Service users and staff have got their fingers firmly crossed in the lead up to the first ever awards for NHS staff in West Yorkshire.

Direct Impact, a service user and carer research group, from the South West Yorkshire Mental Health Trust have been short listed for the West Yorkshire Modernisation Awards, which will take place on 26th March 2004.

The group was set up by service users and carers and receives support from Trust Research and Development staff. Members meet on a monthly basis and are involved in all aspects of the Trusts research programme as well as carrying out their own research projects.

‘I got involved with Direct Impact because I wanted to have more training in research so that local services can be improved based on evidence from people who use services,’ explained one of the group members.

Direct Impact has been short listed in the category of improving user/carer involvement in health and social care services and faces competition from two other health teams from the West Yorkshire area.

Over 150 projects from across the region were entered into the awards, with the final decision made by a panel of patients and service users. The winners will be announced on the day and will receive £1000 to reinvest into their projects to continue making improvements.

Speaking about the awards, Virginia Minogue, research and development manager said, ‘We are extremely pleased that the hard work and uniqueness of Direct Impact has been recognised by being short listed for this award. The group contribute a great deal to the Trust through their experience and expertise and we are pleased that this has been rewarded in this way’

For more information about the awards contact Amy Wardlaw at West Yorkshire Strategic Health Authority on (0113) 2952148.

For more information about Direct Impact contact Virginia Minogue on 01924 327431 or visit their website at


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