Our telephone service has been shortlisted in the ‘Driving Efficiency through Technology’ category and the Trainee Associate Psychological Practitioners (TAPPs) workforce initiative in the ‘Workforce Initiative of the Year’ category.

We have been shortlisted in the Nursing Times Workforce Awards for ‘Best UK Employer of the Year for Nursing Staff’.

Julie Anne Murray, Interim Chief Nurse and Quality Officer, said:

“I am thrilled that we have been nominated as ‘Best UK Employer of the Year for Nursing Staff’ in this year’s Nursing Times Workforce Awards. It is a real testament to the work we have undertaken in the past few years to make our trust the best possible place for our nurses – and all of our colleagues – to work.”

Being shortlisted for this award celebrates the Trust’s focus on implementing and embedding the nursing career pathway from entry level, to nursing associate, to registered nurse then to advanced practice. The nursing career pathway means nursing staff can grow and develop within the Trust aiding retention of a highly-skilled nursing workforce.

Our Freephone service was launched in January 2022 and is a single point of access for mental health services. The single, free telephone number means that everyone can easily access urgent or mental health support. It is made up of call handlers and mental health practitioners who take calls and manage referrals from patients, service users, families, carers and professionals, aiming to ensure callers are connected to the right professional in a timely manner.

The team may arrange for people to receive support over the phone or for a mental health practitioner to see people at home, at a GP practice or another mutually agreed place to allow further information about current mental health needs. Information about other services that could assist will also be shared, if appropriate

Phil Horner, Deputy Chief Strategy and Improvement Officer, said:

“I am thrilled that we have been nominated for a HSJ award. It is wonderful to be recognised for such an important piece of work and I am so proud of all the teams involved in its creation. The teams make full use of the latest technology to make it easier for people who need the service to speak to someone quickly and to keep a full overview of the service to keep it running effectively”.

Access to mental health support has increased by 15-25% since its launch and efficient management of calls, safe management of risk and timely outcomes and care for patients has improved.

The Trainee Associate Psychological Practitioners (TAPPs) workforce initiative utilises graduates with psychology degrees to address the need for a developing, expanding and responsive mental health workforce. Working across primary care and secondary care, TAPPs provide 'low-level' psychological support and intervention. For primary care, TAPPs may work with people that would not otherwise be accepted into other mental health services, if their needs were perhaps outside the scope of a specific service. In secondary (hospital) care, TAPPs can support with other psychological needs that may not always be focused upon, such as relationships or managing stress at work, helping to improve mental health outcomes.

Dr Brendan J Dunlop, Principal Clinical Psychologist, said:

“I am delighted that the team has been shortlisted for a HSJ award. The initiative has made a real difference to the way primary and secondary care services work and it’s great for our colleagues to be recognised for their hard work and dedication”.

Both awards ceremonies will take place in London in November.