STP organisations triumph at prestigious Health Service Journal awards

Excellent practice was recognised and celebrated last week, when the national publication the ‘Health Service Journal’ presented two prestigious awards to staff and organisations from the Hertfordshire and West Essex STP area.

Tom Cahill, the Leader of our Sustainability and Transformation Partnership, was named ‘Chief Executive of the Year’, in recognition of his strengths as a leader who is committed to putting service users first.  

Tom, who began his career as a nurse, has overseen a major transformation of mental health services since he took on the chief executive role at Hertfordshire Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust.

Through his leadership of the STP, clear, clinically-driven priority actions have been established for each of the partnership’s improvement programmes, with good levels of commitment and involvement from health organisations, local authorities, patient representative groups and clinical and professional staff. 

At the same event, Watford General Hospital’s maternity unit won the national ‘Workforce’ award, thanks to their successful drive to recruit and retain midwives.  This has improved the care offered to women and babies and dramatically reduced the amount of money spent on agency workers.  

In 2015 the unit had a high vacancy rate and was heavily reliant on agency staff. The Trust was concerned about the impact this had on standards of care for mothers and babies, so developed a plan to turn things around, including new career progression routes for all staff and new team structures.

The unit now provides professional supervision, mentoring and support to develop staff skills and confidence. Other innovations include introducing a midwife role focused on managing risks and creating teams specialising in working with either low risk or vulnerable women.  These changes have made the roles more varied and created more career progression opportunities for staff.  

Alastair McLellan, Editor, HSJ, said:

With the NHS experiencing a tough time as funding fails to keep up with demand, the HSJ Awards are once again the best reminder of the excellence the health service is capable of.”