Western Trust Team wins prestigious National Safety Award

The Western Health and Social Care Trust has won a prestigious Healthcare People Management Award (HPMA) as part of the annual HPMA Excellence in People Awards.

Wednesday, 13th October 2021, 5:08 pm
Updated Wednesday, 13th October 2021, 5:20 pm
Altnagelvin Hospital

The award was given to the Western Trust for Excellence in Organisation Development for its Working Safely Together Echo Network.

The Echo Network was launched in December 2020 and focused on providing safety for patients and service users of the Western Health and Social Care Trust. It was the first of its kind in the UK and Ireland.

The HPMA awards recognise and celebrate the work of Human Resources, Organisational Development and workforce professionals across the UK. There were 16 awards in total and the award has particular significance this year due to the Trust’s handling of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Speaking about the event, Western Trust Assistant Director of Organisational Development and Echo Lead, Riona Santiago, said: “We are delighted to receive this national recognition of our Working Safely Together Network. On behalf of the Team I would like to thank all of our Safety Leads who have shown such commitment to share learning across hierarchies and boundaries over the last 12 months. They have made a real difference to their facilities and teams.

“Our aim was to create a safety culture within the Trust and despite the hugely challenging circumstances we achieved this through our Echo Network. The Trust worked in partnership with Project ECHO NI and Hospice UK to use the ECHO virtual platform and methodology to connect expertise and best practice through the concept of moving knowledge not people in regular collaborative sessions.”

Assistant Director of Facilities Management, Joanne Quinn said “We created a forum focused on all aspects of safety - physical, environment, organisational and psychological, and invited 110 staff from all professions and all levels to meet as a safety network for 1 hour every week.

“These staff were nominated to become Safety Leads representing their facilities across our wide geographical location. Their role was to share learning within the Network and apply any subsequent peer learning within their own facilities / wards.

“Term 1 focused on “Working Safely through Covid” and ran from November 2020 to March 2021. Term 2 commenced in April 2021 and is focused on “Working Safely through Rebuild” and over this time we have grown from 110 staff to 180 staff in Term 2.

“Our most notable achievement was ultimately our organisational performance in reducing outbreaks and nosocomial incidents. The WHSCT had one of the lowest nosocomial rates in Northern Ireland and reached zero community facility outbreaks.”