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South Staffordshire and Shropshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust’s (SSSFT) commitment to ensuring patients have the best experience of care has been recognised with shortlisting in two categories of the Patient Experience Network’s national awards.

These awards celebrate the delivery of outstanding patient experience by those involved in the health and social care industry. Shortlisted entrants are invited to take part in an exhibition at the awards event, showcasing their achievement and offering an excellent opportunity for networking and sharing good practice.

The SSSFT team are one of six finalists in the Championing the Public category, and one of four in the Turning it Around category. They have been recognised for their work to ensure the service user’s voice is heard at all times and for breaking down barriers to effective involvement. Key to this has been the creation of a Service Improvement Peer Worker post. This person, with lived experience of mental health services, has developed a training programme for service users and carers which helps them to see how they can get involved and offers support and encouragement to those wishing to do so. More than 50 people have completed the training so far.

Fiona Moore, Head of Involvement and Experience says “It is really important to us that the people who use our services have the opportunity to get involved in shaping those services and influencing the Trust’s work. We recognised that service users in acute mental health services in particular were experiencing a number of barriers to getting involved and wanted to change this. Having someone with experience of services creating and leading on training has made a real difference and we have already seen more people getting involved and having the opportunity to make a positive contribution to improving services. It is great to have our work recognised by the Patient Experience Network and we look forward to sharing what we have been doing at the awards event.”

The winners of the Patient Experience Network National Awards will be announced on 1 March 2018.