More than 300 members of staff, including nurses, cleaners, doctors, midwives, porters, and clinical support staff, attended the ceremony, which was funded by the Royal Free Charity. 

Throughout the evening more than 30 awards were handed out to staff who had made a significant contribution to patient care and the life of the RFL in 2018/19.

Click here to view more photos from the awards show and see highlights from the evening on Instagram and Twitter.

Hugh, who is best known for his roles in two of Britain’s best loved sitcoms, Outnumbered and Not Going Out, as well as for the panel show Mock The Week, praised staff before handing out the awards. 

“It’s a real breath of fresh air to come to an awards ceremony for people who are doing something proper!” he said.

Hugh spoke about the first experience of the NHS – when he fell off his bike on Pond Street and miraculously landed at the doors of the Royal Free Hospital’s emergency department.

He also told staff: “If proof is needed of the goodness of human nature in difficult circumstances, then you are it. You are a fantastic group of people.”

RFL chair Dominic Dodd told the guests: “I am always so inspired by the wonderful work carried out by our staff and the different ways in which you go the extra mile to care for our patients – and for each other. Tonight is about recognising your remarkable achievements throughout the past year.

“I’d like to take this opportunity to thank you all for your hard work and dedication and for making our trust the best place to work in the NHS.”

Speaking to staff at the ceremony, Caroline Clarke, Royal Free London group chief executive, said: “In my first year as your chief executive I would also like to offer my huge congratulations to everyone here tonight – it’s been a year of big leaps forward at the Royal Free London, and that is thanks to our brilliant staff, who always go above and beyond for our patients. I see that on our wards and departments every day and behind the scenes, where our support staff are equally committed to improving the lives of our patients. You should all feel so proud of yourselves.”

Among the winners was senior clinical operations manager at Chase Farm Hospital, Amanda Sparkes, who won the chair’s leadership award for her work which enabled her teams to grow in confidence and skills, which resulted in a successful opening of the new hospital, improved performance and innovation.

Royal Free London group clinical team of the year was won by the Barnet Hospital Pharmacy team for their outstanding and dedicated work in rolling out the new electronic patient prescribing and drug administration system.

The Royal Free London group clinician of the year award went to Dr Anant Patel, a respiratory consultant based at the Royal Free Hospital and Chase Farm Hospital.

Dr Patel won this award for his dedication to his job, the quality of his lung cancer service which leads to excellent clinical results and a much improved patient experience. Dr Patel was described as a fantastic teacher, incredible clinician and an inspirational leader.

Speaking after the ceremony, Dominic said: “Congratulations to all of our Oscar winners, highly commended runners up and nominees; you really have given an outstanding contribution to the trust this year.”

Meet the nominees here:

The full list of winners are:

Volunteer of the year award

Winners: Mary Cooper and her dog Mistral, Royal Free Hospital; Royal Free Radio, Chase Farm Hospital; Rashmi Malde, Barnet Hospital

Young volunteer of the year award

Winner: Syed Muqtadir

Outstanding contribution to patient safety award

Highly commended: Paediatric Ward 6 North MDT Safe Team

Winner: Anita Malana, theatre team leader, Royal Free Hospital

Celebrating diversity award

Highly commended: Ruth Akoto-Appiah, head of midwifery, Royal Free Hospital

Winner: Stephen Downer, support services team leader

Outstanding contribution to education award

Highly commended: Priscilla Chong (Siew-Cheng Chong), Barnet Hospital

Winner: Dr Mahmood Ahmad, senior cardiology registrar

Group clinical team of the year award

Winner (Barnet Hospital): Pharmacy

Winner (Chase Farm Hospital): Urgent care centre

Winner (Royal Free Hospital) Inpatient therapy clinical leadership team

Overall winner: Pharmacy

Group clinician of the year award

Barnet Hospital:

Highly commended: Dr Mark Cohen, endocrine consultant

Winner: Bernadette Henderson, therapy services paediatric and governance lead

Chase Farm Hospital:

Highly commended: Carol Menashy, theatre nurse

Winner: Dr Zoe Endemi, urgent care centre clinical lead

Royal Free Hospital:

Highly commended: Martin Young, clinical director for pathology

Winner: Dr Anant Patel, respiratory consultant

Overall winner: Dr Anant Patel

Quality improvement and innovation award

Highly commended: Keeping Mothers and Babies Together CPG Team, Paul Hardiman, consultant gynaecologist and Derralyn Hughes, professor of haematology and chair of the cancer clinical pathway group.

Winner: Carol Menashy, theatre sister, Chase Farm Hospital

Non-clinical employee of the year award

Highly commended: Jacqueline Summers, general porter and governance assistant at Chase Farm Hospital, Anh Thoai Le

Winner: Ashick Jahangeer, housekeeper, Barnet Hospital

Non-clinical team of the year award

Highly commended: Speaking up Champions

Winner: Catering team

Chair’s leadership award

Highly commended: Dr Jay Mehta, chief medical information officer, Barnet Hospital and Julie Flannigan, therapy clinical lead for neurology, Barnet Hospital

Winner: Amanda Sparkes, senior clinical operations manager, Chase Farm Hospital