A project which improved the awareness and attendance at breast screening appointments of women with learning disabilities has won the BIR/IEL Make it Better Award. The team, a collaboration between InHealth, Surrey County Council Adult Social Care, Surrey & Border Partnership NHS Foundation Trust Learning Disability Liaison Service and Surrey Choices were presented with their award at UKIO by Phil Neale from the award sponsors IEL and BIR Chief Executive Simon Thompson.
The project improved the awareness and attendance at breast screening appointments of women with learning disabilities by addressing barriers to attendance. Time was spent listening to users of the service and practical adaptations were made such as longer appointment times, clearer information, time spent with carers and stronger links with GP practices and support organisations.
The team chose to donate their £1,000 prize money to Surrey Choices, a centre for people with learning disabilities.
Chrissy Zelenyanszki, Head of Screening & Prevention, from InHealth said: “We are delighted to receive this award in recognition of our work in making screening more accessible to women with learning disabilities. This invaluable work was the result of a collaboration between us, Surrey County Council Adult Social Care, Surrey & Border Partnership NHS Foundation Trust Learning Disability Liaison Service and Surrey Choices – a real team effort. It is so important that we improve awareness and attendance of the routine NHS breast screening invitation, by spending time with women with learning disabilities, carers and support organisations to understand the barriers to women attending their appointments. We would like to express our thanks to the BIR/IEL for giving us the opportunity to share our project and receive this prestigious award”.
Phil Neale said “It’s such an honour for IEL to get involved in projects and awards such as this, as a company we really value our relationship with the BIR and its cascade into the healthcare profession. The service improvement that this collaboration has achieved is particularly rewarding as it serves a section of the community that may have found access challenging. I firmly believe that other healthcare groups can benefit from this excellent work".
Dr Elizabeth Loney and her team from County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust won Highly Commended for their project to replace two privately owned and run MRI scanners saving Trust £3m. More information and how to enter the 2020 award.