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BMA Library

BMA Patient Information Awards 2015

The BMA Patient Information Awards (PIA) were established in 1997 to encourage excellence in the production and dissemination of accessible, well-designed and clinically balanced patient information.

The Awards aim to reinforce the BMA’s commitment to support good educational practice and acknowledge new approaches and technologies intended for the public audience.

Our final judging panel chooses the BMA Patient Resource of the Year award from a wide range of resources. Several additional special awards are also assigned to the best informational resources in certain specific categories.

165 resources were submitted to the BMA Patient Information Awards this year, nearly 20% more than last year. 

Ten special awards were made from the rest of the highly commended awards, including two new awards for information aimed at children or procuded by NHS trusts. 

The Patient Information Awards were held on the afternoon of Monday 7 September 2015. Professor Sir Al Aynsley-Green Kt was the guest of honour.

The entry form for the 2016 Patient Information Awards will be available mid December 2015.

Download the 2015 Patient Information Awards ceremony programme

Email us with any comment or queries

Photos from the ceremony


Awards winners and prizes

BMA Patient Information Resource of the Year 2015

End of Life: a Guide for People with Motor Neurone DiseaseEnd of Life: a Guide for People with Motor Neurone Disease
Motor Neurone Disease Association, May 2014

This resource aims to bring together information about complex end of life decisions in a single, easily accessible resource.

It was reviewed by Juliet Brown, from SIGN in Glasgow:
"This is a huge resource and considerable effort and expertise has gone into providing an exceptional resource — it cover a sensitive topic and is clear and consistent throughout. It also makes very good use of patients’ viewpoints.  A wide range of expertise is listed which is really good and very reflective of the whole delivery of care system. Considerable evidence base explored and then users widely and sensitively consulted.  It includes an extensive list on main subject as well as associated subjects — this is exceptional.  It includes a range of methods for dissemination, there is a print run of wallet type format that allows for material to be customised and tailored to individuals as well as online methods, copies are free to people who need resource and considerable attention has been paid to patients’, carers’ and professionals’ needs. Considerable thought has gone into what type of feedback they can use — either the readability etc. or the type of information they can then incorporate into their resource with examples given in the submission.  I think it is superb."

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Information for Children Award

Little Ted Education PackLittle Ted Education Pack
The Teddington Trust

Pack comprises of a bear and two books (containing a total of six stories) will be issued to all children aged 0-12 years at diagnosis through the UK National Xeroderma Pigmentousum Service. 

It was reviewed by Mrs Clare Wade Senior Information Officer at BMA Public Information Unit: "The resource is useful because there is limited information available for children with Xeroderma Pigmentosum and their carers. I also like the positive message, reinforced throughout, that a child (Little Ted) with XP may live a full life, so long as they use adequate protection. There is no information on why the child needs protection and the consequences of not using it, but perhaps this would be unsuitable in a child’s story book. There is also no other information on the condition within the resource so that it would be most useful where parents are already well-informed and can answer any questions that the stories may generate."

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Information on Ethical Issues Award

Family Experiences of Vegetative and Minimally Conscious StatesFamily Experiences of Vegetative and Minimally Conscious States: a Multi-media ‘Healthtalk’ Website Resource
Jenny Kitzinger (Cardiff University) and Celia Kitzinger (University of York)
with healthtalk.org (DIPEx charity) and HERG  (University of Oxford)

It aims to provide information for families going through the trauma of catastrophic brain injury

It was reviewed by Ms Julia Parnaby Deputy Director, Research and Information, Alzheimer's Society: "This is a tremendous resource, grounded in real experiences and demonstrating the power of hearing other people's experiences as a way to gain deeper understanding and insight of the issues surrounding this devastating and complex condition. There's a real depth of content and exceptionally powerful testimony from numerous family members and loved ones which creates a profoundly honest and singular resource which will offer wisdom, empathy, insight, pain and support to others. It demonstrates the chasm between the needs of loved ones for certainty and hope, and the extraordinary difficulty for doctors in making a meaningful prognosis, and thus will be of great value to both clinicians and families in sharing these insights and negotiating these dilemmas. Great care and planning have been exhibited in the creation of the resource with best in class consideration of how to promote it to clinicians and families. The families chosen reflect a genuinely diverse and authentic set of voices and it covers all stages and facets of this condition.  In over five years of reviewing for the awards this is the best resource I have seen and I would whole-heartedly recommend it for an award.”

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Information Produced by NHS Trusts Award

A Patient's Guide to Chemoradiotherapy to the Head, Neck, Mouth and ThroatA Patient's Guide to Chemoradiotherapy to the Head, Neck, Mouth and Throat.
Lynda Jackson Macmillan Centre, 2014 

It is given to all relevant patients during a pre-treatment information session to explain the treatment, treatment process and any possible side effects.

