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Regional reporters honoured at medical journalism awards

Regional press reporters were among those honoured at a ceremony recognising the best of medical journalism.

The Medical Journalists’ Association’s annual awards were held on Wednesday, with 17 prizes up for grabs.

Helen McArdle, health correspondent at Glasgow-based daily The Herald, triumphed in the News Story of the Year (General Audience) category after revealing hospital bosses had dipped into their charity fund and transferred millions of pounds usually spent on patient comforts such as children’s toys or armchairs to prop up NHS Tayside’s ailing finances.

Helen was unable to make it to the ceremony, but posted a photograph on Twitter of herself celebrating her victory at home.

She told HTFP: “I’m delighted to have picked up this award for the Herald. It’s amazing to see a Scottish title recognised in a category with such strong competition from major national papers.

“The Tayside charity cash story lifted the lid on how easily health boards could misuse endowment funds and rightly led to scrutiny and changes in how they’re managed.

“Most of all I thank the people who trusted me enough to speak to me and help expose it.”

Eastern Daily Press health and political correspondent Geri Scott was highly commended in two categories.

The judges were impressed with her work on the EDP’s Mental Health Watch campaign, and a story about an unbuilt hospice which they described as “a good piece of investigative journalism”.

The Regional Reporter of the Year award was won by BBC Birmingham’s Jonathan Gibson for his work on Opioid addiction.