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Professor Pankaj Sharma, Isobel, Dr David Fluck, Noah, Dua, and Penny Alford

In November 2022, three students from across North West Surrey were presented with the Tim Spencer Award by Ashford and St Peter’s Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (ASPH), in partnership with the Bourne Education Trust. The winners received their awards at the first-ever Brooklands Innovation Academy which took place at Brooklands Museum.

Local students in Years 5 and up at Bourne Education Trust schools were invited to submit a blog post about how the NHS could deliver its services in a more sustainable way for patients. This topic was chosen as climate change is altering our planet, with carbon and greenhouse gas emissions impacting the environment. As one of the largest organisations in the UK, the NHS is one of the biggest emitters of carbon and greenhouse gases.

The entries received included some really innovative ideas such as installing solar panels, using electric vehicles, harvesting rainwater as well as installing better insulation and reducing the heating levels at the Trust – many of which are already being instilled in the UK and across the world.

Each of the three winners received a certificate and trophy at the Brooklands Innovation Academy. They will also receive a tour of Ashford and St Peter’s hospitals as well as mentorship from a member of the Clinical Education team for a whole year. Several students were also highly commended for their blog entries.

The Tim Spencer Award commemorates Tim Spencer, Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist, who was the first medical director appointed for St Peter’s Hospital NHS Trust in 1992, who sadly passed away in 2021.

The award was presented by Medical Director, Dr David Fluck and Director of Research and Development, Professor Pankaj Sharma from ASPH and Chief Education Officer, Penny Alford from the Bourne Education Trust.

Penny Alford said: “Our schools were delighted to take part in this competition; the students are passionate about climate change and sustainability and are real ambassadors for change. They are adept at holding us to account in terms of our buildings, catering and curriculum and it was wonderful to read the entries and see their critical thinking applied to the NHS.”

Professor Sharma said: “Congratulations to each of the three winners. The entries we received were of such a high standard, but we chose these winners as you could see a lot of thought had been put into coming up with innovative ideas, that were backed up by evidence. We thoroughly enjoyed reading the entries – a big thank you and well done to each of the students who entered.”

Dr Fluck said: “It was a joy to present the three winners with their awards at the Brooklands Innovation Academy and commemorate Tim in this way. He brought leadership, innovation and lifelong learning to our organisation, many of these qualities we can see coming through in the winning blogs. We want to make this an annual competition so that we can continually give back to our community as part of our work as an anchor institution and inspire the next generation with the opportunities available to them in the health and care sector. Thank you to each of the students who participated in the competition and helped to make it so successful!”

Please use the links below to read the winning blogs:


Pictured above: Professor Pankaj Sharma, Isobel, Dr David Fluck, Noah, Dua, and Penny Alford


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