SHROPSHIRE Community Health NHS Trust, known as Shropcom, is celebrating after being awarded ‘Community Health Trust of the Year’ at the Patient Experience Network National Awards (PENNA).

These national awards recognise best practice in patient experience across all facets of health and social care in the UK.

Shropcom was recognised for its work in developing a tool called Observe & Act.

The tool was designed by volunteers and staff to help assess the quality of services provided by Shropcom, as seen from the perspective of patients and carers.

Mark Donovan, patient experience and engagement lead at Shropcom, said they were obviously delighted with the news.

“Observe & Act looks at a person’s total experience from a service user/carer point of view, in order to learn from it, share good practice and where necessary act to make improvements.

“The tool has been designed for use with a range of services, including clinics and a variety of care and hospital settings.

“Our patient and carer volunteer group played a key part in developing Observe & Act and I would like to thank Roger Buckley and Milly Smith in particular for sharing their incredible skills and experience with us.”

Following its successful introduction at Shropcom, the Trust is now working with NHS England and Improvement to help other Trusts in the region and the North West to benefit from the scheme.

Nuala O’Kane, chairman of Shropshire Community Health Trust, added: “Being awarded Community Health Trust of the year really demonstrates how seriously we take patient care and experience here at Shropcom.

“I would like to congratulate Mark and the patient and carer volunteers, and thank them for all their hard work.

"Volunteers are an essential part of our Trust, helping to develop and enrich our services, so it is lovely to see their work formally recognised.”