Short List

By Claire Munro

The Dovetail team are off to the PMEA awards tonight. We’re short listed the Excellence in Healthcare Collaborations and Partnerships category, and we’re thrilled to bits about it.

The awards season is in full swing: last week the startlingly talented Benjamin Clementine stole the hearts and votes of the Mercury judges. Nicole Kidman scooped best actress at the Evening Standard Theatre awards just days after a wise colleague of ours on the IBD Registry had the good sense to take a Wednesday afternoon off to see her in Picture 51. Now completely sold out, of course!

You can – and probably should – question the value of awards. They can seem self-serving, cynical, overblown and narcissistic. When the world news is so bad it seems self-indulgent to fret about what to wear, and make a big thing about getting your nails or hair done.

And then there’s the argument that there’s a knack to winning an award that isn’t always aligned with being brilliant at your actual job, or doing the most good in the world.

But as I’m getting ready for the do tonight I’m reflecting on how much I’m looking forward to seeing old friends, colleagues and clients past and present. The delightful possibility of bumping into someone you haven’t seen in years, and had forgotten how much you liked.

I’m thinking how many good people I’ve encountered along the way – people who play by the simple rule of “work hard and be nice to people.” People who have a clear aim of working to make things better in their own small way; to make life better for patients by developing new treatments or delivery systems, working with health systems to make medicines available people who would benefit from them, doing their bit to help women get choice in contraception, giving a voice to marginalised groups, supporting the NHS and working with clinicians to change things for the better. And it’s important celebrate those people, that work.

The piece of work for which we’ve been shortlisted was really tough – it involved a lot of disparate groups and individuals, uncertainty, pressure on budgets and timelines. All the usual stuff. But the aim was clear: to support a group of world experts to consider whether the elimination of hepatitis C as a significant public health issue can and should be done. Everybody working on the project had the patient and the vision front of mind.

So win or lose, I’m happy about the work. I know it’s work to feel proud of.