CPFT teams and global gaming hit 'Hellblade' up for national awards


Staff and service users at Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust have been nominated for the Royal College of Psychiatrists’ prestigious annual awards, highlighting achievements in training, research, communication and care.

The development team behind Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice – the world-wide gaming hit which won five Baftas – are in line for a further honour as Psychiatric Communicator of the year.

In further recognition of CPFT’s work, the team behind the Trust’s innovative Gynae Psycho-oncology Service which supports women with their mental health following cancer treatment, is one of the finalists for Psychiatric Team of the Year (all age specialist category). Nominations also include consultant psychiatrist Dr Christopher O’Loughlin, for Psychiatric Trainer of the Year - he has been encouraging medical students to choose psychiatry and grow the mental health workforce; Dr Graham Murray, honorary consultant psychiatrist at CPFT is up for Researcher of the Year alongside Konrad Wagstyl, nominated for Medical Student of the Year.

Around 40 teams and individuals from across the country have been shortlisted in the RCPsych Awards which mark the highest level of achievement in psychiatry. The winners will be announced on Wednesday 7 November.

Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice received global acclaim following its release in August last year. The game’s central character Senua has experiences of psychosis, and developers Ninja Theory spent three years working with staff, students and volunteers from CPFT’s Recovery College East.

Tracey Bartlett, Recovery College East Manager said: “It has been so wonderful for the Recovery College to be involved in the development of this ground-breaking game, which really does tackle stigma and discrimination around mental health and how people can uniquely experience the world. It was a truly collaborative experience and the authenticity of the lived experience voice was really valued by everyone at Ninja Theory throughout the whole process. It was a master class in co-production.”

The Gynae Psycho-oncology Service launched last summer, and is delivered in partnership with Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (CUHFT) and funded by Macmillan Cancer Support. Its unique three-tier approach provides access to a psychological wellbeing practitioner, clinical psychologist and consultant psychiatrist for therapies and treatment tailored to individual patients, including the ‘Moving Forward’ group.

Dr Ruaidhrí McCormack, Clinical Consultant in CPFT’s Liaison Psychiatry service and Macmillan Consultant Psychiatrist in Psycho-oncology said: “We are delighted to be shortlisted for this award, joining other teams of remarkable calibre across the UK, and I’d like to thank the team for their stellar work this year. We have received overwhelmingly positive feedback about the support we provide for women dealing with these cancers, and we will continue to work in partnership with oncology, psychiatric and psychological wellbeing services to give the best care for our patients.”

Dr Annabel Price, CPFT Psycho-oncology Development Lead and Consultant Liaison Psychiatrist, said: “Working with NHS and third sector colleagues, patients and carers, we have developed a  comprehensive service to support women living with gynaecological cancer through one of the most difficult experiences they can have, to give them emotional support and improve their psychological health. We want to support other patients, and improve outcomes by supporting a full physical and emotional recovery.”

Since its launch in 2017, the service has taken referrals across the east of England through medical oncology, radiotherapy and surgical services at Addenbrooke’s and Peterborough City Hospitals, and women have highlighted how the service helped them talk through feelings, learn how to move forward and switch off anxiety, while not feeling alone any more.

Karen Storey, a patient from Saffron Walden, participated in the Moving Forward group, and said: “The support was excellent, like a tablet for the soul! Speaking to women in the group and sharing experiences really helped me. It’s a lovely group which made you feel important and safe - you could say anything and they gave you tools to get on with life, like help to sleep and meditation tips. It has given me the confidence to get through other health issues and regain my self esteem. I wish everybody had the opportunity to do this, the team are fantastic with so much empathy and care.”

CPFT is linking in with other psycho-oncology services across the country to build a national network of expertise, and is also working in partnership with the University of Cambridge and University of Chester to evaluate outcomes from the service and build evidence for more psycho-oncology support through research.

Image: Members of the gynae psycho-oncology team (left to right): Allison Hallett, clinical nurse specialist, Dr Ruaidhrí McCormack, consultant liaison psychiatrist, Asmita Dhungana, psychological wellbeing practitioner, Dr Annabel Price, consultant liaison psychiatrist and Dr Helena Earl, consultant oncologist.



Cambridge University Hospitals is one of the largest and best known trusts in the country. As the local hospital for our community we deliver care through Addenbrooke’s and the Rosie hospitals.

Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust