The awards, now in its 7th year, celebrate individuals, whose innovative and creative initiatives have improved quality and made care safer for patients.

The awards, run by HSJ and its sister title Nursing Times, celebrate individuals, whose innovative and creative initiatives have improved quality and made care safer for patients. 

After receiving 750 submissions from 370 different organisations, expert judges have whittled the list down to just 17 winners and 10 organisations whose work they highly commend.

Patient Safety Congress and Awards

Announcing the winners, HSJ’s editor Alastair McLellan said: “HSJ is proud to recognise those individuals, teams and organisations who have improved the NHS’s record on patient safety agenda.”

It has been two years since the Francis and Keogh reports were published, but the events of Mid Staffordshire and Morecombe Bay still remain fresh in the minds of those working in the NHS. The details of poor care revealed in both reports changed the way patient safety was viewed. Since then, NHS staff and others working in the health sector have worked tirelessly to improve the quality and safety of patient care. HSJ and Nursing Times believe it is right to shine a light on those people.

Trust of the Year

Winner East London Foundation Trust

Recognising those hospitals that consistently deliver great care our Trust of the Year award goes to East London FT. A leading Mental Health provider, the trust has been recognised for its effective quality improvement programmes. One particular programme was implemented within three older adult mental health wards in order to reduce the high frequency of violence. Since the project began the trust has reduced violence on these wards by 50 per cent and has seen a 19 per cent reduction in violence across all of its 35 wards. Commending the trust’s work judges described East London as “open to ideas” and able to “adapt ideas swiftly”.

Clinical Leadership

Winner Rebecca Warren, ward manager, Midland Centre for Spinal Injuries

For this year’s Clinical Leadership award HSJ and NT were keen to celebrate leaders who show clear commitment to patient safety and who have worked across clinical disciplines and collaborated with a range of colleagues. The winner of this award is a manager for the Midland Centre for Spinal Injuries who oversees two clinical areas, an acute ward and a rehabilitation unit. Judges said that the wards were an “excellent demonstration of good leadership” and hailed Ms Warren as a leader who had “built sustainable systems and processes, creating a team ethos which improves patient care and staff experience”.

Highly commended Karen Atkinson, Head of Patient Safety, Tee, Esk Wear and Valleys Foundation Trust

Changing Culture (sponsored by NHS Employers)

Winner Mersey Care Trust

This year, our judges were looking for organisations that had implemented an initiative that resulted in an organisation-wide acceptance that patient safety was the responsibility of all staff. Identifying Mersey Care Trust for its No Force First quality improvement programme, judges said the “success of the whole initiative was due to the co-production, focus within the organisation”. The No Force First initiative was implemented to reduce coercive interventions. It achieved this by developing a culture of collaboration between staff and patients with mental health problems. The work was built on a foundation of joint staff/patient engagement work that began in 2013 and recognised patients as “experts by experience”.

Highly commended Cumbria Partnership Foundation Trust

Hall of Fame

Winner Northumbria Healthcare Foundation Trust

The Hall of Fame award is given to individuals who dedicate their working lives to delivering the best care for patients. It recognises those teams, organisations or individuals who display a true long term commitment to quality of care.

This year’s winner describes itself as “an outward looking organisation”. Not only does it share good practice within the NHS, it has also pioneered patient safety internationally. Partnering with the Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Centre, the trust introduced laparoscopic surgery to parts of Tanzania. In supporting Tanzanian surgeons to perform more than 500 laparoscopies, the partnership has significantly reduced overcrowding on wards and the rate of post-operative complications in patients.

Quality of Care (sponsored by Macmillan Cancer Support)

Winner South London and Maudsley Foundation Trust

For the Quality of Care award our judges were looking for evidence that a team had found ways to manage risk and provide consistently excellent, safe care.

The team at South London and Maudsley’s Gresham unit has been recognised for its innovative family service. Based on input from service users and carers, the team has created three different types of psychological intervention: family awareness raising teaching sessions for staff, a weekly carer’s clinic, and structured family therapy  for service users with psychosis and their families. Judges said that the programme led to a significant reduction in complaints and showed “evidence of improved wellbeing and satisfaction for service users, other families and staff”.

Patient Safety in Care of Older People (sponsored by Ridouts)

Winner Dr Falzon and Mr Mistry, NHS Southport and Orsmirk

HSJ’s Commission on Hospital Care for Frail Older People recognised the urgent need to improve the care of older people in the NHS. This award is for people who are doing just that. After noticing the high level of deaths and the amount of money spent on Acute Kidney Injury, two staff members at NHS Southport and Osmirk introduced a project designed to improve patient education for this condition. The project entitled Breaking, implements innovative ideas and learning tools for junior doctors and patients, allowing them to manage and detect AKI before it becomes critical. Judges commented that “patients and their safety is embedded in this work”.

Dementia Care

Winner Cwm Taf University Health Board

“It should be replicated everywhere,” said the judges about the Dementia Care award winner. The specialist dementia care team at Cambrian Ward in Ysbyty George Thomas Hospital provides on-going care for 19 patients with dementia. After implementing a simple change in the patients’ daily routine, the ward was able to cut incidents of challenging behaviour by 60 per cent. This simple timetable change addressed the morning routine, which was found to be stressful for both staff and patients. Judges commented that the “ward encompasses the idea of a patient as a person and is not scared to challenge usual practice.”

Highly commended South West London and St George’s Mental Health Trust

Education and Training in Patient Safety (sponsored by Virtual College)

Winner Royal Brompton Hospital

Judges called the work by Royal Brompton Hospital “outstanding” and “innovative”. As the winner of our Education and Training award Royal Brompton has been recognised for the delivery of its simulated inter-professional team training (SPRinT) programme. The SPRinT programme aims to improve cross departmental and inter-professional team working by recreating realistic life emergency situations. Since its launch, 170 SPRinT programmes have been delivered to more than 1,500 participants across multiple disciplines.

Highly commended University Hospitals of North Midlands Trust

Cancer Care

Winner Macmillan Cancer Support

Delivering excellent cancer care is a core priority for the NHS and this award celebrates those who have worked hard to improve care within this field. Macmillian Cancer Support curried favour with the judges for its work on an electronic cancer decision support (eCDS) tool. In collaboration with The BMJ, Macmillan created an electronic tool designed to support GPs with early diagnosis of cancer. The tool intends to aid diagnosis in a situation where a GP is unsure whether to refer a patient or wants confirmation of next steps. Since its development the tool has been implemented in more than 550 GP practises and is now being regularly used by more than 2,000 GPs across the UK. Judges described the tool as “very innovative” and were convinced that it will “contribute to improved outcomes for patients”.

Improving Safety and Quality in Primary Care (sponsored by Sign up to Safety)

Winner Sycamore House Medical Centre

There has been increasing effort within the NHS to support patients with self-care and to help them be proactive when it comes to their health. As Sycamore House Medical Centre has shown, primary care can be a powerful agent in supporting this. Labelling the project a “living embodiment of the Berwick report”, judges commended Sycamore House for its “dynamic approach” to patient safety. In 2014, the Medical Centre created a web-portal for the use of staff and patients. The portal supports patients by providing research and management tools for diagnosis, full access to patient records, a forum to air service concerns and online appointment booking.

End of Life Care

Winner Blackpool Teaching Hospitals Foundation Trust

Those judging the end of life care award were looking for care that meets the needs and preferences of people nearing death. They considered award winner Blackpool Teaching Hospitals a perfect example of this. The trust’s end of life care team has developed a rapid discharge pathway that aims to support end of life care at home. The pathway makes it possible for patients to be discharged in either four or 24 hours using innovative solutions such as a private ambulance service. Recognising that hospital care is only a small part of a patient’s journey, the team have been effectively working with the wider healthcare community across the Fylde Cost. Impressed with the team’s work, judges said the organisation “brings together all of the elements needed to transform end of life care”.

