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Birmingham and Solihull Mental health NHS Foundation Trust
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Award success for pioneering youth project

Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust’s Youthspace Youth Board has been shortlisted for a prestigious Health Service Journal award for its innovative work around the recruitment and training of staff for a new ward.

The Youth Board worked collaboratively with youth services in the Trust to devise a programme to support the recruitment of staff onto Japonica ward, a new 14 bedded inpatient service for 16 and 17 year old females in Birmingham and the West Midlands.

Our Youthspace Youth Board is made up of young people many of whom have experience of mental health issues. They work on a range of projects as part of our partnership with the Prince’s Trust to improve mental health services for young people.

Keen to draw on their own personal experiences, Youth Board members developed a recruitment and induction programme for prospective staff, which ensured that those appointed could relate well to young people. In addition to their involvement in recruitment, the Youth Board created a digital tour of the ward that included a summary of the roles of the different staff members, and designed a patient information booklet to help orientate new clients and their family members.  All of this ensured that the service is tailored around the specific needs of the young people receiving care on the ward.

Involving young people in service development is one of the key aims of the Trust’s youth service. Dr Paul Patterson, Public Health Research Programme Manager said: “I’m delighted that we have been shortlisted for this award. It will mean a lot to all of the young people who were involved.

This type of involvement and guidance from young people is really vital for us when we are developing a new service. It not only  ensures our youth services are relevant and engaging, but really  helps new staff understand what’s important for young people when they get admitted into our services.”

With over 1000 entries from across the healthcare economy, being shortlisted as a finalist for the HSJ Awards is a great achievement for the Trust.

Winners will be announced at the annual HSJ Awards ceremony on Tuesday, November 19 at the Grosvenor Hotel in London.