HSJ deputy editor Dave West has been named health journalist of the year at the British Journalism Awards. 

He won the category for health and life sciences journalism, awarded at a ceremony in London last night. HSJ mental health correspondent Emily Townsend was shortlisted for her investigations work while at her former publication in the local journalism category. 

The judges said Mr West had submitted “three excellent stories which shed new light on issues of national importance and were told with great technical expertise”.

The three stories were: revealing the government ‘playbook’ ordering trusts to describe big building projects as ‘new hospitals’ (published in August but highlighted last week by the Labour party); revealing that the top leadership team at NHS Test and Trace a year ago included just one clinician and few public health experts; and at the beginning of January, before government introduced a second full lockdown, analysis showing 23 hospital trusts had over a third of their beds occupied by covid patients.

Other entrants in the category included the Observer, whose James Tapper was highly commended, Sky News, BBC News, and Channel 4.

The HSJ team has won several awards for its coverage during the covid pandemic. In September at the AOP Digital Publishing Awards 2021, HSJ was recognised as specialist online brand, specialist editorial team of the year, and won editor of the year for Alastair McLellan. Mr McLellan was also named 2020 ‘editor of the year’ in the PPA Awards.

In July, bureau chief Lawrence Dunhill was joint winner in the best scoop category at the British Society of Magazine Editors’ Talent Awards 2021, and former senior correspondent Sharon Brennan was named best digital writer – B2B.