We are delighted to announce the winners of the 2024 IBMS Awards ceremony that took place on Friday 28 June at The Brewery, London. To view the pictures taken from the IBMS Awards please click here


Winner: Lesley Cybichowski - Blood Sciences Department, Broomfield Hospital, Mid and South Essex NHS Foundation Trust

The department’s student engagement events are intended to inspire young minds to take up careers in science, especially biomedical sciences. The numbers of students that have attended the career events we supported has ranged from 75 at the university, to 1400 students at the secondary school events. Feedback is always good, and work experience placements are often arranged for students.

Public and hospital staff engagement events also raise the profile of pathology within the entire hospital and community – informing patients and hospital staff of the work we do in each discipline, inspiring confidence and trust in the public and educating our colleagues. Staff who have supported these events as ambassadors have benefited from increased personal confidence and pride in their role, and several staff have progressed to take on more formal training responsibilities, such as delivering registration tutorials or becoming mentors to students, and two staff undertook further training to become registration verifiers.

Judges said: “This was an enthusiastic approach to promoting biomedical science and the laboratory services. Examples of how events have been improved following feedback and experience. A great mixture of examples of public engagement was shared with the judging panel."


• Akinola and Olubukola Adewunmi - Haematology and Blood Transfusion and Clinical Biochemistry 

• James Bonnick - Mohs Micrographic Surgery

• Bamidele Farinre - Chartered Biomedical Scientist (Virology) 

• Kimberly Lewis - Swansea Bay University Health Board 

• Chigozie Onuba - Diagnostic Haematology and Blood Transfusion, Training, Public Engagement, Leadership and Management and Health and Safety 


Organisation Awards

Winner: HCA Healthcare UK Laboratories

In 2020 HCA Labs had no IBMS training approval or development pathways. Valued colleagues left for other laboratories if they wanted to undertake their registration or specialist portfolio, and staff were frustrated they couldn't progress through IBMS professional qualifications. Fast-forward to today and HCA Labs holds IBMS training approval in all departments and has an active and thriving training programme. After three years it has just started its 32nd candidate on their registration portfolio, welcomed its 19th placement student and celebrated its 14th successful portfolio verification.

The sea change was caused by a three-year training strategy, with a dedicated training manager and training officers, driven by feedback from lab colleagues in all departments. The new programme is designed to show that training is a crucial component of building a world-class team, to deliver world-class care and to make HCA Labs a place people will want to work.

Judges said: “The winner demonstrated a level of engagement and responsiveness to their staff and a clear shift in the organisation’s values towards promoting and embedding learning and development into the routine services. The judges chose HCA Healthcare UK Laboratories as the Biomedical Science Champion because they have achieved a huge amount in such a short space of time. Under the leadership of the newly appointed Training & Organisational Development Manager a training strategy has been devised that ensures all staff have the knowledge and skills to provide a high-quality pathology service The strategy supports existing and future workforce and clearly demonstrates that staff are valued by supporting their development and career progression. The judges saw their overall approach as having enormous potential and look forward to seeing them grow from strength to strength. “


• Mid and South Essex NHS Foundation Trust - Blood Sciences Department

• North West London Pathology - Training and Development Onboarding

• Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust - Training Apprenticeships

• Scarborough Hull York Pathology Service - Immunology

• Sonic Healthcare UK

• Sonic Healthcare UK - Sonic Training Academy

• Southwest Pathology Services – Training and Development Department

• Spire Healthcare - Pathology

• UK Health Security Agency - National Mycobacterium Reference Service - South

• University of Plymouth and University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust - Cellular Pathology

Sponsored by: bioMérieux

Winner: Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust - Pathology and Transfusion

Led by Pathology Quality Manager Jonathan Boxshall, the primary objective of the team’s research was to assess the safety and viability of transporting clinical blood products for transfusion via drone, testing the hypothesis that there was no significant difference in the quality of blood products transported by drone versus road vehicle.

The value of drone transport can be seen in delivering blood products to trauma scenes to support civilian prehospital care; delivering blood products to frontline military operations; resupplying hospitals, hospices, military bases and ships as well as helicopter emergency medical bases.

The pilot for the project ran between Wansbeck and Berwick (53 miles) and Wansbeck to Alnwick (24 miles) and delivered the UK’s first patient pathology samples in Northumberland by drone, flew the UK’s longest drone delivery flight and saved 1228kg in CO2 emissions. The study also concluded that drone delivery did not impair red blood cell viability.