It was reviewed by Ms Hannah Prince, Knowledge & Library Services Manager at The Princess Alexandra Hospital NHS Trust  "This leaflet's focus on telling patients exactly what to expect and what can be done about side effects is excellent. It doesn't use pictures or patient stories, but this fits very well with the serious, tell-it-like-it-is tone. It's also very well-written: the tone and language is spot-on. I particularly liked the detail of what to expect at appointments — a really good focus on the things you'd want to know when preparing to attend.”

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Information that Aids Decision Making Award

COPD Patient PassportCOPD Patient Passport
British Lung Foundation, 2014

The passport is a checklist of key questions people with COPD should ask their health care professional to ensure they are getting best care.

It was reviewed by Mr Wayne Middleton Head of Operations and Design at Luto:
"This is a tool to aid information discussions.  It has a very clear design. This is a checklist, so the amount of information is minimal but it’s sufficient to aid conversations with HCPs.  This is a professionally produced resource which helps patients navigate the key things they need to know. The website interface is easy-to-use and optimised for tablets which is nice to see.”

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Information that Aids Decision Making Award Runner Up

Guide to Changing TreatmentGuide to Changing Treatment : What to do if Viral Load Rebounds
HIV i-Base, 2014

This is a short guide which helps patients make informed decisions about their own health care and which seeks to explain when and why treatment needs to be changed. 

It was reviewed by Juliet Brown, from SIGN in Glasgow, who praised it as “a very good resource which is very nicely thought out and covers a wide range of well signposted material with excellent graphics and presentation.”

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Innovation Award

Cancer and School LifeCancer and School Life
CLIC Sargent, 2014

In 2012 and 2013, CLIC Sargent carried out research into the impact of cancer on children and young people’s education.

It was eviewed by Dr Hannah R Bridges, Health Content Specialist at HB Health Comms: "I love this resource and believe it demonstrates best practice in information production and shows real ambition and a desire to help. The strength of the initial research shows through — CLIC have understood the needs of pupils and teachers and have put great thought into how to best meet their needs. The resource is high quality, well-written and very practical. The different elements of the resource are a real strength, helping teachers to understand why the lesson is important, how to plan it, and giving them the knowledge on cancer they need to succeed. The tailored information for pupils is structured to answer their likely questions — again it is very focussed on meeting their needs. Initial feedback shows that the resource is having a very positive impact and meeting its aims. This resource shows information provision at is best — providing a solution to an identified problem using the very best practice.”

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Learning Disabled Resources Award

All about LymphomaAll about Lymphoma
Lymphoma Association, 2014

This EasyRead booklet explains what lymphoma is, what tests you might have and the different treatments you might get.

Reviewed by Juliet Brown, from SIGN in Glasgow:
"This appears to be a very good resource; it is nice and bright and well-laid out with a good range of graphics that help with presenting information to people that require an EasyRead format.  A wide range of lymphoma expertise has been involved and, as this is an EasyRead version,  a considerable amount of related effort has gone into creating this booklet (both professional and review by people with learning difficulties).  A wide range of involvement has been listed — professionals with specific skills have been utilised and then people with lymphoma and also learning difficulties have been involved.  The contact details of the producing organisation are clearly listed on the back with a range of options on how to contact them, I particularly liked the idea of the Buddy Scheme on page 24 as well as the clear statement that anyone (the individual, carer or family) can contact the Lymphoma Association for help as well as internet groups on the LA website.  The resource makes lovely use of pictures and has a nice clear and consistent style.  I particularly like that you have gone for a range of people in your graphics.”

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Learning Disabled Resources Award Runner Up

What is dementia?What is dementia?
Alzheimer’s Society and BILD 

This was produced to meet a need for an authoritative national resource on dementia for people with learning disabilities.

It was appraised by Ms Catherine Macadam, the chair of the BMA Patient Liaison Group, who praised it as “a very good resource which provides complex information clearly and accessibly and explains what may happen in the lead up to, or after, a diagnosis of dementia for someone with a learning disability.  It is a very good collaborative process with the BILD learning disability charity”.

Long Term Conditions Award

Going into Hospital when you have Parkinson'sGoing into Hospital when you have Parkinson's
Parkinson's UK, 2014

Designed to give people with Parkinson’s, carers, family and friends relevant, unbiased and accurate information about hospital visits.

