Express & Star

The Express & Star's 'NHS crisis' coverage is up for a journalism award

The Express & Star and its sister title Shropshire Star have been shortlisted for a 2023 Making a Difference Award.

Our National Health Service coverage is up for an award.

Our campaign, highlighting acute problems in hospitals, GP surgeries, the ambulance service and social care, has been recognised by the News Media Association.

It comes after an edition of the newspapers, as well as our websites, was taken over by stories from medics and patients, under the headline ‘Our NHS Crisis’.

Reporters across both titles worked together in January to produce dedicated editorials, interviewing paramedics, an ambulance call handler, and doctors in the region, with one telling the papers that working in her hospital had become “like a war zone”.

The Express & Star reported: “Today we highlight the crisis through the eyes of those that are living it every day – from GPs to 999 call handlers, paramedics, nurses and consultants right the way through to those working in social care.”

Editor-in-chief of both Midland News Association titles Martin Wright, said: “We had first-hand accounts from those on the front line in the NHS – and it made for shocking reading. Our eight pages of in-depth analysis looked at the pinch points faced by patients, and we also considered the possible solutions to the UK’s health crisis.

“Our coverage was intended to make an impact and to focus minds on a hugely important issue, one that we continue to report on regularly as we approach another difficult winter ahead. It was an incredible eye-opener for anyone wondering what our nurses, doctors and ambulance teams are having to deal with every day.”

The coverage was raised in Parliament, with Lucy Allan, Telford MP, highlighting the impact of the investigation during a cross-party health select committee.

The Express & Star and Shropshire Star campaign is one of nine shortlisted by the News Media Association for the Making a Difference Award.

It comes after the titles won the Making a Difference Award last year for the ongoing Feed a Family campaign to support foodbanks across the region.

NMA chief executive Owen Meredith said the Feed a Family campaign was an “outstanding example of the vital role journalism plays in our society, from informing and engaging the public to fundraising and raising awareness of important causes”.

The Making a Difference Award is part of the News Media Association’s Journalism Matters week, starting today, in which the important role of the regional press is highlighted.