The first phase of the pilot scheme is now complete, after more than 194 flights over the past three months, and the team is now working with its project partner Apian to plan phase two and understand where drone delivery can go next.

Judges said: “Although others are experimenting with drone technology, this entry shows a particularly high-value application of this technology with good validation against traditional methods of transport, with real-life experience. This innovation is scalable and has the potential for many geographical applications for patient benefit.”

Highly Commended

• Synnovis Analytics Tissue Sciences - Pathology Services for Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust and King's College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust


• Birmingham Quality (UK NEQAS) - External Quality Assessment (Clinical Biochemistry)

Sponsored by: Source LDPath

Winner: University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust with the Royal Centre for Defence Medicine and the Defence Medical Academy

This collaborative multidisciplinary pre- and post-registration programme is aimed at providing the Ministry of Defence with professionally registered military biomedical scientists. 

Led by an NHS group training lead, stakeholders instituted an IBMS Accredited registration portfolio. An NHS military group was also set up that meets monthly to discuss all issues pertaining to military biomedical scientist training at the NHS trust. 

Placements have been expanded to Heartland Hospital to deliver additional haematology, blood transfusion and biochemistry. This has further diversified the pathway, grown the partnership, supported cross-hospital site harmonisation and exposed trainees to alternative and new techniques.

During 2022–2024 a total of 15 HCPC-registered military biomedical scientists have been added to the total pool of biomedical scientists within defence. The verification pass rate is 100% and has been maintained annually with an average of five placements supported annually, in addition to the training and verification of NHS civilian staff within the trust. 

Judges said: “The winner of this category stood out as being unique in its collaboration and supports an under-recognised area of our profession. This bid demonstrates the flexibility and adaptability of these teams to work together for mutual benefit, in true partnership-working.”


• Aston University with Coventry University, University of Wolverhampton, Keele University and West Midlands Regional Training Group

• Greater Manchester Pathology Network with Bolton NHS Foundation Trust, The Christie NHS Foundation Trust, Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust, Northern Care Alliance NHS Foundation Trust, Stockport NHS Foundation Trust, Tameside and Glossop Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust and Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

• Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust with Leeds Beckett University

• The Biomed Online Learning Consortium, led by University of Greenwich in partnership with NHS Trusts and Pathology Partnerships, and the UK Health Security Agency

• Welsh Health Boards (Aneurin Bevan, Betsi Cadwaladr, Cardiff & Vale, Cwm Taf Morgannwg, Hywel Dda, Swansea Bay), Welsh Blood Service, Public Health Wales and Cardiff Metropolitan University

Sponsored by: Sarstedt

Winner: The Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust - Integrated Laboratory Medicine

Newcastle Hospitals NHSFT was the first healthcare organisation in the world to declare a climate emergency, in 2019. The Integrated Laboratory Medicine (ILM) Sustainability Team was created in April 2022 to support the trust’s net zero strategy.

The team’s main focus is on reducing single-use plastics wherever possible (saving over one million specimen bags a year), and its flagship project is to reduce waste associated with sample transport. One project has been successfully rolled out to stakeholders that incorporates reusable sample transport boxes, negating the need for plastic specimen bags. Further work is progressing in scaling up prototype designs developed in collaboration with colleagues in medical physics for airtube inserts and boxes to accommodate microbiology samples. The ILM Sustainability Team is also looking to expand the use of reusable delivery boxes to reduce the mountain of cardboard generated every day.

Judges said: “Excellent entry with great ideas that all labs could implement. Good engagement with community and the trust, and sustainability has been truly embraced.”


• Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust - Pathology, Transfusion and Logistics

Winner: Staffordshire University

Staffordshire University has established a reputation for innovation, accessible delivery, and patient-centred education. Its degree apprenticeship programme continues to experience annual growth, evident in the 2023–24 intake, which saw 48 new students. Its on-programme community now totals 146 apprentices spread across 30 NHS trusts and pathology providers across England. The year 2023 marked the graduation of our third cohort, contributing to a total of over 70 HCPC-registered biomedical scientists who have entered the workforce since the programme's inception in 2017.

