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Children's hospital chief and wine merchant scoop top business awards

Greater Birmingham Chamber of Commerce names Loki Wines shop as business of the year

The NHS chief who has overseen the transformation of Birmingham Children's Hospital to earn 'outstanding' status has been recognised with a major business community award.

The hospital had been heavily criticised for having insufficient numbers of beds, operating theatres and trained staff when Sarah-Jane Marsh was appointed chief executive in 2009.

Since then, the staff have worked to earn the hospital, now part of the Birmingham Women's and Children's NHS Foundation Trust, 'outstand' status.

Ms Marsh was handed the President's Award at the Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce annual awards ceremony at the International Convention Centre.

Sarah-Jane Marsh received President's Award from Paul Kehoe

Chamber President Paul Kehoe, who is chief executive of Birmingham Airport, said: "When Sarah-Jane was appointed chief executive of the hospital in March 2009 at 32, she was then the youngest ever in the NHS.

"Since then, Sarah-Jane and her staff have done a remarkable job at a truly remarkable Birmingham institution.

"They play a vital role in the delivery of great care every day and they have all helped to get the hospital where it is today.

"Birmingham should be proud of this marvellous asset and I am delighted to give this special award to a special lady.

"The BCH is the first hospital of its kind to receive 'outstanding' status and the award came just as it was opening Magnolia House which,in itself, is testimony to how Birmingham can pull together to achieve great results."

Magnolia House is a new £1 million support centre which has been hailed as setting the benchmark for palliative and bereavement care across the country.

Business of the Year (l to r): Paul Kehoe, Phil Innes (managing director, Loki Wines), Brigadier Simon Bell (award sponsors West Midlands Reserve Forces and Cadets Association) and Gyles Brandreth (awards host)

Also winning awards was Loki Wines, of the Great Western Arcade - named the chamber's first business of the year.

Loki, which employs six people, clinched the awards with their innovative model in using new technology and allowing customers to try wines before buying.

And the multi award-winning business has invested heavily in ensuring their young staff are expert in wines to a high level, including the Diploma in Wine.

When he established Loki Wines in 2012, owner Phil Innes named the business after the Norse god who delighted in causing mischief for other gods.

He says they share the same anti-establishment ethos. The company is planning to expand with new stores in Harborne and Moseley.

Chamber chief executive Paul Faulkner said: "Loki is an outstanding young business and their enterprise and innovation impressed everyone.

"They certainly live up to their reputation of having one of the most innovative retails models in the UK.

Birmingham Post and Mail
Phil Innes inside Loki

"They have brought in new ideas for selling wine in a relaxed environment and have used new communications platforms to drive a business that is multi award-winning and has impressive expansion plans. They are also great advocates for Birmingham.

"All of those factors are why we are proud to announce them as the first business of the year chosen by the GBCC."

Award winners

Business of the Year

Loki Wines

Contribution to Community

Muslim Women's Network UK

Excellence in Customer Service

A-Plant

Excellence in International Business

Burton and South Derbyshire College

Excellence in Manufacturing

Oldbury UK and Boughton Engineering

Excellence in People Development

NEC Group

Excellence in Retail

Loki Wines

Excellence in Sales and Marketing

Great Escape Cars

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