Mental health initiative of the year
Mental health safety improvement award

The safety of the patient is always an important issue in health care settings, both in medical and mental health care settings. However, when caring for someone experiencing mental ill health, there are very often additional challenges in delivering safe care, for example protecting vulnerable patients from sexual harm, managing a patient’s risk of self-harm, or ensuring a safe environment for staff and patients with minimal use of restrictive practices.

In line with the NHS Long Term Plan and the NHS Patient Safety Strategy, a focus on patient safety and experience is driving changes in pathways, structures and the way services user interact with their treatment. This award will highlight initiatives which have delivered compassionate, efficient and most importantly safe services for people with mental health conditions.


Judges are seeking projects that have demonstrably increased the safety and reliability of care for those with mental ill health, whether generally or for a specific condition or need. NHS and private providers of mental health services, both in primary and secondary care, and their partner organisations in the public sector are welcome to enter.


  • Describe the context of mental health provision, including the various organisations involved within the project.
  • What was the ambition for the project, and how was this new or different from existing best practice?
  • Outline the targets set for patient safety and quality improvement, and what measures were put in place to achieve them.


  • Clearly demonstrate the benefits of the initiative on quality of care, using quantitative evidence to show tangible positive impacts on the safe care of people with mental ill health.
  • Discuss any other positive outcomes that were a result of the initiative, which could include improved patient experience, waiting time reduction, capacity increase or optimised treatment pathways.
  • How effective was any collaboration with key colleagues, stakeholders, partners and patients?
  • Include patient and staff testimonials supporting the efficacy of the initiative.


  • Show how these improvements in provision of safe, high-quality care for mental health patients are replicable and scalable.
  • Outline the efforts made to share best practice, or examples of where this project has embedded and spread to other departments, settings or organisations.


  • Clearly evidence how the initiative has improved value for patients and staff, in terms of patient experience, staff satisfaction and quality of care.
  • If possible, provide evidence of value creation in other areas, in terms of increased capacity, reduced costs, reduced variation and/or improved efficiencies.


  • Show how patients were involved in decisions around their care, and their views were embedded in the design of the initiative.
  • Display how other relevant parties were involved in the initiative, including families, carers, collaborating organisations, key stakeholders and staff, and how this has led to improved safety.
  • Provide testimonial evidence from all parties mentioned above on their experiences.

To find out more

Partnership opportunities:  Natasha Dwyer, Head of Sponsorship Sales
Awards entry enquiries: Frank Willing, Delegate Sales Manager