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Double shortlist success in national awards

2023-09-04T17:41:39+01:00Monday 4 September 2023|
  • Little Voices' inspectors visit the hospital

Initiatives which involved children in making healthcare improvements and creating a staff lounge to support teams through the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond, have put Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust on a national awards shortlist.

The Little Voices project has made it into the Communicating Effectively category of The Patient Experience Network National Awards (PENNA), while The Power of a cup of tea is in the Staff Engagement category.

Both have been developed by the Trust’s Patient Relations & Experience Team.

Little Voices has seen the team partner with Pelsall Village School with “inspectors” (a group of pupils) reviewing paediatric services for Walsall children and young people.

They have worked on “Little Steps” which is a children and young people’s version of the 15 Steps Challenge – a suite of toolkits that explores different healthcare settings through the eyes of patients and relatives.

And the Manor Lounge offers a comfortable space where staff can take a break and enjoy free drinks and snacks, as well as chat to volunteers.

Originally set up to provide staff with space to take a break from the pressures of the pandemic, this facility has expanded to support staff through the current cost-of-living crisis. The Trust’s catering team now provides staff with free breakfasts and hot meals at a minimal cost.

Between 1 November 2022 and 31 January 2023, the lounge welcomed 3883 visitors (not including those who came to purchase a hot meal) enjoying a free snack, hot drink and taking a well-earned break.

Garry Perry, Associate Director – Patient Relations & Experience at Walsall Healthcare, said: “We are incredibly proud to be on the shortlist against some strong competition across the country.

“We are constantly looking at ways in which we can increase and improve our engagement and maximise involvement opportunities for our local communities. The two projects that have made the final have both been extremely worthwhile and have helped us to gain much better insight.

PENNA are the first and only awards programme to recognise best practice in patient experience across all facets of health and social care in the UK. Winners will be announced on 28 September at an event at the University of Birmingham.

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