Healthcare awards provide cash boost for Dorset sexual health outreach service

19th September 2018

The Dorset Working Women’s Project, which provides sexual health services to vulnerable people across the county, was one of the big winners at Dorset HealthCare’s Annual Members’ Meeting (AMM).

Team members successfully bid for £5,326 for a van to deliver mobile outreach services – including contraceptives, health testing, advice and support – to young people, sex workers and others at risk of harm and exploitation.

The idea was one of two winners in the Trust’s Dragons’ Den staff innovation competition to find new ways of improving patient care. More than 2,000 staff and members of the public voted for their favourite proposals, and the top five were pitched to a panel of expert ‘Dragons’ at The Lighthouse in Poole.

Judges made a further £700 available for a plan to provide St John’s Ambulance first aid training to 70 local young people with mental health issues.

The judging panel was led by Andy Willis, Chair of Dorset HealthCare, who said: “Once again, staff put forward some brilliant ideas to improve services and benefit local people, and it was a very difficult task to choose.

“The two winners are fantastic projects which will make a real, practical difference to people’s lives.”

The Dragons’ Den was part of a busy programme of events during the day, which celebrated this year’s 70th anniversary of the NHS and culminated with the Trust’s annual staff Heroes Awards.

Patients, carers and fellow staff nominated people across the whole range of physical and mental health services provided in community or inpatient settings by Dorset HealthCare. The winners in each category were:

  • Compassion – Sarah Windsor, Audiology Administrator based at Shelley Road, Bournemouth. Sarah helped a young patient adjust to wearing hearing aids by ensuring they were branded in the colours of his favourite team, AFC Bournemouth. He is now more confident and his communication skills have significantly improved. Other youngsters are also benefiting from this work.
  • Expertise – Pauline Smyth, Project Co-ordinator with the Dorset Working Women’s Project. Pauline has worked tirelessly over many years to improve the lives of vulnerable sex workers. She has built strong relationships with partners in social care, police, housing providers and charity groups to provide the best possible service for people in need.
  • Excellence – Will Lowe, Procurement Manager based at Sentinel House, Poole. Will’s dedication and perseverance has helped support clinical staff to obtain the equipment they need to provide the best outcomes for patients and deliver services effectively.
  • Bank Worker – John Wales, Bank Worker — Health Care Support Worker. John regularly provides last-minute staffing cover at sites around the county, where his relaxed nature and good humour helps to generate a calm, supportive atmosphere. He works to build a strong rapport with patients and ensure they receive the best possible care.
  • Volunteer Award – Susan Willett, volunteer at Alderney Hospital, Poole. Susan always treats patients with empathy, dignity and respect. She has brought energy and enthusiasm to her role, and gone above and beyond her duties by redesigning the ward’s visitors booklet
  • Leadership and Management – Paul Hutchings, Ward Manager at Florence House Mother and Baby Unit, Bournemouth. By valuing and encouraging each staff member, Paul has brought the team together and instilled a culture of positive change – which has, in turn, improved the experience of patients.
  • Team of the Year – The Learning Disability Physiotherapy Service. Team members have worked to recognise each other’s strengths and weaknesses, and share their knowledge and experience to raise standards. This has led to better care for patients from staff who feel more confident, competent and better supported.
  • Better Every Day Award Looked After Children Health Team. Reflecting the Trust’s aim to continually improve services, the team works day and night across Dorset to meet children at times convenient to them and help them access important health services. They ensure health is at the centre of decisions for local looked after children.

TV doctor Helen Lawal, co-presenter of BBC2’s recent Britain’s Best Junior Doctors show, also gave a keynote speech at the event. She reflected on the history of the NHS and also outlined how lifestyle and nutritional changes can help manage the nation’s health in the future.

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