It's a warm June morning in an office in Bristol's City Hall; we are assembled to complete the judging process for the 2017 Care & Support West Awards. We are all a bit nervous; we have examined many nominations; made recommendations and now we have to justify our choices to each other to agree the finalists and winners.

I for one feel privileged to have been involved in the process and feel humbled in this outpouring of simple humanity as the nominations flowed in, slowly at first and then a deluge as we approached (and passed) the deadline. I feel particularly privileged to have been part of the judging even though I found it one of the hardest things I've had to do!

The nominations varied immensely; there were simple nominations from service users who just wanted to say thank you, nominations from service users and relatives who wanted to say what a positive effect their carers made on their lives, nominations based on single instances of outstanding care, nominations based on continued help over time. Of course there were nominations from within the industry, more structured and professional, some citing individuals, some teams, some whole organisations. What characterised them all was their heartfelt belief that their nominee is amazing and deserves recognition. Our task had been to see past 'the quality' of the nomination to assess the care given and the difference made to service users' and often colleagues' lives.

So there we were, last Thursday, in that sunny office; we'd looked at 203 nominations and there were tears, some laughter and much soul searching as we unpicked and discussed nominations, arguing for inclusion or for their merits as a winner.

At the end of the day David Smallacombe left with a list of 60 finalists and 22 winners. We think we chose the right people for the right reasons and we already know that they are really pleased. We hope you agree with our choices.

Download The Finalists. Please note that the final accolade, the 'Award for Outstanding Contribution to Health and Social Care' will be announced on the night, chosen from the finalists discussed.

The Judging Panel

  • Julie Edwards: RM Rosedale 
  • Catherine Horne: Cadbury Heath Healthcare
  • Emily Bladon-Wing
  • Richard Deverson: RM Windmill Care, Director C&SW
  • Zak Aravantinos: Owner Access Your Care
  • Mik Alban: Development Director C&SW
  • Debbie Sorkin: National Director of Systems Leadership at The Leadership Centre
  • Angela Roberts: owner Angela Roberts Partnership HR consultant, Director C&SW
  • Debbie Ivanova: Deputy Chief Inspector (DCI) of Adult Social Care for the London and South Regions.
  • Barbara Harris: owner Care2Improve, director C&SW
Care Support West