Highly commended Pennine Acute Hospitals Trust and Pennine Care Foundation Trust

Managing Long-Term Conditions

Winner NHS Lewisham Clinical Commissioning Group

This award recognises teams who have improved patient safety through effective management of long-term conditions. Of those shortlisted in this category, Lewisham CCG impressed judges with its integrated and patient-centred approach to medicines optimisation. The Lewisham Integrated Medicines Optimisation Service has built a pathway for the referral of patients with medicines-related problems. Pharmaceutical care plans are agreed by patients and stakeholders alike. The judges were impressed that the team had created a pathway that was “cost-effective” and “patient-centred”.

Highly commended University Hospital of North Midlands Trust

Mental Health

Winner Inclusion Healthcare Social Enterprise CIC

The winner of this year’s mental health award is a social enterprise that impressed the judges by its provision of high quality primary care services to homeless and vulnerable people in Leicester. The service’s staff are trained to respond to patients experiencing a mental health crisis and provide support and access to emergency care and treatment. Judges said that the service clearly saved lives. The team had “developed a sustainable model of care looking after a very vulnerable, marginalised, excluded group of people, who are often overlooked,” they said.

Technology and IT to improve Patient Safety (sponsored by Allocate)

Winner Sussex Partnership Foundation Trust

This award recognises individuals who have used technology to address issues of patient safety. Sussex Partnership FT has created a suicide prevention app. The Stay Alive app is the first of its kind in the UK and was designed by the charity Grassroots in collaboration with clinicians from Sussex Partnership. The app offers help and support to people who are having thoughts of suicide and those worried about others or those who have been bereaved by suicide. In the first three months after its launch, the app had 2,500 downloads and currently averages 800 downloads a month. Judges said the app offered an “important and unique approach” to improving patient safety.

Highly commended Perinatal Institute

Improving Safety in Medicines Management

Winner Sheffield Teaching Hospitals Foundation Trust

This award aims to shine a light on individuals and teams that have reduced or eliminated drug errors. After being alerted to the potential risks caused by weaknesses in the prescription and management of Amiodarone medication, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals convened a safer prescribing group with the aim of analysing and improving the patient pathway. Working with primary care partners the trust have established a transfer of care contract that is sent out with patients who have an Amiodarone discharge prescription and is then returned by thier GP to confirm that they will take responsibility for their Amiodarone prescribing. The trust has also published an Amiodarone hand held booklet and passport which can be used to counsel patients once they have commenced their treatment.

Highly commended Lewisham Clinical Commissioning Group

Musculoskeletal Care

Winner Gloucestershire Hospitals Foundation Trust

Recognising individuals who have worked hard to reduce the risk of patients developing musculoskeletal conditions, this award goes to a team who piloted a successful independent prescriber service by pharmacists. In May 2013 Gloucestershire Royal Hospitals Foundation Trust launched a service to improve care following elective hip and knee replacement surgery. The service aimed to improve on errors made in ERA prescribing and to address the discrepancy in medicines management between the trust’s two hospital sites. After just six weeks the pilot demonstrated a decrease in the length of stay for patients. Judges said that those involved in the project encompass “compassion, humility and dedication”.

Highly commended York Teaching Hospital Foundation Trust

Best New Product, Innovation or Service

Winner Chelsea and Westminster Foundation Trust

A key criterion for the Best New Product, Innovation or Service award is that it must be a new and game changing concept. This year judges were impressed by the uniqueness of Chelsea and Westminster Foundation Trust’s Dean Street Express Clinic. Already the largest provider of sexual health services in the UK, Chelsea and Westminster decided to build a clinic in which patients could walk in, visit a self-screening suite and take their own samples. This model aims to create a lean and streamlined process for sexual healthcare and, since opening, the clinic’s patient satisfaction levels have remained at 100 per cent despite having more than 300 users a day.

Highly commended Northumbria Healthcare Foundation Trust