Autism and ADHD work wins major award

A project to improve support for neurodiversity in East Berkshire has won a prestigious award for the NHS organisations and independent health advisory body behind it.

The collective efforts of Berkshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, NHS East Berkshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) – now NHS Frimley CCG - and Attain have been rewarded with the Health Services Journal (HSJ) Partnerships Award for the Best Consultancy Partnership with the NHS.

The award stems from an independent review being commissioned into autism and ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) services provided to children and adults in East Berkshire. The results of the review have led to new modelling being used, bringing about extra investment in neurodiversity services within Berkshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust.

The new GEMS service provided by Solutions for Health was also jointly commissioned by East Berkshire CCG and Bracknell Forest Council to provide support parents, carers, children and young people based on needs rather than diagnosis. The East Berkshire Neurodiversity network has also been launched to help bring about a change in thinking to promote a strength-based approach and champion collaborative working.

Mary-Jane Stroud, Neurodiversity Lead for Autism and ADHD at Berkshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, said of the award: “I am delighted that the project and all of the hard work involved has been recognised and celebrated by the HSJ award.

“I particularly wanted to thank the experts by experience – autistic adults, parents and carers – who were part of the project and gave up their time to work with us all and provide valuable insights.

“Co-production was a real strength of the project and it really helped focus the conversations, discussion and actions about what was most important to the people using the service. This meant that it wasn’t about just understanding the issues together, it was also about planning the solutions together.”

Fiona Edwards, Chief Executive of Frimley Health and Care, said: “Firstly I would like to congratulate everyone from the different organisations and teams that contributed to winning this award.

“We know in the NHS that we don’t always have the answers and we’re happy to work with industry experts such as Attain because their knowledge and experience complements our own and helps bring about a better outcome for all concerned.

“Healthcare today is all about building partnerships to support our populations so it is particularly pleasing to win an award which recognises just that.”

Health Service Journal editor Alastair McLellan offered his congratulations to the teams on their success, saying: “The entrants this year have once again been of the highest calibre, and each of the winners at the HSJ Partnership Awards have been chosen based on their outstanding commitment to innovation and collaboration in healthcare.”