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EPUT scoops regional NHS Parliamentary Award

The Family Group Conference (FGC) Team at Essex Partnership
 University NHS Foundation Trust (EPUT) has been named East of England regional winner in the category of Excellence in Mental Health for the NHS Parliamentary Awards 2022.

Will Quince, MP for Colchester, nominated the team for its family-led decision-making
approach that gives families and their wider support networks of friends and carers the opportunity to find solutions to areas of need.

The ground-breaking service, which has been recognised as best practice by the Social Care Institute of Excellence, has a family/community orientated approach to decision making when the patient at the centre of the planning is vulnerable and the network around them is under extreme stress.

Family Group Conference can be used at times of crisis and to address concerns including domestic abuse, financial abuse, breakdown of care arrangements and homelessness. It allows the adult accessing the service to participate fully in the process and express their views while recognising the importance of collective responsibility for families in decision making for those with complex needs.

The service’s crucial strength is the knowledge that family members are the experts about their own situation, and when professionals work with and support this strength, a positive outcome is more likely to be achieved and support networks strengthened.

Dr Lynn Prendergast, who is responsible for the delivery of the Adult Mental Health Family Group Conference Service across EPUT, was thrilled when she found out about the win.

She said: “I am delighted that the judges recognise the importance of working in genuine partnership with a person’s present or possible network of support.

“Families are the strongest relationships we will ever experience and have the greatest impact.

“The importance of prioritising the family relationships for the adult and working in partnership with their network has a great impact on an adult’s management of risks and recovery. This is an honour and a great achievement for a small but dedicated and empathic team.”

Paul Scott, Chief Executive of EPUT, said: “I’m absolutely delighted that our Family Group Conference has won the Regional NHS Parliamentary Award for mental health services. 

“This is a fantastic achievement and I couldn’t be more proud of Dr Lynn Prendergast and the team. It is very much well-deserved”.

The NHS Parliamentary Awards launched in 2018 to celebrate the NHS’ 70 birthday and recognise the outstanding contribution of staff, volunteers and others working in the health and care sector. Now in its fifth year, the awards have been an overwhelming success with over 450 Members of Parliament, representing constituencies in England, nominating an individual or organisation for an award, almost half of all eligible MPs.

These awards also provide an excellent opportunity for health and care organisations to engage with their local MPs, tell them about the work they do, and build or strengthen ongoing relationships.


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