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The Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust wins Learning Disabilities Initiative of the Year

The Learning Disability and Autism Liaison Team from the Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust has been celebrated at this year’s HSJ Patient Safety Awards.
The success is in part due to the team’s Going to Hospital book, which has achieved the Learning Disabilities Initiative of the Year award.

The Going to Hospital Book is an accessible publication for patients with learning disability or autism, which aims to support individuals in knowing what they might expect when visiting hospital for an appointment or being admitted for a procedure.

The booklet is easy to read, uses Makaton symbols throughout to support images and is sent out to patients ahead of appointments or hospital admissions. A Makaton (sign and symbol) resource accompanies the book and is freely available for download by patients and professionals. This provides “now and next” boards with a timeline of treatment, creating a visual timetable for patients.

Following a comprehensive and thorough judging process, Going to Hospital was handed the distinguished award, standing out amongst a highly competitive shortlist. It was recognised for its proactive, diligent hard work and the demonstrable positive impact that the project has within the health and social care sectors. In presenting the award, the HSJ also wanted to “recognise the team as a whole for their hard-work and dedication to healthcare in what has been an unprecedented 18 months across the entire sector.”

Jane Rees, Learning Disability and Autism Liaison Team Manager at Royal Cornwall Hospitals, comments: “We are really thrilled to have won Learning Disabilities Initiative of the Year. It’s so encouraging for all our team to have our efforts recognised by the HSJ awards programme, particularly when we think back and consider the many challenges we’ve all had to face in recent months. This news is just the boost we need to help inspire us all to plan and look forward to the future, as we continue developing our services and bringing about positive improvement.”

“Being ‘singled out’ as Winners from a group of other such worthy and inspiring nominees is a truly exciting and rewarding experience,” Jane continues. “However, just as important as winning this award is the fact that we also feel honoured to be amongst a community of like-minded and committed colleagues from across the healthcare industry, with a shared commitment to improving safety and outcomes for all.”

Jane concludes: “Most of all, we are delighted that our resource has not only been recognised with this prestigious award, but it means the projects reach will be cast further, enabling us to support more young people with learning disabilities and autism with their hospital experiences.”

HSJ Editor Alastair McLellan adds: “The projects, teams and individuals this year have been of a remarkable quality and each of the winners of the HSJ Patient Safety Awards have been recognised based on their work to push the boundaries of patient safety and most importantly, save patient lives. We all know and can appreciate what an incredibly difficult period this has been for so many of our colleagues working across the healthcare landscape – and that’s what makes it such an honour to be celebrating projects of such high calibre and significance.”

“We are aware that Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust is not alone in supporting and growing such a culture of hard work and positive change in healthcare, but on this occasion, they really did stand out as delivering exceptional services and ideas. I’d therefore like to offer my congratulations to the team behind Going to Hospital on winning Learning Disabilities Initiative of the Year at this year’s HSJ Patient Safety Awards.”

The winners and those highly commended were announced across 23 categories during the HSJ Patient Safety Awards ceremony held at Manchester Central on the 20th of September. For more information on the HSJ Patient Safety Awards visit:

Added on 27 September 2021, in Awards / News - Patient Care / Patient Experience

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