Health Innovation Awards logo 09 Jul 2018 medium2


The 2020 Nelson Marlborough Health Innovation Awards are a celebration of healthcare and support improvement initiatives which make a positive difference to patient and consumer care across the Nelson Marlborough region.



The 2020 Health Innovation Awards are now open – and we look forward to your project entry.


“It is the desire to make a positive difference to patient and consumer care, along with tackling issues associated with inequality, which drives our quality improvements.”

Peter Bramley, NMH Chief Executive.

How to enter

Any employee of Nelson Marlborough Health and or other healthcare and support providers in the district can enter. 

This includes: clinical, support, non-clinical, community providers, primary and secondary care and NGOs.

Some examples from recent years are NMH patient travel, St John ambulance, Murchison Well Child facebook group, Motueka Maternity Unit, and Whanake Youth.

All entries are judged for the top three prizes and receive a trophy and prize money kindly made possible by The Care Foundation, to spread their project further:

Please send your entry to [email protected] and feel welcome to contact them for more information or any queries.

The categories for the 2020 awards are based on the NMH Health for Tomorrow Strategy (see page 12).

In your entry form project teams are asked to address the values and vision of their organisation, as well equity.

The 2020 categories are:

  • He tangata / The people - Teamwork with consumer engagement. (Where consumers are part of a diverse team and co-design is used to find a solution)
  • Healthy communities -  Best healthy community focused project. (Where the outcome of the project positively and significantly effects the community)
  • Top the south - Integration across the district and the healthcare and support system. (Where the team includes staff and consumers from across hospital, primary and community care)
  • Green is the new gold - Environmental sustainability. (Where the project has contributed to reducing emissions, reducing waste and/or creating a movement of changed behaviours for a healthy planet)
  • Fast, simple, bold - Small changes with big impacts. (Where a little idea just grew, quickly.  May have had a small team (of one or more), no or minimal additional resources, and made a big difference).
  • Growing a seedling - Best use of an improvement framework such as the NMH Improvement Process. (Where an improvement framework is applied, such as the Model for Improvement, Lean or Kaizen Continuous Improvement.)



Key dates

Entries close:    31 December 2019
Posters printed and submitted:    27 January 2020                 
Awards ceremony:    2 April 2020. ASB Theatre in Blenheim,  2 -7pm


Category winners receive a certificate of recognition. 

All entries are judged for the top three prizes and receive a trophy and prize money kindly made possible by The Care Foundation, to spread their project further:

  • The Darcy Christopher Excellence Award of overall excellence.  Judged by the judges, the winner receives $3000
  • Best Poster Award. Judged by the judges, the winner receives $1000
  • Peoples’ Choice. Judged by the people attending the event, the winner receives $1000

The 2018 winning teams used their prize money in the following ways:

The Darcy Christopher Overall Excellence Award – Stressbusters Supporting Columbian refugees to Nelson - $3000
The project team was excited about the prize money, which was used to further the programme.
It enabled the refugees who had attended the third ‘Stressbusters’ group to have the Whenua-iti High Ropes experience to put their stress management skills into practise. It also enabled a fourth group to be run in August 2019 including the Whenua-iti day.
The groups continue to run using Victory Community Centre rooms and staff, DHB staff, and interpreter services funded from the Directorate for Maori, Pasifika & Vulnerable populations.
The former Colombian refugees are settling in as part of our community.

Best Poster Award – The PLAN Reducing Parental Supply of Alcohol to Under-18s - $1000
Health Action Trust and Public Health submitted our collaborative project, 'the plan', and were delighted to receive the award for Best Poster.   The prize money awarded has contributed to purchasing additional resources and materials for 'the plan'.    The process of compiling and submitting the entry was a great experience as a team, and gave another platform for showcasing 'the plan' and distributing the important message of delaying teen drinking.

The plan - delay teen drinking 

Peoples’ Choice Award - Highway to help Critical Care Outreach Team - $1000
These are exciting times for Critical Care Outreach Team, as it now matures into a service that is proving its value daily. The prize money was invested on a tablet PC so Outreach nurses are able to view the Early Warning Scores (EWS) that trigger an Outreach visit and respond accordingly. It also allows the Outreach nurse to review a patient’s observations and fluid balance without attending the ward and searching for observation charts. The result is deteriorating patients on the wards are getting picked up quicker and timely interventions are being made.  

Darcy Christopher The Darcy Christopher Trust

Flight Lieutenant Darcy Christopher and his wife Frances spent half their lives in the top half of the South Island, predominantly in Golden Bay. Darcy Chirstopher worked as a training instructor for the RNZAF at Harewood, Christchurch, during the war.   He had twice been hospitalised after dramatic rescues, both on the Dunedin coast, the first due to being injured in a rock fall, the second when his RNZAF biplane crashed off St Clair beach.

In his will, Darcy Christopher created the Darcy Christopher Trust to allocate his estate to a number of public and community organisations; Nelson Marlborough Health is one of the recipients. The Care Foundation has distributed funds from the Trust to a number of health related causes.

The winner of the overall excellence award recognising innovation across Nelson Marlborough Health will receive the Darcy Christopher Award. Recipients receive a  trophy and $3000. 

This award has been made possible by funds from the Darcy Christopher Trust, distributed through The Care Foundation.