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Welsh Ambulance Service staff urged to enter 2015 NHS Wales Awards

HEALTHCARE staff and students at the Welsh Ambulance Services NHS Trust, who are delivering innovative ways of improving patient care, are being urged to enter the NHS Wales Awards 2015.

Now in its eighth year, the awards are open to teams and organisations that have come up with new ways of working that have transformed the quality and safety of care for patients.

Staff who have taken part in the national learning programme Improving Quality Together (IQT), which helps them develop skills to improve care, are also encouraged to enter.

Welsh Health and Social Services Minister Mark Drakeford said: “In an age of austerity the pressures on our services are real. Against that background, it is especially important to recognise the efforts of staff who work so hard in caring for and supporting patients.

“The NHS Wales Awards 2015 are a chance for us to celebrate all that is good about the NHS and I would encourage anyone who works in the NHS to take advantage of this opportunity to celebrate excellence in care by submitting an entry to the Awards.”

The Welsh Ambulance Service won an NHS Wales Award earlier in the year for a partnership project with Cardiff and Vale University Health Board, Cardiff Council, Vale of Glamorgan Council, South Wales Police and Cardiff Street Pastors to develop an alcohol treatment centre in Cardiff.

Staff will be hoping to build on this success in 2015 and will be encouraged to enter the following eight categories:

- Citizens at the centre of service re-design and delivery – work that involves patients and the public in the planning and delivery of services

- Developing a flexible and sustainable workforce – models that show how the workforce has been developed to meet specific needs such as supporting care in the community

- Improving patient safety – initiatives that prevent or reduce harm to patients

- Improving quality through better use of resources –achieving higher quality services by using resources in a more effective way including money, buildings, equipment and people

- Promoting better health and avoiding disease – clear strategies that have improved health and wellbeing of patients

- Promoting clinical research and application to practice –combining academic expertise with clinical practice to improve services

- Students improving patient safety and quality – initiatives that helped reduce or prevent harm to patients and improve care

- Working seamlessly across organisations – partnership working that has improved patient care

There is also an Outstanding Innovation in Care Award presented to the overall winner from the eight categories.

The NHS Wales Awards are organised by the 1000 Lives Improvement service in Public Health Wales.

Tim Heywood, Acting Director of 1000 Lives Improvement, said: “It’s always exciting to see the range of diverse and inspiring projects that are entered into the Awards each year showing the difference NHS Wales staff are making to patient care every day.

“This is the chance to showcase that work and share best practice across Wales and I would urge staff at all levels to take advantage of this opportunity and enter their work. It could be a winner!”

The NHS Wales Awards were launched in 2008 to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the NHS.

Entry forms are available at and the deadline for entries is January 30, 2015.

Finalists will be revealed in March and the winners will announced in a ceremony in Cardiff in July 2015.

Working Seamlessly Across Organisations – Welsh Ambulance Services NHS Trust, Cardiff and Vale University Health Board, Cardiff Council, Vale of Glamorgan Council, South Wales Police and Cardiff Street Pastors

Since winning an NHS Wales Award earlier this year, the alcohol treatment centre in Cardiff has continued to make a real impact in reducing demand on local emergency services.

The centre, which treats people with alcohol related injuries, provides additional capacity to help the accident and emergency department at the University Hospital in Wales Cardiff.

It is a partnership project with Cardiff and Vale University Health Board, Cardiff Council, Vale of Glamorgan Council, South Wales Police and Cardiff Street Pastors.

It is open at peak times such as weekends and when big sporting events are taking place, and has now seen over 2000 patients. It was also designated as the receiving unit for minor injuries during the recent NATO conference held in Newport, and was opened 24/7 during this time.

Greg Lloyd, the Trust's Locality Manager for Cardiff, said, “We were thrilled to have been presented with the Working Seamlessly Across Organisations Award, especially when there are so many innovative projects across Wales.

“The award has really helped raise the profile of the treatment centre and seems to have inspired our multi-agency partners not just in Wales, but across the UK, to follow suit, and we are happy to support them in any way we can in their own venture.

“We have worked hard to make the alcohol treatment centre the success it is. It has certainly made a difference to ourselves and our partners in terms of the freeing up of resources which would otherwise have been engaged in the city centre attending unnecessary and low-priority calls and incidents.”