A PROJECT that has used rugby league players and armed forces veterans to improve health services in Halton has won a top regional award.

Well Halton is a partnership of NHS Halton Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and organisations including Widnes Vikings rugby league team, the Science and Technology Facilities Council, Runcorn Shopping Centre and Runcorn Veterans Association.

It recently received a Partnership in Innovation award at the NWC Research and Innovation Awards, which recognises a successful partnership between an NHS organisation and a non-public sector organisation.

Chris Carlin, Well Halton project manager at NHS Halton CCG, said: "It really is fantastic to be recognised for your work when you’re up against so many teams who are doing work of such a high standard.

"Whenever I go to work I feel inspired by all the organisations we work alongside, so this award belongs to them as well.”

Nicola Goodwin, lead officer on the Well Halton project, added: "It’s fantastic to have the recognition that what you’re doing is making a difference.

"It’s recognition for genuinely grassroots work, so it’s a real privilege."

Dr Liz Mear, Chief Executive of the Innovation Agency, said: "Talent, innovation and collaboration in healthcare in England’s north west coast are having a real impact on people’s lives and the quality of care.

"Each of this year’s winners has gone beyond what might normally be expected of them in their roles, and each are pioneers in their fields."