Reducing Health Inequalities sponsored by the Department of Health

When East Lancashire primary care trust's Accident Prevention project won the Reducing Health Inequalities category, the team didn’t just collect the award for themselves. Janet West, integrated service delivery manager explains:

"We entered because we wanted to highlight the commitment at an organisational level and the fact that the PCT had supported us by making reducing health inequalities one of their key priorities," she says.

"It was also a chance to highlight the dedication and efforts of the staff on the project and all the multi-agency and partnership working that has gone in to making the scheme so effective."

The judging panel commended the project for its engagement with a wide and diverse range of community groups, the quality of the evaluation and its value for money. Thanks to the project East Lancashire estimate that as many as 660 accidents involving children have been avoided, with a potential saving to the local health economy of in excess of£1 million.

A multi-agency safety network with representation from over 20 organisations is now established and runs a number of events throughout the year focussing on safety issues. Health visitors and early years professionals have also been provided with training on accident prevention in childhood.

"I find it very useful when I am in negotiation with commissioners," says Ms West, "to point out to them that not only is the project evidenced based and that this is a service that really does make a difference but that it has also been judged to be worthy of winning a highly prestigious national award."

What judges want

Improving community well being and action to prevent ill health

Creating effective partnerships with NHS and non-NHS bodies

Involvement of users in scheme design and implementation

Empowering excluded communities

Evidence of sustainable improvements in health outcomes

Evidence of action which reflects the Choosing Health white paper

Corporate Citizenship sponsored by the Sustainable Development Commission

For many trusts putting together an entry for an HSJ award, especially one that goes on to win its category, is a means to getting a project, design or development in the view of a wider audience.

Nottingham University Hospitals trust’s take on corporate citizenship certainly did that. Judges for the category were greatly impressed by the commitment and enthusiasm, the outcomes and impact on the local economy and the continuing ambition of a wide reaching approach that brings sustainability not only to waste management, travel and catering, but to many dimensions of the organisation’s work.

What the award entry also did was bring the estates and facilities directorate – still relatively new in structure after the merge of two earlier trusts and their Queen’s and City Hospital sites - closer together. Definitely something they hadn’t counted on when they started to compile their application.

"It was as a direct result of our combined efforts in shaping the kinds of things we wanted to say about our achievements," says Jo Tomlinson, travel and security manager, "that we got to know each other better and understand more about each others work."

Which bodes well for a team with plenty more ideas on supporting the local community and environment and a profile that is now commanding interest at a national level.

"The award and the judges feedback have certainly helped us grow new contacts," says Ms Tomlinson. "As well hearing from several trusts who have been wanting to share best practice, we have been creating links with the Sustainable Development Commission, something that can only help us as we look to build on our success."

What judges want

Procurement policies that strengthen local communities, improve health and sustain the environment

Building local skills and providing routes into employment for disadvantaged, hard to employ groups

Sustainable management of waste, resources and energy (eg encouraging recycling and procurement of recycled goods)

Improved access to facilities, encouraging health-enhancing travel and reducing emissions

Design, construction and refurbishment of buildings to promote social, economic and environmental sustainability