Reviewed by Jenny Lang Mrs Jenny Lang Head Librarian at Salisbury NHS  
"This is an excellent booklet, well-produced, excellent content, and I am very impressed with the involvement of professionals, patients and carers in its development. Its aim is also good, to combine together all the information a Parkinson's sufferer might need when admitted to hospital in one place, in an easy to read, well-set-out document.  It makes very good and appropriate use of language.  It was written according to plain English guidelines so it is easy to read and understand, and designed to RNIB guidelines. All the photos of people, are of genuine Parkinson's sufferers who have agreed to their photograph being used.  There is a good balance between text and illustrations.  The mechanisms for distributing the document and obtaining feedback are also to be complimented. I feel this booklet would be very reassuring for both patients and carers when in this situation.”

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Long Term Conditions Award Runner Up

Acquired Brain Injury in ChildrenAcquired Brain Injury in Children: A Handbook for Parents (second edition)
The Children’s Trust

This was written to give parents, families, teachers and carers information, tips and strategies to help in the rehabilitation of children with brain injury. 

It was reviewed by BMA Librarian Jacky Berry who liked its extensive use of quotes from families and the pictures.  She commented that it “will be of use to a great many families.”

Find out more 


Patient Engagement Award

My Story / Their StoryMy Story / Their Story
British Heart Foundation, 2014

The aim of this programme is to provide opportunities for young heart patients to meet their peers, develop their confidence and communication skills and improve their understanding of their condition. 

It was reviewed by Ms Eleanor Stanley, health writer:
"This material is very different from many others – not only because it comprises film, but because it uses fiction based on subjective experiences to improve wellbeing. The project demonstrates good practice by being co-developed with young people with heart conditions from conceptualisation through to production.  It has been disseminated through a focused strategy using social media to develop and build the support networks that young people with heart conditions need, and tackle their social isolation in order to develop their confidence, communications skills and understanding of the condition. The films are funny and quirky but also manage to be moving at times, and convey the experience of a young person far more effectively and memorably than a paper-based resource.  This is a campaign with real impact that shows heart and will change lives.”

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Screening Award

This little kit saves lives from Bowel CancerBowel Cancer Screening Helper Kit, Endorsement and Advertising Campaign
Resonant / Cancer Research UK (CRUK), 2014

This resource aims to encourage people to complete the free NHS bowel screening test (Faecal Occult Blood Test (FOBT)), which can detect bowel cancer at an early stage when with effective treatment, more people survive

It was reviewed by Dr Hannah R Bridges, Health Content Specialist at HB Health Comms: "This entry from Cancer Research UK is an excellent example of a well-researched, designed and executed health promotion campaign.  The illustrations on the enhancement pack show how to use the kit and are necessary and informative and people the right age for bowel screening appear on the posters.  Simple illustrations on the enhancement kit show how to use the ‘poo catcher’ over the toilet.  The research, planning and collaboration that underpin the components of the resource certainly shine through.  The co-production workshops and user testing sounds useful, fruitful and robust.  The pilot shows that participation in the bowel screening programme did slightly increase over that time, which was the principle aim.  It is certainly a strong example of health promotion.”

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Self Care Resources Award

Your Diet: Living with and Beyond Bowel CancerYour Diet: Living with and Beyond Bowel Cancer
Bowel Cancer UK, 2014

The resource is aimed at people who have or have had bowel cancer and are receiving treatment or have had treatment, as well as their families or carers.

It was reviwed by Dr Sue Ablett formerly Executive Director Children's Cancer and Leukaemia Group:
"This is a very well-presented information resource - professionally produced to a high standard (good quality card, high quality images). The separation of content into individual leaflets which can be selected by users as required works very well.  It has a clear contents list and individual leaflets are numbered. There is clear branding across the leaflets but illustrations and layout appropriate to the specific topic.  The images help to distinguish the various leaflets, add significantly to the design of the leaflets, and very clearly illustrate points made in the text.  I would imagine users would find this an extremely helpful resource. Excellent.”

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Self Care Resources Award Runner Up

Dental Care for Children with Heart ConditionsDental Care for Children With Heart Conditions
Heartline Families

This aims to inform parents of the potential damage to the heart of gum disease in children with heart conditions and to explain how damage to the heart can be caused.

It was reviewed by Juliet Brown, from SIGN in Glasgow, who commented: “This is a really good leaflet, the writers have identified a clear need/gap for this resource and have worked hard to get the information out to families affected as well as including them in any review process.”


BMA Patient Information Reviewer of Year Award

Dr Hannah Bridges
HB Health Comms


Our judging panel has also shortlisted numerous additional resources for their excellence and value.

See the full list of the commended resources


Information for reviewers

If you are one of the 40 patient information professionals who review the entries, or you wish to become one: 

Find out more about the reviewers' appraisal process