A local diabetes and mental health team has been chosen from hundreds of applicants to represent the central midlands region in a prestigious competition to mark the NHS's 70th birthday.
As regional champion in the ‘Excellence in Mental Health Care’ award category, they will now vie with other regional winners from across England for a national award to be presented at a special ceremony in the Palace of Westminster in July.
The NHS70 Parliamentary Awards, sponsored by IBM and Teva, recognise the massive contribution made by the individuals who work in and alongside the NHS.
Launched in February, it asked the region’s MPs to find and nominate those individuals or teams they thought have made the biggest improvements to health services in their constituencies across ten categories. The diabetes and mental health team was nominated by Watford MP Richard Harrington.
From over 750 entries, senior experts have chosen four outstanding nominations in each category, which exemplify the best of what the NHS and its partners do day in, day out.
The diabetes team from West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust (WHHT) and the mental health team from Hertfordshire Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust (HPFT) have been nominated for their outstanding work in improving care for people with diabetes who are also coping with mental health conditions.
By working closely together, the teams have delivered an extensive training programme for staff, updated clinical guidelines, combined community outreach services and brought together healthcare workers looking after high risk groups. This means that patients are able to access care more easily and therefore manage their diabetes and mental health conditions more effectively.
Richard Harrington, who nominated the teams for the award, said: "I am delighted that these teams have been chosen to represent the region for this prestigious award to mark the 70th birthday of the NHS. By working closely together, they have made some real improvements to services locally. These will ultimately lead to improved access to care and a better quality of life for people coping with both diabetes and mental health conditions."
All of the champions will now be invited to the national awards ceremony, which will be held on Wednesday 4 July, the day before the NHS’s 70th birthday.
The ceremony will be hosted by Dr Sara Kayat, NHS GP & TV Doctor best known for This Morning, Celebrity Island with Bear Grylls and GPs: Behind Closed Doors.
The regional champions will now go forward to a final stage of judging by a panel including the leaders of Royal Colleges, the Unison trade union, and the Patients' Association – collectively representing millions of health and care workers and patients.