The programme consistently outperforms university benchmarks, with 75% of graduates achieving first-class degree classifications and an apprenticeship distinction rate exceeding 90%. Professional behaviours exhibited by students are consistently commended in IBMS portfolio verification and end-point assessor reports.

Achieving this goal has necessitated bold and creative curriculum design, the ability to embrace disruptive innovation judiciously, and, most importantly, a lived understanding of the needs, challenges and emerging opportunities within the workforce.

Winner: University of Salford

The University of Salford exhibits unwavering dedication to excellence, innovation and impact in the field of biomedical science education. It has a consistently good quality achievement rate for the degree apprenticeship programme with excellent honours degree outcomes – 90% of the learners pass first time, many of those with good (2.1) or very good (1st class) degrees, indicating outstanding and diligent support from the programme team in enabling learners to achieve their goals. Another indicator of performance comes from 100% of completers going into biomedical scientist positions.

Acting on the outcomes of its national employer survey assessing workplace needs, the University of Salford developed curriculum-embedded pathology specimen reception and blood transfusion simulations that accurately recapitulate work-based experiences, providing authentic interprofessional learning for our student.

Other examples of innovative education include three extracurricular career mentorship groups that have grown from 15 students in 2018 to over 700 in 2024, and a portfolio club hosting a number of workshops with students to identify content from university studies and map to HCPC standards of proficiency.

Judges said: “Both winners have a strong focus on developing the future biomedical scientist workforce to the highest standards, with methodologies to deliver outstanding and innovative education.”


• Aston University

• Bangor University

• Griffith University

• Nottingham Trent University

• School of Biomedical Sciences Ulster University

• University of Portsmouth

Winner: HCA Healthcare UK Laboratories

HCA’s Diversity, Inclusion, Equity and Belonging (DEIB) strategy, which began in 2022, aims to create lasting and meaningful change. It recommends cultural and organisational improvements, steps to connect leadership with colleagues, and encourages honest and open dialogue. Over 100 colleagues were invited to help design and shape the new vision.

The DEIB strategy focuses on four strategic goals: leadership, culture, talent and patient care. Under these pillars, a number of groups, events and initiatives have been established. These include a biannual Vital Voices staff survey, an active Pride group, a network of mental health first aiders, and celebrations of Black History Month and the 75th anniversary of Windrush. 

HCA’s mission states: “Exceptional healthcare is built on a foundation of inclusion, compassion and respect for our patients and for each other.” Managers and the workforce strive to reflect this every day and embed it across all locations.

Judges said: “The organisation has demonstrated a tangible level of engagement with staff groups and has acted upon their findings. Demonstrated good practice in this area and is a beacon for others to learn from.”


• Chair of IBMS EDI Group - Tahmina Hussain

Sponsored by: Cirdan

Winner: Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust - Laboratory Medicine Divisional Training Team

This pan-pathology training group acts to ensure their teams are trained and competent to carry out their assigned roles. On top of routine training and competency-related duties within the departments, the team is heavily involved in public engagement events throughout the year. The team consciously works to increase support they can offer to students in higher education institutions, attending regular events at the universities, alongside colleagues from elsewhere in the Greater Manchester network. 

Consequently, the team has increased capacity for placement year trainee biomedical scientists from the nearby universities, from 13 placements in 2022-23, to 21 placements in 2023-24 – an increase of over 60% in one year. Additionally, pathology areas that have traditionally seen low applications have encouraged increases in applicants, by implementing a training bursary for prospective students, and by promoting the profession in higher education institutions and in the general population. Cellular pathology has seen an almost 10-fold increase in interest from budding trainee biomedical scientists, in just two years (four applicants in 2022, 38 applicants in 2024.)  

Judges said: “Demonstrates a variety of approaches towards public engagements and ensures a sustainable pipeline of staff. The team go above and beyond and utilise innovative ideas to promote the profession.”


• NHS Lothian, Western General Hospital - Clinical Biochemistry

• Scarborough Hull York Pathology Team - Immunology

• The Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust - Newcastle Advanced Therapies

• University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust - Electron Microscopy Unit

• York and Scarborough Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust - Specialist Biochemistry Team

Sponsored by: BD

Winner: The Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust - Newcastle Advanced Therapies

This 24-strong team specialises in laboratory cell and gene processing and GMP manufacture of advanced therapies and is one of the largest CAR-T providers in the country. With one of the largest bone marrow transplant stem cell services in the UK and a broad range of capabilities, its main objective is to be recognised as a national centre for advanced therapies, including novel therapies, such as limbal stem cell transplantation, autologous islet cell therapies and stem cell graft engineering. Newcastle Advanced Therapies was the first laboratory in the UK to prepare and dose a patient for an AAV gene therapy for Duchenne muscular dystrophy and supported the first patient in Europe to be dosed with a gene therapy for Pompe disease.

