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Regional reporters take on BBC in journalism awards

Three regional press journalists will be up against BBC broadcasters next month in an annual medical journalism awards.

The South Wales Evening Post’s Liz Perkins, Amanda Crook, of the Manchester Evening News, and Sarah Brealey, Eastern Daily Press, have been shortlisted in the regional journalist category of the Medical Journalists’ Association Awards.

The scheme is voted for by the associations’ membership which currently stands at around 450.

Liz’s entry comprised the story of a kidney cancer sufferer who was initially refused a life-prolonging drug by the NHS but, after campaigning by Liz, ministers stepped in to reverse the policy.

Her second submission was a long-running campaign which eventually saved the threatened neurosurgery centre at Swansea’s Morriston Hospital.

Amanda’s entry comprised a story about a catholic school becoming the first in the country to ban pupils from having the cervical cancer jab on their grounds which sparked a national debate and has been raised in the Commons.

The second story was the news that the world-famous Christie cancer hospital had lost £6.5m in the Icelandic banking crash and the MEN’s subsequent campaign to help it recuperate the money.

Sarah’s entry comprised a story about how hospital delays had ended in tragedy, published after she was handed a confidential report by a valued contact.

She also submitted stories on an NHS failure to spend £2.2m it had promised for end-of-life care while another exposed bed shortages in a Norfolk hospital.

The other shortlisted candidates are Eleanor Bradford, from BBC Scotland, Matthew Hill, from BBC West of England, and BBC North West Tonight’s Laura Yates.

Among the other award categories are best medical publication, health editor and freelance journalist.

  • The winners will be announced at the Royal Society of Medicine, London, on 14 July.