We look at how MSP helped grow the 2018 North West NHS Games, as planning for 2019 gets underway

In 2018 MSP took the North West NHS Games to a new level, with a record number of participants and the highest recorded satisfaction levels achieved to date.

The North West NHS Games is an annual series of events to encourage NHS employees to come together to take part in a series of fun and friendly inter-trust sport competitions.  MSP were commissioned to improve the overall quality and management of the initiative, including improving the patient experience, booking process, engaging with national governing bodies for a variety of sports to improve competition formats and evaluating the initiative to work towards further improvement.

Initiated by the Walton Centre NHS Foundation Trust, the event first ran in 2011 and has had entry from over 20 NHS Trusts and thousands of NHS employees from across North West England over seven years.  The North West NHS Games is coordinated by a steering group of NHS trusts, supported by MSP capacity.  Participating NHS trusts and organisations each pay a small fee that is accumulated together to cover the cost of running the events, which means that participation for NHS staff is free.

All events and activities are inclusive, allowing people of any age, ability or level of fitness to be able to take part.  In 2018, NHS employees could take part in a 5k run, 1k family fun run and competitions in badminton, football, golf, netball and rounders.  Collectively, MSP and participating NHS organisations were able to demonstrate that:

  • 411 employees took part, an increase of 36% on 2017
  • 35% participants were inactive prior to attending
  • 82% participants reported that taking part has inspired them to become more active
  • Highest ever satisfaction ratings were received

Diane Haddock (Chair of the North West NHS Games and Head of Organisational Health and Effectiveness at Aintree University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust) said, “The involvement of MSP has made a phenomenal difference to the quality of delivery and the sustainability of the programme; we have seen our long standing Games grow in participation, and moreover we have seen a sustained number of our workforce continuing with physical activity as a result of these events.”

All participants are encouraged to carry on enjoying activities in their workplace or community after competing in the North West NHS Games – for example, participants from 2018 told us, “I’ve not played netball for a while, but this has encouraged me to start attending my local Back to Netball session,” and “Playing rounders is great fun, so we’ve decided to create our own workplace team and practise on a regular basis!”

MSP, NHS Trusts and participants are continuing to help co-develop the North West NHS Games moving forward, and in 2019 we are looking to secure more sports, new venues and new NHS organisations to grow the initiative even further.

Find out more about the North West NHS Games by visiting or contact Danny Woodworth (MSP) on


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