This small team manages to deliver research and clinical priorities and maintain the GMP facilities and increasing regulatory standards, making a significant impact on people’s lives by collectively managing a broad portfolio of activity across the MHRA, JACIE, HTA and QAAPs.

Judges said: “A specialised service that crosses the boundaries of clinical provision, research and clinical trials, fostering partnerships with clinical services and industry. Evidence supplied to support the innovation and service responsiveness to clinical need, with the patient at the heart of everything they do.”


• Scarborough Hull York Pathology Service - Immunology

• Synnovis Analytics - Human Nutristasis Unit

• Synnovis Analytics - St. John's Histopathology

Individual Awards

Winner: Grant Lumgair - NHS Lothian, Western General Hospital Edinburgh

Grant joined the Blood Sciences Department at the Western General Hospital in Edinburgh in 2021. Having graduated from the Robert Gordon University, he now works in the proteins section, and participates in the 24/7 out of hours rota for biochemistry. Here, he has quickly mastered the techniques and interpretive skills necessary for myeloma screening and many other gel electrophoresis techniques such as alpha-1-antitrypsin phenotyping, CSF oligoclonal band detection and alkaline phosphatase electrophoresis. He has also undertaken more esoteric assays, such as cryoglobulin detection, porphyria screening and CSF spectroscopy.

Although a relatively new biomedical scientist, Grant has shown he is hard working, mature, confident and adaptable, and his calm demeanour is valuable in any crisis or high-pressure situation. As well as carrying out his own tasks, he regularly trains and supervises junior staff, answering their questions and enquiries.

He also regularly works to promote the biomedical science profession. Recently he participated in Skills Scotland, a careers event in Edinburgh to promote careers in laboratory medicine.

Judges said: “A hard-working and enthusiastic biomedical scientist who has developed quickly. He is adaptable, personable, professional. He grasps opportunities to learn and share best practice. A strong team member who is already giving back to the profession.”


• Sarah Dickinson - Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust 

• James Howe - University Hospitals of Derby and Burton NHS Foundation Trust 

• Eleanor Lockwood - Southwest Pathology Services 

• Mark MacLean - NHS Lothian 

• Kim Owens - Wye Valley NHS Trust 

Winner: Daniel David Kearns CSci FIBMS - Centre for Liver and Gastrointestinal Research at University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust and the Institute of Immunology and Immunotherapy, University of Birmingham

Motivated, positively engaged and an inspiration to his staff, Daniel is an HCPC-registered biomedical scientist with a wealth of hands-on experience and a broad range of skills in clinical and research science, laboratory management and professional/regulatory policy and procedure. His scope of practice spans a broad cross-section of biomedical science, primarily in histology (including routine and specialised techniques), postmortem pathology and quality.

Since 2023 he has been the Head Biomedical Scientist and Laboratory Manager to the Centre for Liver and Gastrointestinal Research and can often be found in a labcoat undertaking experiments, optimising assays or supporting the team. 

He is a strong advocate of the IBMS and is keen to support every individual to be the best at whatever they want to be regardless of their role, finding ways to support their learning and development and identifying opportunities that they may not have otherwise found. Daniel is always keen to explore opportunities to build stronger relationships and teams having a strong belief that a happy and supported team is a creative and productive team.

He also supports his profession in several ways with active involvement in the IBMS, Science Council, the HCPC and a number of local universities developing and delivering their courses. 

Judges said: “The pastoral role Daniel undertakes is exemplary, showing empathy and compassion at all levels. An excellent role model who always maintains the individual at the centre, he promotes the profession on a daily basis.”

Highly Commended

• Francis Yongblah - Great Ormond Street Hospital NHS Foundation Trust 


• Bamidele Farinre - Chartered Biomedical Scientist (Virology) 

• Michelle Payne - NENC Pathology Network 

• Dr David Ricketts - Sonic Healthcare UK 

• Chris Wilson - Sonic Healthcare UK