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Birmingham and Solihull Mental health NHS Foundation Trust
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Trust scoops prestigious Patient Safety Award for violence reduction initiative

March 11, 2011

Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust has won a HSJ/Nursing Times Patient Safety Award for its innovative approach to reducing violence.

Staff at Ardenleigh – a forensic unit for child and adolescent mental health services (FCAMHS –  used a multi-agency approach and worked with West Midlands Police and the Crown Prosecution Service to tackle challenging and violent behaviour on specialist ward in Erdington, Birmingham.

This initiative to promote patient, staff and public safety at Ardenleigh beat six other NHS trusts in the patient safety in mental health category at the annual HSJ/Nursing Times Patient Safety Awards ceremony, held on Wednesday (March 9) at the Hilton Hotel in London.

West Midlands Police have a liaison officer at the unit, Pc Karen Burnham, who works with young service users through mediation to resolve issues before they escalate further.

The winners from BSMHFT
The winners from BSMHFT

Pc Burnham, who has worked with the team there for two years, said: “Ardenleigh is a community and this project has provided a way, through partnership working, to achieve what previously had been thought impossible. All partners have seen improvements since this project was launched in 2009, especially the staff and the young people at this unit.”

Fiona McGruer, programme director for the trust’s youth programme, said: “This is a challenging service involving specialist work, but this project has helped our team and our partners who work with young people tackle this issue, and violence levels at Ardenleigh have been significantly reduced as a result, ensuring the unit is a safe place for patients and staff.”

Sue Turner, chief executive of the trust, congratulated everyone involved in the unit’s award-winning initiative.

“Winning this Patient Safety Award is fantastic news for all the hard work we and the police have put into this initiative, but ultimately it’s good news for our patients and their families,” said Sue. 

“To get national recognition like this is the culmination of the team’s hard work in collaboration with our partners in West Midlands Police and the Criminal Justice Service. We certainly have much to be proud of.”

The Patient Safety Awards, hosted by the Health Service Journal and Nursing Times, celebrate excellence in one of the most challenging areas of modern healthcare. Judges compiled compelling shortlists from nearly 400 entries across the 15 categories.

Alastair McLellan, the HSJ’s editor, said: "The shortlisted candidates present here tonight have demonstrated their determination not to be distracted by cost pressures and organisational upheavals. They have refused to accept those constraints as an excuse for failing to reduce patient harm. For that alone they are worthy of recognition".

Jenni Middleton, Nursing Times’ editor, added: "We've seen patient safety and care come under the spotlight as the ombudsman reported on care of older people and the media continually challenge the care offered by NHS hospitals. But we know from these awards that there are healthcare professionals who are doing a phenomenal job, who are proud to put safety first".

For more details about the awards and the winners go to www.patientsafetyawards.com