NHS organisations from across the West Midlands were victorious last night (18 November) at the UK's most prestigious healthcare awards ceremony.
Hundreds packed into the Grosvenor House Hotel on London's Park Lane to see no less than four local organisations honoured at the Health Service Journal (HSJ) Awards 2015. The HSJ Awards showcase the efforts of organisations to deliver the best care in the most effective way and have grown to become the largest celebration of healthcare excellence in the country. The well-deserved winners were among many organisations from the West Midlands who were successfully shortlisted for the awards.
The first organisation from the region onto the podium was the Dudley Group NHS Foundation Trust, who scooped the award for Emergency Department Performance. The trust slashed its four-hour wait breach target from more than 700 to just 96 after redesigning the service, with staff urged to concentrate on delivering high quality patient care in a safe, calm manner, rather than focusing on targets. Staff now take responsibility for patients destined for their ward from the emergency department, and discharging patients as soon as they are medically fit has reduced length of stay. The HSJ Award judges praised the "transformational turnaround" brought about by a "whole trust effort".
The Modality Partnership lifted the title of Using Technology to Improve Efficiency. The UK's first GP super-practice, Modality is a single organisation operating across 13 different locations in Sandwell and Birmingham that combines the advantages of small practices working closely in local communities with the opportunities that come from being part of something bigger. The judges recognised the "visionary use of technology" that has played a huge role in revolutionising the way patients access their services, with a clinical contact centre accessible by phone, website and app, a virtual hub staffed with clinicians, online video guides, digital reminders and email and Skype consultations all playing their part.
Next up were Sandwell and West Birmingham Clinical Commissioning Group, rightly named as the Clinical Commissioning Group of the Year. Sandwell and West Birmingham CCG are no strangers to the stage at the awards, having earned the title previously in 2013. The judges hailed the CCG as being one of the most ambitious in the country, with strong collaborative leadership, ability to deliver and “true recognition of system-wide responsibility for the population’s healthcare". Among the initiatives singled out were healthy community pilots, which aim to develop targeted support to prevent illnesses and improve the health of more than 200,000 patients, efforts improve access to primary care for migrants in a bid to resolve A&E attendances, and excellent stakeholder engagement.
The final prize of the evening went to popular choice Birmingham Children's Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, crowned as Provider Trust of the Year. Their Next Generation Strategy focuses on the future, with a restructure improving team working, technology giving a better view of theatre usage, projects to improve communications with various ethnic and socio-economic groups and £39m investment in clinical facilities all helping the trust meet 99.1% of its quality and innovation targets. The trust was singled out by the judges for demonstrating strong performance across all the criteria for the award.
In addition, Telford and Wrekin Clinical Commissioning Group and Telford and Wrekin Council were highly commended in the CCG Commissioning for Carers category for their joint work on making connections for family carers, while George Eliot Hospital NHS Trust's palliative care team were highly commended for Compassionate Patient Care.