This week we launch the health service's annual celebration of excellence - the HSJ Awards.

We have revised and updated the categories, dropping some and introducing others. The three new ones recognise achievements in world class commissioning, social marketing and workforce development. Will any primary care trust dare not enter the Department of Health-backed commissioning award?

Several of the categories now include specific reference to tackling health inequalities, reflecting the growing realisation that addressing the wide differences in quality and length of life between communities and ethnic groups is the responsibility of the entire NHS.

The great benefit of entering the awards is sending the message that your staff have achievements of which to be proud. Time and again we hear from winners and finalists what a boost it was to morale and self-belief.

And providing a nationally recognised service plays extremely well with the local media.

So we hope you will enter, and look forward to seeing you for the gala awards evening at London's Grosvenor House Hotel in December.