The full judging panel for the EHI Awards 2011 in association with BT has been announced.

The Department of Health’s director general for informatics, Christine Connelly, will once again head the panel.

Brian Derry, director of information services for the NHS Information Centre, and Dr Martin Murphy, clinical director of Informing Healthcare, NHS Wales, have also agreed to return.

New judges include John Thornbury, the director of ICT at Worcestershire Health, and Robin Lawrenson from the Scottish Ambulance Service. They were last year’s Healthcare IT champion of the year and overall winner, respectively.

Lawrenson led the team at the Scottish Ambulance Service that developed a cab-based system to let ambulance crews in Scotland develop an electronic patient record and transmit it to A&E departments.

Other new judges include Justin Whatling, chief clinical officer of BT Health and Ian Woodburn, chair of the Royal College of Nursing’s Information in Nursing Forum. Senior members of eHealth Insider’s staff complete the line-up.

EHI editor Jon Hoeksma said: “We are delighted that Christine Connelly has agreed to lead the judging panel for the second year running.

“As our recent survey of the acute sector showed, this is a difficult time for many people working in healthcare IT and it is good to see the NHS chief information officer supporting some of the great work that is being done around the country.

“We are also pleased that the overall winner of last year’s awards, Robin Lawrenson, and our Healthcare IT champion of the year, John Thornbury, have agreed to join this year’s judging panel.

"Both are very well respected in the healthcare IT profession – and know what it takes to stand out in these prestigious awards.”

Last year’s awards drew more than 200 entries; while there was so much interested in the Healthcare IT champion of the year award – which is decided by EHI readers – that two rounds of voting had to be run.

The 2011 awards feature three brand new categories – ‘Most Promising IT for GP-led Commissioning’, ‘Best use of social media in healthcare’; and ‘Outstanding work in IT-enabled change in healthcare’.

Entries are now open now and close on 3 June. Nominations for the Healthcare IT champion of the year need to be in by 22 July.

“We look forward to seeing all the entries, and to welcoming the shortlisted contenders to our glittering black-tie dinner in October,” said Hoeksma.

If you need inspiration: read the case study about the Scottish Ambulance Service’s work in Insight.  Or see all our award winners on a map.

The EHI Awards 2011 in association with BT seek out and reward outstanding work within the UK healthcare IT sector. Entries are open now on the dedicated awards website, and will close on 3 June at 4pm.

This year’s awards will be presented on Thursday, 6 October at the Grand Connaught Rooms in Covent Garden, London. For more information or to reserve a table, please visit the awards website.

To find out more about previous winners of the awards, visit our case studies showcase.