The College of Medicine has awarded Altogether Better with their top award for innovation for 2013. This prestigious award focuses on projects that recognise the need for change in public health through new mediums and aims to acknowledge successful innovation in health care nationwide. Altogether Better is hosted by South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust.
Speaking on Altogether Better and the pioneering runner-up projects, The Green Dreams Project from East Lancashire, The Complementary Therapy Service based at The Christie NHS Foundation Trust in Manchester and Penny Brohn Cancer Care from Bristol, Dr Michael Dixon, College of Medicine Chairman said:
“Our Innovations Awards are now in their third year and recognise the fantastic work that is happening across the country to improve the lives of thousands of people. The winning projects are pushing the boundaries of care beyond the traditional NHS institutions into the heart of local communities. By embracing such evidence based ways of working we can help to create a modern and sustainable NHS that puts the needs of patients first.”
Altogether Better’s achievement highlights the actions of over 17,000 Community Health Champions who have been trained and supported to work in a variety of healthcare and community settings including GP practices and emergency departments. Working to support their local communities in improving their knowledge and confidence, Champions have enabled people to better manage their conditions and to make positive lifestyle changes. Results of a recent analysis have also demonstrated significant cost savings for the NHS from this approach.
Alyson McGregor, Altogether Better Director, said:
“We are thrilled to receive this award from the CoM on behalf of the many Champions who are pioneering new ways of working with GPs and other health service providers. These growing partnerships are creating the right conditions for people to manage their own health and wellbeing.”
Attending the award ceremony on 11th June 2013, with fellow Community Health Champion, Lisa Cox [from Sheffield], Gohar Almass [from Leeds] said:
“To win was a proud moment indeed. As Champions, we work to do the best we can do every day for our friends, family and communities. The real winner in my eyes is teamwork, team spirit, voluntary zeal and enthusiasm.”
As part of Altogether Better’s prize, a short film was produced to promote the work of Champions in improving the links between citizens and services. You can view the film at: http://vimeo.com/deckchair/review/67668482/bb65800083
Altogether Better looks forward to building on the achievement brought by the award as it focuses on a new two year national Big Lottery Funded project aimed at recruiting local people to voluntarily work alongside health care practitioners to tackle health issues and increase involvement of patients and communities in shaping health and social care services.