18 September 2020
Three ELFT services have been nominated by their constituency MPs for the NHS Parliamentary Awards shortlist for 2020. 
The NHS Parliamentary Awards is an annual event held to celebrate NHS staff across all sectors and services ‘that ‘go above and beyond the call of duty to make the NHS a better service.’ 
Bedfordshire Community Services win a nomination for their work to create Integrated Discharge Hubs at two hospitals in Luton and Bedford, for the Care & Compassion category.
The service worked hard to bring together partner organisations under a common goal – to ensure that patients are discharged in a safe and timely manner.
At the heart of this initiative was a firm commitment to ensure that service users are consulted and fully involved in reviewing their ongoing health and social care needs after discharge.
On approving the service’s nomination, Rachel Hopkins MP for Luton South said: “The team deserves to be recognised nationally for their outstanding work.”
The Forensics Service based in City & Hackney is also through as a finalist for the category of Excellence in Mental Health Care.
The team has been nominated for their work to improve Carers' Experience as a Quality Improvement Project.
The service was acutely aware that the pandemic placed an extra unprecedented burden upon carers because of the rules around lockdown. By working fast to reach out to family members, loved ones and friends in a collaborative way, alongside a swift and determined embrace of digital technology, the service succeeded in ensuring that people who had to be apart were able to maintain contact during this time. 
Online sessions involving carers took place on a broad range of themes which helped to keep people engaged and to maintain morale at such a distressing time.
Meg Hillier MP for Hackney South and Shoreditch approved the team’s nomination. Ms Hillier is also the Chair of the Commons’ Public Accounts Committee.
Newham Talking Therapies, part of the Trust’s Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) service was nominated by constituency MP for West Ham, Lyn Brown.
They are also up for the award for Excellence in Mental Health Care.
The team were determined to ensure that the service they provide for residents would still be available despite the necessary measures imposed under lockdown.
This meant rapidly embracing digital technology, but in a way that service users themselves were fully involved in the service redesign. 
Through the creation of ‘Working Together Groups’ service users became regular members of Strategy Meetings and helped to plan next steps.
Because of this, rather than appointment numbers reducing during the pandemic, the team actually increased participation across the borough – especially impressive considering the acute mental health pressures so many people were going through at the time. 
Commenting on the three services success in being nominated, ELFT Deputy Chief Executive Paul Calaminus said:  
“I’m delighted to learn that three ELFT services are through to the final for this year’s NHS Parliamentary Awards.
“All three teams worked hard to keep delivering good quality care throughout the whole period of lockdown and beyond. They were flexible, innovative, and most of all, made sure that service users and their families were involved in the decision making process as much as possible each step of the way.
“I’m proud to lead an organisation alongside colleagues like this.”

NHS Parliamentary Awards 2020 regional champions will be announced on the 23 November 2020.

All regional champions will be invited to the national award ceremony in the House of Commons on 1 July 2021 where the winners will be named.  Full details here.