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Northumbria Healthcare among best acute trusts in NHS

Thursday, 18 March, 2021
Northumbria Healthcare among best acute trusts in NHS

Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust has been highlighted as among the best in the NHS at a major national awards scheme.

It was highly commended in the main prize of the night – Acute or Specialist Trust of the Year – at the prestigious Health Service Journal (HSJ) awards on Wednesday, March 17, reflecting the expertise, dedication and compassion of staff to ensure patients get the best care, but was pipped to the title by the winners, Sherwood Forest Hospitals, in the East Midlands.

The awards submission had emphasised three key strengths of Northumbria Healthcare, which runs hospitals and community services in Northumberland and North Tyneside – its leadership, its ability to flex, adapt and stay on course, and our incredible people.

And the endorsement comes hot on the heels of the Trust’s own staff rating it as the best of all hospital and combined hospital/community trusts in the NHS National Staff Survey, whose results were published last week.

Judges said that Northumbria Healthcare’s entry was ‘a great submission with measurable and demonstrable evidence of sustained success across all domains’, while noting the ‘very impressive ability to reach out beyond their local boundaries with international sharing of their teaching programme’ in relation to its Tanzania project.

Sir James Mackey, the Trust’s chief executive, said: “The past year has been one of the toughest in the history of the NHS so to receive this recognition is a real testament to the hard work of all of our staff, who always strive to ensure that patients get the very best care.

“Our staff know how much we value them, but at a time like this, external validation is very welcome, while patients can see this as further assurance that they are in good hands when we are looking after them.”

Despite the pressures of Covid-19, the Trust continues to deliver top-quality care, while investing in its facilities, such as the new hospital in Berwick, and innovative projects such as the development of the Northumbria PPE factory.

The organisation was also shortlisted in five other categories – Environmental Sustainability Award, Staff Engagement Award, Health and Local Government Partnership Award, HSJ Partnership of the Year, and NHS Communications Initiative of the Year– and ended up winning one and being highly commended in another.

Success in the NHS Communications Initiative of the Year category was for the Find Your Place campaign, which is led by Northumbria on behalf of the region’s NHS trusts, while the commendation in the Staff Engagement Award recognised the Trust’s ‘real-time’ staff experience programme, ‘Happy, healthy and productive teams’, which has consistently shown that staff are engaged and proud to work for the Trust.

Find Your Place, which is also run in partnership with Health Education England North East, the Lead Employer Trust and others, has helped to increase the number of medical trainees in our region and raise the profile of the North East and North Cumbria as a great place to work, live and train.

Fill rates have improved from 76% in 2015-16 to 95.6% in 2020-21. The campaign is built on insights to influence trainees to head north for unrivalled training and lifestyle experiences. Its bold and collaborative approach, which shares stories from those who have ‘found their place’, proves to others what the region already knows, that it’s #cannyupnorth!

Judges described it as ‘a longer-term campaign with demonstrable outcomes, clearly evidencing that successful collaboration brings results’. They added: ‘The creation of a sense of belonging and pride has been a cornerstone of this campaign’s success.’

This year’s HSJ Awards marked 40 years as the most esteemed accolade of healthcare service excellence in the UK, with ongoing aims of sharing best practice, improving patient outcomes, and innovating drivers of better service, as well as, most importantly, providing a well-deserved thanks to the sector.

Judges from across the NHS and wider healthcare sector sifted through hundreds of entries, with those shortlisted following the first phase having to give presentations to the panel.


Media contact

Ben O’Connell, media and communications officer

Benjamin.O’Connell@northumbria-healthcare.nhs.uk or 07833 046680.


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