Patient information awards

The BMA PLG (patient liaison group) patient information awards encourage excellence in the production and dissemination of accessible, well-designed and clinically balanced patient information.

Location: UK
Audience: All doctors
Updated: Monday 23 November 2020
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Applications to the awards are open

How to enter

Online applications for the 2021 awards are now open and will close on Monday 30 November.

The awards encourage excellence in the production and dissemination of accessible, well-designed and evidence-based patient information.

Applications submitted to the suspended 2020 round are still eligible and will be considered for the 2021 awards.

Applicants may also submit new applications for resources published in 2020. Additional information is being sent out to all those who have already applied this year.

Apply for the 2021 awards

Register as an applicant

Please complete and submit an online entry form for each resource you enter.

Award winners will be announced in May 2021.

In line with our commitment to reducing our carbon footprint, we will only be considering digital resources.

Please read the conditions of entry before completing the application.

Conditions of entry
  1. The awards are open to all UK producers of consumer health information.
  2. All titles must have been published in the two years preceding the year of the current Awards (The 2021 Awards is for resources produced in 2018, 2019 and up to November 2020).
  3. Resources which do not meet the mandatory criteria will be judged to be ineligible.
  4. Resources may not be re-entered in subsequent years unless they have been revised.
  5. Subsequent versions of resources which have won special awards cannot be entered again although revised versions of resources which have been commended or highly commended can be entered.
  6. All resources must be available in the United Kingdom.
  7. Resources must be available online.
  8. Resources must not contain a significant authorial or editorial contribution from a current member of BMA or BMJ staff.
  9. A separate entry form must be completed for each resource, including details of its intended readership and educational aims.
  10. There is a limit of up to eight different resources for each organisation.

For further information on the competition and for details about becoming a reviewer, please telephone 020 7383 6614 or email [email protected] 

How the awards are judged

The first six criteria relate to important criteria about the methodology:

  • have health professionals and appropriate experts been involved in developing this resource?
  • have users been involved in developing this resource?
  • has the applicant listed the references or sources of information (in entry form or in resource) used in developing the resource?
  • was the resource published in the last two years?
  • how the resource is disseminated
  • how the resource is evaluated.

The reviewer will be asked to answer 'yes' or 'no' to the questions above.

Answering the questions

If they answer 'yes', then they will also be asked to rate how well the resource achieves the criteria. They will be asked to rate it as either:

  • excellent
  • good
  • adequate.

Following this a score will be given. Guidance is provided to help them make these decisions.

The questions asked in this part of the second part of the review relate to the resource itself. Almost all of the questions ask for a 'yes' or 'no' response. The reviewer will be able to leave comments.

Where the question may not be applicable to the resource then the reviewer can choose 'not applicable'. Guidance is available for each question which demonstrates what the question is asking for and may also highlight good practice in that particular area.

When the questions have been answered

When all the questions have been answered a score for the resource will appear and the reviewer is invited to choose a grade (based on the score and their own assessment).

The reviewer will be asked to leave their overall comments for the BMA judging panel. These will be seen by the BMA panel only and will not be read by the applicant. The reviewer's comments will be used by the judging panel to decide whether a resource should be given an award or shortlisted.

The final section allows the reviewer to leave their overall comments for the applicant. We request that they are constructive in any criticism and discuss positive attributes as well as any areas where the resource could be improved. These comments will be given anonymously to applicants if they have requested feedback.

Apply to be a reviewer

BMA PLG patient information awards (PIA) reviewers have a key role in advising on the quality and suitability of each application.

PIA reviewers may be current BMA members, but we also welcome expressions of interest in this role from non-members with expertise in patient information.

PIA reviewers should have experience in one or more of these areas:

  • patient involvement in medicine
  • involvement in PALS services
  • support and advisory services for patients
  • best practice in production and distribution of patient information and patient materials
  • medical research and knowledge of recent developments in clinical practice
  • public health and clinical settings
  • creating consumer health information.

Entries are allocated to reviewers based on their stated areas of expertise, topics of interest and professional background.

The PIA reviewer role is voluntary and unremunerated although reasonable expenses are covered.

If you would like to become a reviewer or have any further queries, please email the awards team on [email protected] by Wednesday 23 December.