NHS Isle of Wight CCG shortlisted for the 2020 HSJ Patient Safety Awards

A project to support island GP practices identify and support patients who are at risk of harm or abuse and in need of safeguarding, has been nominated for a national award.

NHS Isle of Wight Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has been shortlisted in the 2020 HSJ Patient Safety Awards in the Safeguarding category.

The nomination recognises the outstanding contribution to healthcare that Mandy Tyson and Kelly Vernon have demonstrated through their effective safeguarding leadership across GP practices.

The work involves understanding the challenges faced by GP practices in meeting the needs of adults and children at risk of harm and abuse. It also helps practices to comply with statutory safeguarding requirements.

In a newly-created role of primary care lead nurse for safeguarding, Kelly has also been able to provide safeguarding education as well as direct support for day-to-day safeguarding practice.

Safeguarding education alongside direct operational support with day to day safeguarding practice has been essential. 

Mandy Tyson, head of safeguarding at the CCG, said: "We are delighted to have been shortlisted for the awards.

"It recognises the collaborative efforts and dedication of our staff members over the last 2 years to successfully develop and implement key safeguarding improvements.

"We are committed to delivering improved outcomes for our patients, and to be chosen among the other incredible nominees is a wonderful achievement. This nomination has been a tremendous boost and I am sure it will bolster our continued efforts to continue to build upon and further improve our services.

"Kelly very much embraces an approach rooted in empowerment, which supportively nurtures practitioners and enables them to develop in both confidence and competence.

"With Kelly's guidance, primary care practitioners collaboratively develop and introduce new safeguarding systems and processes, enabling them to improve their recognition and response to safeguarding concerns, thereby protecting people from harm and abuse more effectively."

The team has been shortlisted despite the tough competition from hundreds of applicants. 

The work was 75 percent funded for the first year by The Burdett Trust for Nursing and involved Dr Ali Robins, the former CCG named GP for safeguarding. This work is also endorsed by a host of GPs on the island.

Dr Oliver Cule, and lead for safeguarding at Bay Medical Centre, said: "It has been revolutionary to have someone dedicated to safeguarding issues from a primary care perspective, who understands the particular challenges that arise in our daily work.

"The impact of this work has resulted in the development of systems and processes which effectively identify, monitor and support the referral of people at risk (all ages), swiftly safeguarding them from known or suspected harm or abuse.

"This includes referral and information sharing with multi-agency safeguarding hubs, high risk domestic abuse forums and multiagency risk management meetings.

"Practitioners have also improved their practice in relation to listening to the voice and lived experiences of children, as well as improved their understanding of mental capacity and how to support people in making their own choices and decisions in life, for as long as they are able to do so.

"Practitioners are more skilled in ensuring that people's experience of safeguarding is personalised, discussing and agreeing care and safety plans with them and making sure they are person-centred. 

"On a personal level Kelly has been excellent to work with. She's dedicated, proactive and easy to approach.

"On behalf of GP practices on the island I would like to say a heartfelt thank you.”

Kelly Vernon said: "Mandy has been a brilliant mentor, manager and friend and without her full support these changes and improvements wouldn't have happened."

The full list of nominees for the 2020 HSJ Patient Safety Awards can be found on https://awards.patientsafetycongress.co.uk/2020-shortlist.

Winners will be selected ahead of the ceremony, which will take place virtually as part of the Patient Safety Virtual Congress and Awards in November 2020.