Award ‘massive boost’ for children’s speech and language team

Director of Corporate Governance Esther Steel presents the team with their awardThinking creatively about recruitment proved a winning formula for a children’s speech and language service in Blackpool.  

The team, which is based across Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre, took top prize in the Research, Quality and Innovation Award at Blackpool Teaching Hospitals Celebrating Success staff awards.  

A scarcity of appropriately trained staff as well as the impact of the Covid pandemic meant the team was facing significant challenges providing the right support for patients.  

But they turned the service around using research to better understand their waiting lists as well as innovating to deliver a better, more accessible service in places that best suit their patients.  

Director of Corporate Governance Esther Steel, who presented the award, said: “They’ve thought creatively about recruitment, creating a virtual workforce of colleagues across the country – and even one in Germany. And by changing how they work, they’ve reduced waiting times for appointments by a third and cut 52-week waits by nearly 90%. Just incredible.”  

Team leader Sarah Sutcliffe said: “The team have worked very hard to reduce our waiting lists and offer innovative evidence-based ways to support the children and young people within our service. 

We are immensely proud of winning the award and even prouder of how far we have come in 18 months. Meeting Esther and getting recognition from the Trust for the team’s hard work in driving the service forward is wonderful.”   

More than 400 nominations were received for the Celebrating Success 2023 annual staff awards in a year which marks the service’s 75th birthday on 5 July. The ceremony was watched online by thousands of colleagues, family and members of the public. Watch the moment the team learned they’d won the award. 

Twenty-seven nominations were received for the award and the runners up were the Bladder and Bowel Team and the Medchart Team.  

Posted in Home Page, NHS75.