awards [1x120] is a partnership event between and ITV the Mirror. It is produced by Shiver and is commissioned for ITV by Nicola Lloyd, Commissioning Editor, and Sue Murphy.


The Awards invite the public to recognise the stars of our health service by nominating them in a range of categories.  Celebrating the work done to help people when they most need it, the 11 categories include awards for diverse roles across emergency care, hero nurses, doctors, volunteers, fundraisers, support staff and a special Aneurin Bevan Lifetime Achievement award.  A full list of the categories is included below. 


Lloyd Embley, Group Editor in Chief for Trinity Mirror, said: “The Mirror has a proud history of championing the NHS and these awards are an opportunity to acknowledge and honour those who make a real difference to the lives of families up and down the country.”


Event television series A&E Live is produced by Optomen and is commissioned for ITV by Kate Teckman, Commissioning Editor, and Sue Murphy.


A&E Live [3x60] will show NHS staff at the frontline dealing with medical emergencies in a major city.  Leeds General Infirmary pioneered emergency medicine and the series will show the experience of staff and patients on the ground across the city’s two busy A&E departments.  Access agreed with Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust and the Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust means the series will bring viewers an up close look at life in A&E at Leeds General Infirmary, St James’s University Hospital and with ambulance crews serving the city with the full range of cases that have to be dealt with as well as meeting the key characters across the service that keep everything running.


Love Your Garden NHS Special [1x60] is produced by Spun Gold Television and commissioned for ITV by Priya Singh, Commissioning Editor, and Sue Murphy.


The special show will see a state of the art, outdoor haven for the NHS’s youngest patients and their families built at the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital.   Gardens are a hugely appreciated place for patients to escape from the confines of the wards and a new outdoor space is much-needed at the Royal Manchester, which, with 371 beds, sees 220,000 patients every year and is the largest single-site children’s hospital in the country.


Love Your Garden NHS Special will follow Alan and his team as they set about their mission to transform an area at the front of the hospital and meet patients and staff as they wait to finally get the facility they deserve and which can be enjoyed for many years by thousands of people.


NHS Heroes Awards brought to you by ITV and the Mirror - full list of categories:



Honouring the dedicated emergency medics who go above and beyond the call of duty to save lives, even risking their own in the process.



Celebrating an outstanding individual who has excelled in any type of nursing including midwifery, A&E, paediatrics and community nursing.



Honouring a surgeon, specialist, hospital doctor or GP who has saved or transformed lives in an extraordinary way with their dedication and skill.



This award celebrates the people who, although they are not medically qualified, are the beating heart of the NHS, such as porters, cleaners, orderlies or support staff.



For an individual or team whose work in the NHS has developed ground-breaking treatments or procedures, saving lives and having a lasting global impact.



For a member of NHS staff who has worked tirelessly to help patients with mental health issues, with life-changing results.



For an individual or team whose remarkable contribution to the NHS deserves recognition, and is not covered by existing categories.



For tireless and inspirational charity fundraising to support the NHS, aged 16 and over.



To honour a young person aged 15 and under for inspirational charity work to support the NHS.



For someone who has selflessly given up their time as a volunteer to support the NHS, going above and beyond to help and support patients and staff.



To honour one special individual, from the last seventy years, who has made a significant and outstanding contribution to the NHS and healthcare in the UK.


Winners will be chosen by the NHS Heroes judging panel, from a shortlist produced by the NHS Heroes research team, who will consider every public nomination received.