The complete transformation of operations across the health and care service throughout covid-19 has highlighted just how much strain a large-scale disruption can put on the system, and how much work is required to ensure patients are treated in a safe environment.
Embedding a culture of protection and citizen safety in an organisation is important to help identify patients at risk of harm. Safeguarding is a mandated policy across the health service with clear guidelines on reporting. Staff must be able to look for signs of abuse or mistreatment without undermining the dignity of service users and organisations need to have channels open to colleagues in social services, police, educators, local authorities and patient representation.
This award recognises the teams working to ensure effective safeguarding across the NHS and excellent practice in reducing risk of disruption and maintaining patient safety and quality care in the face of disruption. Judges are looking for initiatives which can demonstrate effective protection systems for service users with requirements across a wide range of areas. Projects can focus on cases of rapid response and measures being carried forward to safeguard against future disruptions of any kind, including potential impacts of climate change and unforeseen adverse events. Case studies can also cover violence, abuse or harm; mental health, social care or domestic abuse; neurologic diversity and learning disabilities; equality, recruitment, training and leadership. Judges are particularly interested in multi-agency initiatives, work with the third sector and public sector collaboration.
Entries are welcomed from all NHS organisations and public sector health and social care bodies. Judges are looking for projects and initiatives which can demonstrably show holistic approaches to infection prevention and control and rapid adjustments to service delivery.