Southern Health’s learning disability team is celebrating after two of its service user-led initiatives struck gold at the National Service User Awards earlier this month.
The NHS Trust had two nominations shortlisted in the ‘Breaking Down Barriers’ category. The first was from a young service user called Jordan (supported by the Trust’s North Hampshire Community Learning Disability Team), for his work talking to and educating paramedics, GPs and other healthcare professionals about living with learning disabilities, tailoring health care services and how to improve hospital appointments for people who may struggle with them.
The other shortlisted entry was for Southern Health’s Experts by Experience Easy Read Group, which was set up by people with a learning disability to translate a multitude of healthcare information into more easy-to-understand formats for those with a learning disability.
At the virtual Award Ceremony, Jordan was announced the overall winner of the category by the judges and, in addition, when all the attendees were later able to vote for an additional ‘people’s choice’ in the category, the Experts by Experience group won with a 45% share of the vote. Indeed the group was also runner-up for the ‘people’s choice’ award across all categories.
Southern Health’s Patient and Carer Experience Lead, Jayne Jazz, who attended the ceremony to support service users, explained: “Sponsored by Cygnet Health Care, the Awards are largely organised by service users, for service users and they are all about celebrating the many wonderful and innovative achievements of service users in mental health and learning disability services across the country.
“It goes without saying that we are all incredibly proud of Jordan and the members of our Experts by Experience group not only for winning such prestigious awards, but also for the ongoing day-to-day support they provide to our Trust. Our services are only as good as the input and feedback we get from the people we care for and we plan on celebrating properly - when circumstances allow - to mark their achievements!”