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Posted on the 18th March 2021

Lancashire and South Cumbria NHS Foundation Trust (LSCft) is celebrating after scooping two top industry accolades at the Health Service Journal Awards on Wednesday 17 March.

MyPlace, an eco-therapy partnership between LSCft and Lancashire Wildlife Trust, was named the best Mental Health Innovation of the Year.

‘Advice & Guidance’, an instant messaging solution that was introduced to improve the accuracy of referrals, and enable GPs to contact hospitals to discuss mental health services for service users, was highly commended in the Driving Efficiencies through Technology category.

The awards, which have been held for over 40 years, celebrate excellence and success in healthcare services and share the best practice of Trusts across the UK to create a better NHS.  

Chief Executive of Lancashire and South Cumbria NHS Foundation Trust, Caroline Donovan was delighted: “We are beyond proud to have scooped two top awards at the HSJ Awards. “It’s been an incredibly challenging 12 months so for the teams to be able to celebrate this fantastic success is brilliant.

“Working in partnership is something that is at the heart of our organisation, and of true benefit to service users and carers so to be recognised as innovatively driving forward Mental Health with this approach is a real accolade.

“Our commitment to thinking digital-first has been a huge factor in helping grow our service offering, and be more effective during the pandemic. So this ‘highly commended’ award real proves that what we do is working.”

Lancashire and South Cumbria NHS Foundation Trust was shortlisted in four categories:

WINNER - Mental Health Innovation of the Year

The Trust’s MyPlace project scooped the Mental Health Innovation of the Year category for an eco-therapy partnership between LSCft and Lancashire Wildlife Trust. The aim of the initiative is to improve mental health in young people and adults by giving them the opportunity to connect with nature, learn new skills and build up resilience.

HIGHLY COMMENDED - Driving Efficiency Through Technology

The Trust’s use of technology to improve patient experience within mental health services has been recognised and specifically a newly developed ‘Advice & Guidance’ system. The software uses instant messaging to improve the accuracy of referrals and enables GPs to contact hospitals to discuss which mental health service is most appropriate for a patient.

FINALIST - System Led Support for Carers Award

South Cumbria Children’s Learning Disability and Behaviour Support Service, which supports children with learning disability and autism, as well as their families and carers, was shortlisted in recognition for developing carer networks, reducing isolation, increasing parental confidence and competence.

FINALIST - Clinical Leader of the Year

Sam Tyrer, Prevention and Engagement Lead at the Trust, was nominated for leading development of the ‘Change Talks’ programme. The six-week programme is delivered for schools to educate young people on mental health, covering topics such as depression, anxiety and self-harm. Sam is also behind the successful Mental Health Family Hour webinars providing online support to people during lockdown.

Caroline continues: “The teams and individuals shortlisted have demonstrated their commitment to our service users, their families and carers. This culture is something we’re keen to encourage at the Trust.

"Our values of kindness, teamwork, respect and learning shine through in each and every one of the shortlisted entries and we are extremely proud of everyone involved.”