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North East Essex Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), who commission NHS health services in Colchester and Tendring, are celebrating after being shortlisted for two prestigious HSJ awards. The awards recognise healthcare excellence across the UK.

The organisation has been shortlisted for both their Tendring Mental Health Hub and High Intensity Users projects.

The Tendring Mental Health Hub is shortlisted for the Innovation in Mental Health Award. Based at the Tendring Community Clothing Hub, underneath the Citizen’s Advice Bureau in Clacton. the project helps anyone  with mental health needs who are often at risk of being victims or perpetrators of crime, social isolation, poverty and substance misuse, to be supported by drop-in or referral appointments. Those who receive help go on to become shop volunteers, building life skills that  help their reintegration into the community. By helping people to resolve problems at an early stage, the Hub has prevented them descending into crisis. During 2017/18, activity at the Hub included 4,254 interventions, 272 new clients and new 38 volunteers.

“The Mental Health hub is a great project, creating a truly innovative way to help members of the public with mental health issues. The work of The Hub has improved the mental wellbeing of the people who use the service, alongside developing their life skills.” said Charlie Davies, Senior Contracts & Finance Manager for Mental Health at the CCG.

The High Intensity Users project is shortlisted for the Improvement in Emergency and Urgent Care Award. This project identifies patients who use health emergency services inappropriately, such as A&E and the ambulance services, and uses a personalised approach to support them to receive the help they really need as well as empowering patients to take ownership of their health and wellbeing.

“This project has made a meaningful difference to our patients – they are now being looked after by the right people in the right place at the right time. It wouldn’t have worked so well without the engagement and enthusiasm of so many of our partner organisations, including the ambulance services, community voluntary services, acute hospitals, mental health services, out-of-hours services, NHS111 and the fire service,’’ said Boena Zeneli, who led the project. “It really has been a team effort”.

North East Essex Diabetes Service, which is commissioned by the CCG, has also been shortlisted for an Optimisation of Medicines Management Award in recognition of its Virtual Ward project.

A Diabetes Specialist Nurse and Community Nurse supported by a Consultant meet monthly to discuss patients’ conditions and review medication – helping patients to better manage their diabetes. This has also led to patients needing less visits from community nurses – enabling the team to focus on patients most in need.

Sheila Smyth, Director of Community Care Services at Suffolk GP Federation, which runs NEEDS, said: “Patients’ conditions continue to be reviewed on a regular basis and there is greater coordination of patients receiving their essential diabetes healthcare checks. It means we can effectively monitor patients under the care of the community nursing teams to ensure they are receiving the most appropriate treatment regimes. We have worked closely with North East Essex CCG throughout the Virtual Ward project and we are grateful for their continued support and assistance.”

Sam Hepplewhite, Chief Officer of the CCG, said, “We are absolutely delighted to score a triple! To be shortlisted for two awards and then to have one of our commissioned projects shortlisted, too, is a tribute to all the hard work and innovative ideas of our local health system. We are especially grateful to Public Health, the Police and Crime Commission and Tendring District Council who commission Tendring Mental Health Hub alongside us. Thank you to all of our partner organisations and community voluntary services, without whom this wouldn’t have been achievable.”

The CCG will find out if they are successful at the HSJ Awards in London on 21st November 2018.


Media enquiries: Please contact the CCG’s Communications team on 01206 918653.