Big Wins for NHS Lothian at top PR Awards

NHS LOTHIAN’S corporate communications team picked up an impressive six prizes at Scotland’s top public relations awards ceremony last night.

Aileen Cowden, communications officer for Lothian’s acute hospitals became the first public sector PR specialist to win the title of Outstanding Young Communicator at the Chartered Institute of Public Relation Scotland’s PRide Awards.

Meanwhile the team picked up an additional three Gold Awards and two Silvers for a range of campaigns.

Jenifer Stirton, Director of Communications for NHS Lothian, said:


“These awards recognise our excellent work in communications. We’ve had a very strong year across a number of fronts, from designing leaflets with a proven impact on reducing pressure on our accident and emergency departments to organising media coverage on international stories such as the UK’s first paired kidney transplant.
“I’m absolutely delighted particularly for Aileen, who has been named Outstanding Young Communicator. She was up against some extremely tough competition from private sector PR and her win underlines what we all know already: there are some outstanding talents working in public sector PR.”


Aileen, 24, from Roslin, Midlothian, said:
“Winning the Outstanding Young Communicator award is an amazing way to round off my first year working at NHS Lothian.
“I am really proud to be the first public sector person to win the award and I think that makes it even more special.” The awards are judged by experts in PR from other CIPR regions, with the exception of the Outstanding Young Communicator Award, which was determined by a panel of Scottish judges. This award is also known as the Hamp Hamilton Trophy.
In all, NHS Lothian won Gold Awards for:


  • Crisis Communications: NHS Lothian mounted a successful defence when the donation of an experimental scanner by a bank risked being obscured by a row over perceived preferential treatment for the bank’s employees.
  • Best Public Sector Campaign: The HIV Comeback Tour, a sensitive multimedia campaign alerting gay and bisexual men to the continuing dangers of HIV, promoting condom use and HIV testing.
  • Best Leaflet: Right Care, Right Time, Right Place, Your Guide to Round the Clock Care. This leaflet is produced in a number of languages to raise awareness of the alternatives to Accident and Emergency Departments.

Silver Award

  • Best Website or Microsite: NHS Lothian’s web team, A Window on Our Services
  • Public Sector Team of the Year: NHS Lothian Corporate Communications Team

The awards were made at a special gala dinner at Edinburgh’s Sheraton Grand on Thursday, 20th November