Advocacy Focus is thrilled to share the news that their pilot project, ‘Advocacy for Autistic People in Mental Health Inpatient Settings’, recently won the Mental Health Safety Improvement Award at this year’s HSJ Patient Safety Awards.

These awards recognise safety, cultures and positive experiences in patient care.

There were 516 entries were received and after two rounds of rigorous judging this was whittled down to 206 organisations, projects and people for the final shortlist.

The Awards took place at HSJ’s annual two-day Patient Safety Congress. Delegates took part in open and honest discussions around the current reality faced by patients in terms of their safety.

Health Editor of the Sunday Times, Shaun Lintern, who Chaired the HSJ Patient Safety Congress, said;

“As in previous years, the HSJ Patient Safety Awards ceremony formed a key part of our 2023 Congress and it’s always such an honour to be a position to congratulate all of the winners, which this year includes Advocacy Focus who scooped ‘top spot’ in the category of Mental Health Safety Improvement.”

The award-winning pilot involved working with autistic inpatients across Lancashire and South Cumbria NHS Foundation Trust (LSCFT) hospitals. The aim was to gather people’s views, wishes and experiences about their care and treatment and their experience of advocacy services. This feedback will help shape inpatient services and meet the needs of autistic people.

Advocacy Focus felt privileged to work with and amplify the voices of people in inpatient settings and promote change to better meet their own unique needs and  experiences. They provided advocacy to a group of people who would not ordinarily have such support, and to have that work recognised, was an incredible cause for celebration for all the team involved.

Advocacy Manager, Ellie Bradley, who led on the pilot, said:

“We’re absolutely thrilled to have won this award for our Advocacy for Autistic People in Mental Health Inpatient Settings pilot project. The pilot was set up to help bridge the gap in the Mental Health Act and provide advocacy support to autistic informal patients.

“This work took important steps towards ensuring that people’s wishes and views were heard and respected. Supporting this often-overlooked group of people to be aware of their rights and support them to have their needs listened to and met, will essentially go some way to improving both their safety and long term outcomes.”

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Published On: October 9th, 2023
Mental Health